Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Time To Reflect On Gift

By MARTHA BEATRIZ GARCIA, Special To The Bulletin | Published April 16, 2009

The Paschal Vigil is my favorite time of Holy Week. It is a joyful day for the whole Catholic Church. For me, it is a time to reflect on my baptism and the gift of being part of the family of Christ. As an RCIA catechist for children, I participate actively in the Easter Vigil every year.

Even from the beginning of Lent, I was very excited knowing Holy Week would soon be near. The Exsultet, which the church sings every year on that night, came into my heart.

Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God’s throne!
Jesus Christ, our King, is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!
Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes forever!
Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
The risen Savior shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
echoing the mighty song of all God’s people.

The most memorable Paschal Vigil of my life was 2007. I was part of the chorus. Through the psalms and the Word of God which narrated the history of our salvation, my eyes opened. The church’s lights were bright, and the air felt soft. I felt the temple full of God’s Spirit. I felt loved by God and by my community, Anglo, Hispanic, Afro-American, Vietnamese. The joy was something out of this world. It brought tears of joy.

I praise the most Blessed Trinity for allowing me to serve in the church in the different ministries which participate in the Paschal Vigil every year. It helps me go deeper into the Paschal Mystery.

What good would life have been to us, had Christ not come as our Redeemer?

Night truly blessed when heaven is wedded to earth and man is reconciled with God!

Martha Beatriz García and her husband, Rodolfo Nicolás have two children, Aileen and Joseue. They are active in the church’s Hispanic community as catechists, lectors and musicians.