(Because of a technical malfunction that crashed this site on April 4, and took down every post and comment after March 14, the following has been re-posted. It was originally written March 20, 2008.)  Today is Holy Thursday. Tonight's celebratory meal gives way to the sign of humility, the washing of the feet. If He, Himself, could so humble himself to wash His disciples' feet, what does that say to us?

The washing of the feet, then, gives way to arrest, scourging, beating, the crown of thorns, The Passion: The Crucifixion of Christ, the most humble of all acts. For he who gives his life that others may live . . . .

The meal yields to Good Friday, perhaps the most ironic of names. The gloom and pall and sadness; the solemnity of it all: Mankind turned against their own God.

But Good Friday must, and does, usher in a new day, for The Resurrection brings us new life, life eternal. The Light of the World can never be darkened:

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" (Jn 1:5). This is what the Prologue of John's Gospel proclaims, effectively summarizing the drama of the rejection of Christ from the moment of his coming into the World. But on this night, the night of Easter - according to the Scriptures and beyond any human expectation - the opposite takes place: the light overcomes the darkness.

At Easter, symbols give way to reality: "The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it" (Jn 1:5): Life himself was killed, nailed to a Cross. But "in him was life and the life was the light of men" (Jn 1:4). And now in the Risen Christ that light finally shines. Lumen Christi. It was necessary that there should be "darkness over all the land" (Mt 27:45), so that the Light could shine in all its splendour. Life had to die, so that he could give life to all things.

Let no one be afraid of the light of Christ! His Gospel is the light which does not bring death but which develops and brings to full maturity whatever is true, good and beautiful in every human culture. The Gospel of Christ is meant for man, for the life, peace and freedom of every individual and of all people.

. . . . the symbol of light is linked to that of (baptism) water and reminds us that we are all born again of water and the Holy Spirit, in order to share in the new life revealed by Christ's Resurrection.

"In him is life, and the life is the light of men" (cf. Jn 1:4).

O vere beata nox!

Night truly blessed which brings Christ's light to all people!

Night of limitless splendour shed the light of hope and peace on every corner of the earth!

from, "Light Shines In The Risen Christ"

Given by Pope John Paul II, Easter Vigil Homily, April 6, 1996

From The Family Foundation of Virginia, may all of you experience God's Blessings on the celebration of His Victory over Death and for a joyous and spirit-filled Easter.