Thursday, March 28, 2013
"They have taken the Lord from the tomb"
This Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013, the Gospel Readings describe that first Easter Sunday when Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb of Jesus early in the morning and sees that the stone had been removed from the tomb. Our Discussion Questions this week will guide your bible study sessions with your family, friends and church groups.
The Paschal Triduum
Lent comes to an end before the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday. That liturgy begins the Triduum, the great Three Days that celebrate the central mystery of our faith - the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of the Lord.
It would be a tragedy to let this season of grace go by without taking some time for extended prayer and reflection. So we have put together for you a Triduum Guide by Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D. which offers suggestions for prayers during these holy days. We also have compiled for you "A Practical Guide to the Liturgies of Holy Week" by Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M.
So steal away for as much time as you can and let the Spirit help you pick and choose which devotions will best help you make the most of this special time.
To celebrate the Eucharist, says Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, is to commit oneself to a discipleship that "remembers" Jesus, not only in the ritual breaking of the bread and sharing the cup, but also in the "imitation" of Jesus, in the ongoing breaking of one's own body and spilling of one's own blood "in remembrance" of Jesus."
From Jerusalem, Paul Dion, STL presents to you his Holy Thursday report "Do this in memory of me." It is part of our Holy Week from the Holy Land Series that brings you today to the actual place where it all happened some 2,000 years ago.
In his Reflection for Good Friday, Father Thomas Rosica, CSB says the day shows us where God is - there, hanging on the wood of the cross in Jerusalem, and on the crosses throughout the world where people are betrayed, abandoned, denounced, abused, mocked or humiliated. Yet it is only there that we receive the mystery of the death that gives life.
While Dr. Marcelino d'Ambrosio submits this powerfully poetic sermon on the Cross of Christ as the Cosmic Tree. It was preached during Holy Week in the early church, somewhere around the 5th century, by someone whose name has been lost.
Today's Jerusalem is a crowded place just like it was during the time of Jesus. In his Holy Land Report, Paul Dion, STL describes in great detail how he developed a deeper appreciation of the Passion of our Lord as he tried to pray the Way of the Cross on Good Friday along the busy Via Dolorosa. As he jostled his way through the wild Jerusalem crowds, he pretty much could imagine how our Lord had to fight HIs way through these very same crowds as He carried His cross down these cobbled-stone streets 2000 years ago.
This Holy Saturday reading on the descent of the Lord Jesus into Hell is used in the Roman Church's Office of Readings for Holy Saturday, with the accompanying biblical reading of Hebrews 4:1-13. What did the Apostles Creed mean when it says, "He Descended into Hell?" Check out this biblical reflection by an early Church Father.
Easter Sunday: An affirmation of hope
Sunday is the day of Easter joy. Yet, even as we celebrate we are painfully aware that for many people it is still Good Friday. Every day it seems there is something to remind us of the poverty, injustice, and violence of our world. Fr. Ron Rolheiser says it's fair and reflective to wonder: Where is the resurrection in all of this? Why is God seemingly so inactive? Where is the vindication of Easter Sunday?
Fr. Jim Kirstein SMA says the the resurrection doesn’t mean that we gloss over pain, suffering and difficult daily life situations, but it does give us a new vision of life. It gives us the freedom to face the dark side of life, and even death with confidence knowing that Jesus broke the bonds of human limitation and death. Fr. Joseph Pellegrino adds further that we will always remember the Passion, but we are not people of suffering, and torture and death. We are people of life and of hope.
While Fr. Campion P. Gavaler, OSB explains to us that our Easter celebration is an affirmation of hope in a world that appears to experience the pain of Good Friday more than the joy of Easter Sunday.
Easter Sunday: Jesus alive and present among us
Fr. James Gilhooley shares this Easter Sunday sequence from the Roman Missal which sums up the entire scene in beautiful language: "Death and life were locked together in a unique struggle. Life's Captain died. Now He reigns, no more to die."
What about you? Do you believe Jesus is risen from the dead? If not, how much further do you have to go? Fr. John Foley, S.J. says the greatest of all Easter truths is this: God’s love is stronger than life itself, stronger than death. The Resurrection is molded out of love. If you know that, blessed are you as you come to believe.
And how is Jesus alive and present among us? Is our own friendship with Christ contagious? Do we burn with love for him? Do people avoid us because of our coldness? These are the questions Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB challenges us to answer. While Fr. Orly Sapuay, MS reminds us that the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus ought to restore passion to our life. He says passion drives us to share the Love of God in creative, innovative ways with those around s. Passion is what gives life to life.
Easter Sunday is the day when thousands become Catholic, including a man who almost lost his life five times as a soldier in Iraq. The U.S. bishops' conference shared the story of Jeremy Feldbusch, 30, from Blairsville, Pennsylvania, who entered the Church three years ago. Plus, two of the many thousands who joined the Catholic Church this Easter are a mother and daughter from Japan. Their story is unique because the family's father is a Shinto priest.
Another eventful week in our Catholic World. Have a great and blessed Easter.
Keep the Faith. Peace.
Publisher & Editor in chief
Post a comment below.
BURNING QUESTION: Do you invite the poor to your Easter banquet?
FEATURED BLOG: Easter is not a low-budget Christmas
PASTORAL HISPANA: El Cristiano es un Hombre Que Cree en La Resurreccion
Follow us on Twitter
Click Here to view any of our previous weeks' issues
Click Here to receive a FREE SUBSCRIPTION to this weekly email