Deacon Doug Cook,
San Antonio de Padua del Canon
Anaheim Hills. Ca.
Orange Diocese Cursillo, Spiritual Director
For the past 30 years my wife Sheila and I have taught in our parish RCIA program. As I read this reflection on Saturday, April 11th, I would normally be rehearsing with the Elect and Candidates for the Easter Vigil beginning at dusk. This will not be the case this year due to the Coronavirus. I will miss this experience a great deal especially the transformation from darkness into light.
Try to picture what it is like for someone attending this service for the first time. You enter the church and all the lights are turned off. Outside a fire is lit and the priest prepares the pascal candle. A deacon slowly processes into the church holding the candle. People begin to light small candles form the pascal candle and pass the flames to one another. The entire church glows more and more as the candlelight spreads. When the Liturgy of the Word begins, the church lights remain off. We listen to the word of God in the dark. From the creation story, the parting of the Red Sea to the prophets, we start to understand how the promise of salvation became more clearly visible in the Old Testament. Then we hear the Gloria begin and suddenly all the lights come on. We are startled and blink as the brightness causes us to adjust our new reality. The bells ring and we hear the good news: Christ is risen! Sin is defeated and death has lost its sting! The long years of waiting and hoping has finally come to an end.
This past month we have experience much darkness in our world and in our lives. It seems now that this will never end. But just as in the Easter Vigil, the long period of darkness and hoping for a return to normal will come to pass. Let us therefore take this time to pray that when the lights in our churches are finally turned back on, we will allow the risen Christ to shine in our hearts brighter than ever before. We will allow the light of the risen Christ to dispel the darkness of the night.
Christ is risen – for you.
He has overcome sin – for you.
He has opened heaven – for you.
Tomorrow let us together shout with joy – He is Risen! Alleluia! Alleluia!
De Colores,
Deacon Doug
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Resources for those not able to attend Mass
Daily Readings in English and Spanish from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
Prayers, readings for Mass, and additional spiritual readings are available at:
Magnificat publication, a spiritual guide that includes daily Mass:
“Give Us This Day” a digital file of their periodical, which includes daily Mass texts. Visit and select “Digital” in the upper right of the screen.