Sunday, March 31, 2013

On The Third Day He Rose From The Dead

Christ is risen from the dead!
Dying, he conquered death;
To the dead, he has given life.

+ Byzantine Liturgy, Troparion of Easter +

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Fourteenth Station: Jesus Is Laid In The Tomb

V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R/. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

“He was crucified, died and was buried...”
The lifeless body of Christ has been laid in the tomb. But the stone of the tomb is not the final seal on his work. 

The last word belongs not to falsehood, hatred and violence. 

The last word will be spoken by Love, which is stronger than death. 

“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (Jn 12:24). 

The tomb is the last stage of Christ’s dying through the whole course of his earthly life; it is the sign of his supreme sacrifice for us and for our salvation. 

Very soon this tomb will become the first proclamation of praise and exaltation of the Son of God in the glory of the Father

“He was crucified, died and was buried,. . . on the third day he rose from the dead.”

Once the lifeless body of Jesus is laid in the tomb, at the foot of Golgotha, the Church begins the vigil of Holy Saturday. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Following Christ to the Cross

As we begin the Easter Triduum, remembering Our Lord and His ascent of Calvary, it might be difficult for us to discern how Jesus is asking us to follow Him to the Cross.

Pope Francis gave us some guidance on this yesterday, in his first General Audience address:

Living Holy Week means increasingly entering into God's logic, the logic of the Cross, which is not first of all that of pain and death, but of love and of self-giving that brings life. It means entering into the logic of the Gospel. Following, accompanying Christ, remaining with Him requires a "stepping outside.” Stepping outside of ourselves, of a tired and routine way of living the faith, of the temptation to withdraw into pre-established patterns that end up closing our horizon to the creative action of God. God stepped outside of Himself to come among us, He pitched His tent among us to bring the mercy of God that saves and gives hope. Even if we want to follow Him and stay with Him, we must not be content to remain in the enclosure of the ninety-nine sheep, we have to "step outside," to search for the lost sheep together with Him, the one furthest away. Remember well: stepping outside of ourselves, like Jesus, like God has stepped outside of Himself in Jesus and Jesus stepped outside of Himself for all of us.

Pope Francis, the prime example of someone who practices what he preaches, will “step outside” of himself today, when he celebrates Holy Thursday Mass in Rome’s juvenile prison. Blessed John Paul II did the same in his travels and in his very public struggle with sickness and old age.

How can we step outside of our computers, our homes, or our workplaces? How can we step outside of ourselves? Perhaps we can meditate on this as we gratefully remember the way Our Lord did it for us, in His Passion and His death. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Thirteenth Station: Jesus Is Taken Down From The Cross And Given To His Mother

V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R/. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

O quam tristis et afflicta
Fuit illa benedicta
Mater Unigeniti.

In the arms of his Mother they have placed the lifeless body of the Son. The Gospels say nothing of what she felt at that moment.
It is as though by their silence the Evangelists wished to respect her sorrow, her feelings and her memories. Or that they simply felt incapable of expressing them.

It is only the devotion of the centuries that has preserved the figure of the “Pietà”, providing Christian memory with the most sorrowful image of the ineffable bond of love which blossomed in the Mother’s heart on the day of the Annunciation and ripened as she waited for the birth of her divine Son.

That love was revealed in the cave at Bethlehem
and was tested already during the Presentation in the Temple.
It grew deeper as Mary stored and pondered in her heart all that was happening (cf. Lk 2:51). 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Blessed Is He Who Comes In The Name Of The Lord

Jesus enters Jerusalem on the donkey lent to him. The crowd seems nearer to the fulfillment of the promise for which so many generations had lived. The shouts, "Hosanna... Blessed be he who comes in the name of the Lord!", seem to want to express the meeting, now near, of human hearts with the eternal Choice. In the midst of this joy which precedes the Passover solemnities, Jesus is meditative and silent. He is fully aware that that meeting of human hearts with the eternal Choice will not take place by means of the "Hosannas," but by means of the cross.

-Blessed John Paul II, Palm Sunday 1979

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Nuns Win The American Bible Challenge

So Catholics don’t know the Bible, eh? Well the Dominican Sisters of Mary just showed the world how important the Word of God is to the Catholic faith.

Sr. Maria Suso and her fellow sisters on Team Sisters of Mary competed in The American Bible Challenge on the Game Show Network this past Thursday, in order to win money for their community and to promote the New Evangelization. And they won!

Sr. Suso hopes that anyone who watched realizes, "that the joy that we have and the love that we have for one another comes from Christ and that they can also come into contact with him.”

Congratulations Sisters!