Easter Season Reflections from Saint Augustine
Sermon on the Easter Vigil, and the Light of the World:
If one should inquire about the reason why we keep such a vigil, the answer is easy to find and give. For He who has granted us the glory of His name has illuminated this night: He to whom we say ‘You shall enlighten darkness’ enlightens our hearts, so that just as our eyes rejoice at this splendor of lighted candles so our minds may be enlightened and shed light on the meaning of this resplendent night.
Why, then, is it that Christians keep vigil on this anniversary night? This is our greatest vigil and no other vigil of similar proportions is known. In answer to our eager query, When do we keep vigil? We reply: Several other vigils are kept by us, but nothing comparable to this vigil. The apostle has urged the faithful to frequent fasting and vigils, recalling his own practice in the words, ‘In toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst’ (2 Corinthians 11:27). But tonight’s vigil is so special that it deserves to appropriate to itself the common title of vigil.
Sermon on Easter Sunday and the Wounds of Our Lord:
He is our Salvation Who was wounded for us, and fastened with nails to the Wood, and taken down from the Wood, and laid in the sepulchre. But He rose from the sepulchre; and though His wounds were healed the scars remained. For this He judged expedient for His Disciples: that He should keep His scars to heal the wounds of their soul.
What wounds are these? The wounds of their unbelief. For He appeared before their eyes, showing them a true body; and they believed they saw a spirit. No light wound of the soul this. And they who continued in this wounded state have caused a malignant heresy. And do not let m think that because they were healed so quickly that the Disciples were not wounded.
Let your Charity consider how had they remained in this wounded state, thinking that His buried Body had not risen, and that a spirit in the likeness of a body deceived their human eyes, had they remained in this belief, rather, had they remained in this unbelief, we should be grieving, not for their wounds, but for their death!