As Holy Week began to draw to a close, Bishop Richard J. Malone welcomed the celebration of the Resurrection during an Easter Vigil at St. Joseph Cathedral in Buffalo Saturday night.
"He is Risen! Be not afraid; go and share the Good News," Bishop Malone said. "Each day in our world, beauty is born anew. Such is the power of the Resurrection, and all who evangelize are instruments of that power."
The Easter Vigil is a unique service that begins in a darkened church with a single candle lit to represent the Light of Jesus Christ. It is the conclusion of a three-day observance of the Crucifixion and Resurrection that begins on Holy Thursday.
During his homily, Bishop Malone hoped that Catholics will enjoy themselves with secular Easter traditions - even he notes his sister still hides an basket for the bishop - but recognize and remember the true reason for the day is the Risen Christ.
"It's a curious and concerning thing that so many of our Christian feasts have been overlaid, perhaps even co-opted by all sorts of customs that, while pleasant enough, have little to do with the essence of the feasts," the bishop said. "If the Resurrection of Christ from the dead is not reason for wonder, for amazement, then what is? Some people will just as soon let (Easter) be about spring flowers, candy and Easter egg hunts, because we really don't want to deal with Easter as the world shaking, life changing event that it is. Are we afraid to get too close to a divine surprise that turns things totally upside down and calls us to radical change in how we see reality, and how we live?"
The Easter Vigil included a baptismal liturgy, inducting several new members into the Catholic Church. Jamie Livergood, Carol Starr and Trey Theobald were baptized; Beth Hoestermann celebrated her first Communion and Justin Jarosz, Philip Jarosz, Livergood, Starr, Theobald and Hoestermann all were confirmed.