Easter Vigil Homily

Enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water. 
The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken. 
Although its light is wide and great, 
The moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide. 
The whole moon and the entire sky 
Are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass.
So writes the great 13th Century Buddhist priest and mystic Dogen.

I think that Dogen’s koan wonderfully encapsulates what we are about tonight. I think he stands applauding in the wings as we sing, “This is the night…How holy is this night…Rejoice now…”

I turn to Dogen because I think there are many Christians who do not understand the significance of the Easter Vigil, and perhaps do not understand the significance of the Easter event itself.

What do I mean? Consider the koan as a metaphor of the resurrection and the power and presence of God acting in Christ and in creation…and in us. Listen to it again:

Here is the mystery of oneness that is not sameness, the fulfillment of our longing for reunion with God. Here is the mystery of Christ filling all in all, he who became one with us that we might become one with him. Here is the mystery of our humanity created in the image of God, recreated in the waters of baptism that we might be co-creators with God.

I get shivers just thinking about it. Because all of this mystery is present to us tonight. Tonight we dive deep into the myth, to the heart of the sacred story. We immerse ourselves, we drown ourselves in its mystery and its power and its truth and we are reborn, together with all that ever was or is or that shall be. Now. Here. This night. In this moment of time out of time, everything hangs suspended and we bask in the radiance of the fullness of God and rejoice in the completion of God’s plan of salvation. Tonight, if just for tonight, our drop of dew reflects the whole moon and the entire sky. May our gaze turn equally upward and inward in awe and wonder.