March 31, 2016

Easter Thurs

March 31, 2016:  Thursday, Easter Octave

  • 'Angel' pin:  "You made people little less than the angels..." (psalm)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  "...and crowned them with glory and honor,..." (psalm)
  • 'Feet' pin:  "...putting all things under their feet,..." (psalm)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar"  "all sheep, beasts, fish..." (psalm)
  • 'Wheat' pin:  Jesus' disciples recognized him in the breaking of the bread (gospel)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  “Peace be with you.” (gospel)
  • '?' tie pin:  "Why do questions arise in your hearts?"
  • 'Skeleton' tie pin:  "A ghost doesn't have flesh and bones as you see I have." (gospel)
  • 'Hand' tie pin, 'feet' pin:  "Look at my hands and feet" (gospel)
  • 'Fishes' tie: "They gave him a piece of fish" (gospel)
  • White shirt and socks:  color of day and season


  • See yesterday for good "Emmaus tunes" (beginning of gospel)
  • Acts 3:11-26  Peter at Solomon's Portico after cripple's healing:  “Why are you amazed, and why do you look at us as if we cured him?  God glorified Jesus; you killed him, but God raised him.  Faith in Jesus cured the man.  God fulfilled the prophecies that his Christ would suffer.  Repent and be converted so your sins may be wiped away and God may send you Jesus, and in your offspring all shall be blessed.”
  • Ps 8:2ab, 5-9  "O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!"  You've crowned him and given him dominion over created things.
  • Lk 24:35-48  They recounted how they recognized Jesus in the breaking of bread.  Jesus came:  “Peace!” but they thought him a ghost.  “Look at my hands and feet, and touch me; a ghost has no flesh or bones.”  They were joyful and amazed.  “Have you anything to eat?”  They gave him fish, and he ate it.  “I told you everything about me in the law, prophets, and psalms must be fulfilled....  It is written the Christ would suffer and rise, and that repentance would be preached to all.  You're witnesses.”
    • Creighton:  People were amazed at the cripple's healing, but Peter put it into context so they see God at work.  In the gospel, the disciples were startled, but their fear turned to joy.  Jesus helped them open their minds to the truth, helping them find meaning in what they already knew and experienced.  Jesus was helping them to solve a mystery....
      The appearance of Christ at the Cenacle/ Tissot
    • One Bread, One Body:  "The prophet prophesied":  In the early Church, many believed in the risen Christ because of the prophetic power of Jesus and his followers. Their words burned their hearers' hearts.  Because so many came to have faith in the risen Christ through prophecy, the Church believed she was founded on the prophets.  On Pentecost, a prophecy about prophecy came true as people received the gift of prophecy.  May we receive God's prophetic word through Scripture, spiritual reading, homilies, and personal encounter with Jesus the Prophet....
    • Passionist:  The Gospel begins with how Jesus revealed himself to people through the "breaking of the bread."  Even when they thought all was lost, it was sharing in the brokenness that allowed them to see God’s work in their life.  And the Apostles lived that faith as they cured the sick.  There's always new life if only we live the examples given to us–to share honestly and authentically, to share our struggles and hopes.  If we get out of God's way, he'll have room to work miracles.  How am I in the way of God’s miracles?...  [Thanks, Paul Puccinelli, Director of Liturgy & Music at our St. Rita]
    •  "Jesus opened their minds to understand the Scriptures":  We can be like the apostles, not believing unless we see with our own eyes.  Jesus assures his disciples he's not a ghost, showing them the marks of his crucifixion, eating, and explaining how the Scriptures foretold his rising.
    "As he showed them real hands and a real side, he ate with his disciples, walked with Cleophas, conversed with men, reclined at supper, with real hands broke and offered bread...  Don't put the Lord's power on the level of magic tricks, so he may appear to have been what he wasn't, and may be thought to have eaten without teeth, walked without feet, broken bread without hands, spoken without a tongue, and showed a side that had no ribs" (Jerome, Letter to Pammachius against John of Jerusalem 34).
    The gospel doesn't end with the cross:  Through the cross Jesus defeated our enemies and won pardon for our sins, opening heaven to us.  The cross led to life, victory, power to overcome everything that would stand in the way of God's love and truth.  As the first disciples were commissioned to proclaim the good news, so are we called to be witnesses of the resurrection....

    March 30, 2016

    Easter Wed

    March 30, 2016:  Wednesday, Easter Octave

    See 19 connections with today?
    (Don't miss the joker!)
    Legend below

    For the psalm
    • 8 for Psalm 51not always associated with Easter, but read the Pope's reflection
    Pope Francis
    Audience:  God is greater than all our sin!  God's mercy wipes away our sins like the dry cleaner eliminates stains.  It doesn't hide sin but destroys and cancels it.  God eliminates our sin from its roots!
    Psalm 51 is traditionally seen as King David’s prayer for forgiveness after his adultery and murder.  It's a moving confession of sin, repentance, and hope in God’s mercy.  He begs to be cleansed of sin and praises God’s justice and holiness.  He asks for forgiveness and a pure heart and steadfast spirit, so that, renewed, he may draw others to the way of righteousness.
    We're all sinners, and some sin over and over again.  Like a child reaching to his parents after a fall, we can raise our hand to God who will pull us up.  God created us to stand upright.  God’s forgiveness is the greatest sign of his mercy.  It's beautiful to be forgiven, but you should also forgive!  Through the prayers of Mary, Mother of Mercy, may we become convincing witnesses to the mercy that forgives our sins, creates in us a new heart, and enables us to proclaim God’s love.
    To Brazil Bishops at end of WYD 2013:  Meet people on their journey, listen, be patient, accompany them, warm their hearts, and inspire them, as Jesus did.  Summary
      Supper at Emmaus/ Ter Brugghen
    • Acts 3:1-10  A man crippled from birth begged Peter and John for alms at the temple gate.  Peter:  “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you:  in the name of Jesus Christ, walk.”  Peter raised him up, and he stood, walked around, and went into the temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God.  People recognized him as the one who used to beg at the gate and were amazed.
    • Ps 105:1-4, 6-9  "Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord."  Make known his deeds.  Sing praise.  Serve him constantly.  He is our God and remembers his covenant.
    • Lk 24:13-35  While two disciples were going to Emmaus, Jesus drew near and walked with them, but they didn't recognize him.  “What are you talking about?” / “Don't you know what happened to Jesus?...” / “How slow you are to believe!...”  He interpreted the Scriptures, they urged “Stay,” and he did.  At table he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them; their eyes were opened, they recognized him, and he vanished.  “Our hearts were burning as he opened the Scriptures to us!”  They returned to Jerusalem, found the Eleven and others saying, “The Lord has been raised!”  The two recounted what had taken place and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
        Emmaus Road/ Gerloff
      • Creighton:   May the teachings of the Easter story stay with us; may we truly realize the sacrifice made for us, understand its impact, carry the lessons with us, and become more humble and forgiving....
      • One Bread, One Body:  "Moving experiences":  The healing of the 40-year-old man paralyzed from birth was a sign of the Resurrection.  The disciples on the road to Emmaus were mentally and spiritually paralyzed.  Jesus said they had "little sense" and were slow to believe, but soon their hearts burned and their eyes were opened; this movement was a sign and experience of the Resurrection.  What bones need to rattle in my life?  How am I paralyzed?  To what movement am I called?
      • Passionist:  What if there were no forgiveness of sins and we were forever stuck in our guilt?  What if heaven were barred to us after Adam and Eve's sin?  What if human suffering were in vain?  What if life had no purpose?  But because Christ died and rose, there is forgiveness, death doesn't have the last word, our suffering has tremendous meaning as his never-in-vain suffering, and our purpose is for Christ to live in us, work through us, manifesting himself through us.  “We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song!” (Augustine)
      •  "Did not our hearts burn while he opened to us the Scriptures?"  Jesus' death scattered his disciples and shattered their hopes and dreams.  They saw the cross as defeat and didn't understand the empty tomb till the Lord appeared to them.  Jesus chided the disciples on the road to Emmaus for their slowness to believe the scriptures about the Messiah; they didn't recognize him till he broke bread with them.  "They were so disturbed when they saw him on the cross that they forgot his teaching and promises and didn't look for his resurrection....  Their eyes were obstructed, that they not realize Christ would die and rise again, and not recognize him until the breaking of the bread.  Not that the Truth was misleading them, but they were unable to perceive the truth." (Augustine)  When do I not recognize the Lord when he speaks to my heart?  The Lord is ever ready to speak to us and give us understanding.  Do you listen and let his word transform me?
      Dress legend
      • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  "Look at us" (1st reading); "their eyes were opened" (gospel)
      • 'Coin' button:  Beggar (1st reading)
      • Silver and gold-colored accessories:  "I have neither silver and gold" (1st reading)
      • 'Walking person' tie pin:  he walked around (1st reading), disciples en route to Emmaus (gospel)
      • '3 people' tie pin:  2 on road to Emmaus + 1 Risen Jesus (gospel)
      • 'Hand' tie pin:  Peter took him by the hand and raised him up,... (1st reading)
      • 'Feet' pin:  ...and his feet and ankles grew strong. (1st reading)
      • 'Scroll' pin:  The Lord remembers his covenant (psalm)
      • '?' tie pin:  Emmaus disciples' and Jesus' questions to one another (gospel)
      • 'Accordion' pin:  great instrument for El Peregrino de Emaús (gospel :-)
      • 'Angel' pin:  "The women reported they saw angels announcing Jesus was alive..." (gospel)
      • 'Hearts' suspenders:  Rejoice, hearts that seek God (psalm); How slow of heart you are; weren't our hearts burning? (gospel)
      • 'Silverware' tie bar (oops; forgot this one):  While at table, Jesus took bread... (gospel)
      • 'Clown' tie:  Jesus to disciples:  "Oh, how foolish you are!" (gospel)
      • 'Wheat' pin:  Jesus took bread...; their eyes were opened in its breaking (gospel)
      • White shirt and socks:  Easter day and season

      March 29, 2016

      Easter Tues

      March 29, 2016:  Tuesday, Easter Octave

      See a dozen connections with today?
      Legend below
      • Acts 2:36-41  Peter / Jews:  “God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ.” / “What are we to do?” / “Repent and be baptized to receive forgiveness and the Holy Spirit.”  Those who accepted his message were baptized, about 3,000 that day.
      • Ps 33:4-5, 18-20, 22  "The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord."  We wait for the Lord, our help and shield.  May your kindness be upon us who hope in you.
      • Jn 20:11-18  Mary Magdalene, weeping, bent into the tomb and saw two angels:  “Why are you weeping?” / “They've taken my Lord....”  She turned and saw Jesus but didn't know it was Jesus. / “Woman, why are you weeping?” / “If you know, tell me where you laid him.” / “Mary!” / “Teacher!” / “Go tell my brothers, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”  Mary went, announced, “I have seen the Lord,” and reported what he told her.
        • Creighton:  Just as seeds were planted in the early Church, so must I help make disciples.
        • One Bread, One Body:  "Oh brother, where art thou?"  Jesus, who ascends to his Father, knows his disciples can be reborn as God's children, and therefore be his brothers and sisters.  The apostles tried to remain together as his community even through the cross; Jesus rewards them by telling them his Father and God was theirs.  When we carry our crosses, Jesus has blessings for us that make us consider the present sufferings as nothing. Some Christians live "Lent without Easter," focusing on the cross, suffering, and renunciation but not rejoicing in the risen life, not letting the joy of the risen Jesus transform them.  Be Jesus' brother or sister; rejoice and be glad in the risen Savior.
          Christ's Appearance to Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection/ Ivanov
        • Passionist:  When Peter addressed the Jews, they were shocked and moved to know the Risen Christ for themselves.  The Spirit had given the Apostles strength to preach the message, and Peter gave the people specific actions:  “Repent, be baptized, be forgiven, receive the Spirit.”  Their Easter was filled with renewed faith and hope.  They'd opened their hearts, and some 3,000 were added that day.  What has been renewed in me?
          All four gospels report Mary Magdalene as the first to see the risen Christ, the first to experience the energy that comes from the Resurrection.  She carried the message, “I have seen the Lord.”  How have I heard the Risen Christ call my name?  What energy has been/will be stirred up within me during this season?
          •  "I have seen the Lord!"  It's easy to miss the Lord when we focus on ourselves.  Mary didn't recognize the Lord at first because she focused on the empty tomb and her grief.  Once the Master called her by her name, she recognized him.  Mary's "I have seen the Lord" is the essence of Christianity:  it's not enough to know about the Lord; we have to know him personally.  In the resurrection we encounter the living Lord who loves us personally, shares his glory with us, and gives us "eyes of faith" to see the truth of his resurrection and victory.  The resurrection is the foundation of our hope, hope we'll see God face to face and share his glory and joy. "Without seeing him you love him; though you don't see him, you believe and rejoice.  As the outcome of your faith, you obtain salvation."  Do you recognize the Lord's presence in you, in his word, in the Eucharist, and in his church?
          Dress legend
          • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  "You'll receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (1st reading)
          • 'Pierced hearts' suspenders:  When the Jews heard Peter, they were cut to the heart (1st reading)
          • 'Phone' tie bar:  "The promise is made to... whomever the Lord will call.” (1st reading)
          • 'Calculator' tie:  "About 3,000 were added that day" (1st reading)
          • 'Clock' tie bar:  We wait for the Lord,... (psalm)
          • 'Shield' tie pin:  ...our help and our shield (psalm)
          • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  "The Lord's eyes are on those who fear and hope in him" (psalm); "I have seen the Lord" (gospel)
          • Two 'angel' pins:  Mary Magdalene saw two angels,... (gospel)
          • 'Feet' pin: at the head, one at the feet (gospel)
          • 'Star' tie pin:  Christ the Morning Star (Exsultet)
          • White shirt and socks:  Easter day and season

          March 28, 2016

          Easter Mon

          March 28, 2016:  Monday, Octave of Easter

          See 12 connections with today?
          Legend below

          • See Easter Vigil for Psalm 16 settings (also for 1st reading which quotes Ps 16)
          Pope Francis Regina Coeli
          We stand before the empty tomb and meditate on the mystery of the Resurrection.  Life has conquered death; mercy and love have conquered sin!  We need faith and hope to open this wonderful horizon.  Lord, give me faith and hope!  Let us be pervaded by the emotions that resonate in the Easter sequence:  "We're certain:  Christ is truly risen."  This truth indelibly marked the Apostles who, after the Resurrection, felt the need to follow their Master and, receiving the Spirit, went without fear to proclaim what they had seen and experienced.
          Rediscover and welcome the announcement of the resurrection:  "Christ, my hope, is risen!"  Look with new eyes and hearts at every event of life, even the most negative.  Darkness, failure, and sin can be transformed.  In our misery and weakness, Christ gives us the strength to lift ourselves up.  His grace saves us!  The crucified and risen Lord is the full revelation of mercy.
          The silent witness to the Passion and Resurrection was Mary.  She stood next to the cross, strengthened by her faith, fanning the flame of hope in her broken heart.  We ask her to help us to accept the Easter proclamation and embody it in our daily lives.  May she give us the certainty of faith that suffered every step of our journey, illuminated by Easter light; that it may become a blessing and joy for us and others, especially those who suffer because of selfishness and indifference.
          Read the Gospel; remember it takes no more than five minutes to read a passage.
          • Acts 2:14, 22-33  Peter:  “Children of Israel, God worked mighty deeds through Jesus.  You killed Jesus, but God raised him up.  David says, "I saw the Lord; I shall not be disturbed.  I hope, because you won't abandon me or allow me to see corruption.  You made the paths of life known to me."  David died, but he knew God would set one of his descendants on his throne; he foresaw the Christ's resurrection.  We see God raised Jesus; he poured forth the Holy Spirit.
          • Ps 16:1-2a, 5, 7-11  "Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope."  I set the Lord before me.  My heart and soul rejoice.  You won't allow your faithful one to undergo corruption.
          • Mt 28:8-15  Mary Magdalene and the other Mary left the tomb to tell his disciples.  Jesus told them on the way, “Don't be afraid.  Tell them to go see me in Galilee.”  Some of the guard told the chief priests what happened.  The chief priests paid them off, telling them to say the disciples stole Jesus.  They did, and the story still circulates.
            • Creighton:  Imagine the fear and joy Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were feeling.  Peter's Pentecost proclamation speaks to the inexorability of God's plan of salvation, listing the obstacles it overcame.  He shows that this saving power has been active in the history of the Chosen People.  God's desire to call us back, to lead us away from our dead-end ways and put us on a path to the Kingdom won't fail....
            • One Bread, One Body:  "Bushel basketed?"  The guards felt the earth quaking, then an angel rolled the stone away and they grew paralyzed with fear and fell down as dead.  But a few hours later they weren't afraid to take a bribe to lie about the Resurrection.  We who are called to witness for the risen Christ must recognize that formidable powers oppose us.  Easter is a feast of light, "the light of the world," but strong forces try to hide the light.  Even Christians have bushel baskets over their light:  fear, lukewarmness, unforgiveness, self-hatred, depression, laziness, anxiety, lust, compulsions....  We need the Spirit's power to remove them and make us witnesses for Christ, to receive anew the graces of Baptism.  As we live our baptismal promises more deeply, may our light shine....
              The Resurrection of Jesus Christ/ della Francesca
            • Passionist:  Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb to announce the news to Jesus' disciples, while the chief priests and elders were trying to discredit the Resurrection by paying off the guards.  Today the newly baptized also experience the fear and joy the Marys did.  New life is all around us:  flowers, grass, streams, babies, weddings, graduations, sacramental celebrations, are ways Jesus shows us he is risen.  May we continue to be refreshed in the waters of baptism and feast gratefully at the Lord's table.  May our new of life in Jesus never wear thin...
            •  "News of the resurrection":  The disciples of Jesus were as unprepared for his resurrection as for his death. Though Jesus had spoken to them of his death and rising, they didn't believe until they saw the tomb and met the risen Lord.  We too want to see before we believe!  The guards testified to the chief priests and elders, who were resolved to not believe and bribed the guards so others wouldn't believe.  But through the gift of faith, the Lord reveals himself to believers and fills them with life in the Spirit....
            Dress legend
            • NEW 'Prize' pin:  "You alone are my prize" (psalm)
            • 'Cups' tie:  Lord, my portion and cup (psalm, 1st reading)
            • 'Girl with heart' pin:  "My heart has been glad" (1st reading, psalm); "my heart exhorts me" (psalm)
            • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  "Jesus poured forth the promise of the Spirit" (1st reading)
            • 'Feet' pin:  The Marys embraced Jesus' feet when he met them (gospel)
            • 'Eyeball' pin:  "Tell my brothers to go to Galilee; they'll see me there" (gospel)
            • 'Cross' pin:  "You used lawless men to crucify him" (1st reading)
            • 'Coin' pin:  The chief priests gave the soldiers money; the soldiers took it and did as they were instructed (gospel)
            • White in suspenders, tie pin:  color of day
            • 'Lamb' tie bar:  Our lamb has been sacrificed; a Lamb redeems the sheep (Easter sequence)

            March 27, 2016


            March 27, 2016:  Easter Day / The Resurrection of the Lord

            Please check out my Easter Vigil post, especially for the music!

            • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power (1st reading)

                • 'Lamb,' 'sheep' tie bars:  Our lamb has been sacrificed (2nd reading); a Lamb redeems the sheep (sequence)

                • 'Stone' tie pin:  stone the builders rejected (psalm); stone was removed from the tomb (gospel)

                • White shirt (and socks):  color of robes, color of the day

                • Hallelujah chorus, from Messiah/ Handel: flash mob (ignore it's at Christmas), soulful
                Pope Francis
                Urbi et Orbi blessing:  Jesus Christ, the incarnation of God’s mercy, out of love for us, died on the cross and rose again from the dead.  So we proclaim Jesus is Lord!  God’s mercy endures for ever.  We can trust him, and we thank him.  Before the abysses and chasms that provoke hatred and death, only an infinite mercy can bring salvation.  Only God can fill them with love, prevent us from falling into them, and help us in our journey to freedom and life.  He bridged the abyss of death and, with it, all mourning, lamentation, and pain.  The Lord makes us sharers of his life and enables us to see with love and compassion those who hunger and thirst, strangers and prisoners, the marginalized and the outcast, victims of oppression and violence.
                [Prayers for Syria, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Venezuela, concord between Israelis and Palestinians, solution to the war in Ukraine, victims of terrorism, peace in Africa, migrants and refugees, World Humanitarian Summit, areas affected by climate change, those persecuted for their faith, those who have lost hope and joy, the lonely and weak elderly, and young people.]
                Christ has trampled death and destruction, bringing life and immortality to light, giving us freedom, joy, light, and redemption.  Alleluia!  “I make all things new…  I give the water of life.”  May Jesus' message give us courage to blaze trails of reconciliation....  Video
                • Acts 10:34a, 37-43  Peter:  We saw what Jesus did.  They put him to death.  God raised him and let us see him.  He commissioned us to preach and testify God appointed him as judge.  All who believe in him will receive forgiveness of sins.
                • Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23  "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad."  His mercy endures forever.  I shall live and declare the Lord's works.  The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
                  More "empty tomb" art
                • Col 3:1-4  If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above.  Your life is hidden with Christ.  When Christ appears, you will appear with him in glory.
                • 1 Cor 5:6b-8  Clear out the old yeast.  so you may become fresh dough.  Christ has been sacrificed.  Let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast of malice and wickedness but the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
                • Jn 20:1-9  Mary of Magdala saw the stone removed, ran to Peter and the disciple Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord, and we don’t know where they put him.”  The other disciple arrived first; he saw the cloths but didn't go in.  Peter arrived and went in; then the other one entered and believed.
                  • Creighton:  Easter is a celebration of "new life”:  Jesus' resurrection, and the new life we have through faith and baptism.  All creation joins in.  We too are raised from the dead!  Our celebration becomes significant to the degree that we recognize this life within us, the fruits of the Spirit’s presence : love, joy, peace, patience.  The Orthodox Church emphasizes the primary reason for God’s incarnation in Jesus is sharing divine life with us:  “God became human so humans could become divine” (Athanasius).  For Orthodox believers God’s primary intention in the Incarnation is deification:  that his Spirit be poured upon believers so they may become more like God.  Today’s Sequence echoes that theme:  "Christ from death is risen, our new life obtaining."  Lord, give us the grace to open our hearts more fully to the Risen Jesus and become more God-like, radiating God's presence though our charity, joy, peace, and patience!
                  • Passionist:  Hope is in the air!  We live in the resurrected Christ!  Maybe the Resurrection story can be described as a “bewilderment shot through with joy, when life was proclaimed where death was expected.”  Maybe this joyous bewilderment appears in a person we show kindness to when they don't expect it.  Perhaps we feel it when we realize the love we had for a loved one who's died proclaims the truth that death does not have to be the end.  Joyous bewilderment in the presence of refugee children crushed by war, in those suffering chronic illness, in the presence of the homeless, in those stricken by natural disasters, in the presence of those with no clean drinking water, in those who live in bitterness....  The Resurrection is the contradiction and cornerstone of my belief.  He died; we die.  He is risen; we are risen.  The Paschal Mystery is a bewildering mystery and comforting joy....
                  •  "John saw the empty tomb and believed":  What was it like for the disciple who had stood at the cross of Jesus and then laid him in a tomb on Good Friday, to come back three days later and discover that the sealed tomb was now empty?  John was the first apostle to reach the empty tomb. He  wasn't ready to see it and hear the angel, "Why seek the living among the dead?"  What led him to believe?  When John saw the tomb, he must have recalled Jesus' prophecy that he'd rise.  He realized no tomb could contain the Lord and giver of life, saw, and believed.  John testified as an eyewitness to Jesus Christ's life, death, and resurrection.  He bore witness to the "word of life," the incarnate Word, the word prophets announced, the word the Christian Church now preaches.  If Jesus hadn't risen from the dead and appeared to his disciples, we would've never heard of him.  Through the Holy Spirit, the Lord gives us eyes of faith to know him and the power of his resurrection.  The greatest joy we can have is to encounter Christ and know him as our Lord and Savior.
                  • Easter-trumped saint, from Universalis:  John of Egypt, monk

                  March 26, 2016

                  Holy Sat

                  March 26, 2016:  Holy Saturday / Easter Vigil

                  See some 50 connections with today?
                  Legend below

                  • More Easter Vigil Mass chants including fire blessing, candle prep, procession, litany of the Saints, blessing of water and acclamation, and florid dismissal
                  Pope Francis

                  Stations of the Cross prayer
                  O Cross of Christ...
                  Easter Vigil homily:  Let Christ in
                  What was going through Peter as he ran to the tomb?  Doubt, worry, sadness, and disillusionment.  He thought the women's testimony was an idle tale, but after he heard them, “he rose”; he didn't stay home like the others, succumb to the somber atmosphere of those days, or let his doubts overwhelm him.  He wasn't consumed by remorse or fear.  He was looking for Jesus, preferring the path of encounter and trust.  He got up, ran towards the tomb, and returned amazed; it was Peter’s resurrection, the resurrection of his heart.  He made room for hope; he allowed God to enter.  The women who had gone out to perform a work of mercy, taking ointments to the tomb, had the same experience:  they were frightened, but the angel's words deeply affected them.
                  We, like them, can't discover life by being sad and hopeless.  Don't stay imprisoned; break open and let the Lord enter and give life.  Give him your rancor and past, your weaknesses and falls; he wants to bring you out of anguish.  The first stone to be moved is the lack of hope, which imprisons us.  May the Lord free us from the trap of being hopeless Christians living as if the Lord were not risen, as if our problems were the center of our lives.  We'll always have problems, but we must shed the Lord's light on them, “evangelize” them.  Don't allow darkness and fear to distract or control you; tell them the Lord has risen!  He'll never let us down.
                  Our hope isn't mere optimism or courage; God gives us Christian hope if we open our hearts to him, and it won't disappoint us because the Spirit has been poured into our hearts.  The Spirit doesn't make everything look appealing or magically remove evil; he gives us life, not the absence of problems but the certainty of Christ's love and forgiveness.  Today we celebrate our hope and the truth that nothing will ever be able to separate us from his love.
                  The Lord is alive and wants to be sought among the living.  After we find him, he sends us out to announce the Easter message, to awaken and resurrect hope in sad hearts struggle to find meaning.  We must not proclaim ourselves; as servants of hope, we must announce the Risen One by our lives and our love, or else we'll just be an organization of followers and rules incapable of offering the hope the world longs for. 
                  We can strengthen our hope by remembering God's works.  God's living word can involve us in this history of love, nourish our hope, and renew our joy.  “Remember what He told you.”  Don't forget his words and works, but remember the Lord, his goodness and his life-giving words and make them ours.  Help others see the signs of the Risen Lord.  Open your hearts to hope and go forth.  May the memory of his works and words direct our steps towards the Easter that will have no end.
                    • Gn 1:1-2:2  Earth was formless.  God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  He separated light from darkness, created sky, earth, sea, plants, trees, sun, moon, stars, sea creatures, birds, cattle, creeping things, and wild animals.  God made human beings in the divine image, gave them dominion, looked at everything, found it very good, and rested.
                    • Ps 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12-14, 24, 35  "Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth."  Bless the Lord; in wisdom you created and sustain everything.
                    • Ps 33:4-7, 12-13, 20, 22  "The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord."  The Lord's works are trustworthy.  Blessed those God has chosen.  We wait for the Lord, our help.
                    • Gn 22:1-18  God put Abraham to the test:  “Offer your only son as a holocaust.”  He went out and prepared for the sacrifice, but an angel told him to stop; he found and offered a ram.  “Because you obeyed, I'll bless you with land and descendents.”
                    • Ps 16:5, 8-11  "You are my inheritance, O Lord."  I rejoice because you show me the path to life and joy and won't abandon me.
                    • Ex 14:15-15:1  Lord to Moses, “Go with the Israelites, split the sea, and pass on the dry land.  The Egyptians will pursue you, but through them I'll receive glory.”  God led them with a cloud, they crossed.  Egyptians pursued them, but their wheels clogged, water flowed back, and they drowned.  The Israelites saw, believed, and sang.
                    • Ex 15:1-6, 17-18  "Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory."  I praise the Lord, my God, savior, strength, courage; he redeemed us and hurled Pharaoh's army into the sea.  Your powerful right hand shattered the enemy.
                    • Is 54:5-14  The Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One, calls you back.  I abandoned you briefly but now take you back tenderly.  My love shall never leave you.
                    • Ps 30:2, 4-6, 11-13  "I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me."  For his anger lasts but a moment; a lifetime, his good will.
                    • Is 55:1-11  Come to the water!  Eat and drink!  Heed me, and you shall eat well; listen and live.  I'll renew the covenant with you.  Seek and call the Lord; God generously forgives.  My thoughts and ways are higher than yours.  My word won't return to me till it does my will.
                    • Is 12:2-6  "You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation."  The Lord has been my savior.  Praise the Lord for his glorious achievement; proclaim his deeds and name.
                    • Bar 3:9-15, 32-4:4  You've forsaken the fountain of wisdom!  Prudence, strength, understanding, life, peace, and wisdom are in God.  Receive Wisdom and walk by her light.
                    • Ps 19:8-11  "Lord, you have the words of everlasting life."
                    • Ez 36:16-17a, 18-28  I scattered the House of Israel because of their idolatry, but I've relented.  I'll gather you and bring you back, cleanse you, give you a new heart and spirit, and make you live by my statutes and be my people.
                    • Ps 42:3, 5; 43:3, 4  "Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God."  Send your light to lead me to you, and I'll go to God's altar and thank you.
                    • Is 12:2-4bcd, 5-6  "You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation."  God is my savior, strength, and courage; sing praise!
                    • Ps 51:12-15, 18-19  "Create a clean heart in me, O God."  Give me back the joy of your salvation, and I'll teach your ways.  You'll accept my sacrifice, a contrite spirit.
                    • Rom 6:3-11  We were baptized into Christ's death, buried with him so we might live a new life, united with him in the resurrection.  Our old self was crucified with him, that we might no longer be slaves of sin; we'll live with him.  Death has no power over the risen Christ.  Think of yourselves as dead to sin and living in Christ for God.
                    • Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23  "Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia."  Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his mercy endures forever.  I'll live and declare God's works.  The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
                    • Mt 28:1-10  Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to the tomb.  An angel rolled back the stone, and told them, “Fear not!  Look:  Jesus has been raised from the dead; go tell his disciples.  They went and announced it.  Jesus met them on the way:  “Fear not; tell my brothers to go to Galilee and see me.”
                      • One Bread, One Body:  "Good news from the grave":  While Jesus was buried, he preached to the spirits in prison."  "The reason the gospel was preached even to the dead was that... they might live in God's eyes."  Jesus said he came to "proclaim the good news."  To share fully in Jesus, we must proclaim the good news....
                      • Passionist:  How did the disciples feel today?  After the Passover meal and Jesus’ arrest, fake trial, death sentence, way of the cross, and crucifixion, likely bewildered and confused.  Unlike them, we know what happens next, but we can face the same questions.  What difference does Jesus' cross and resurrection make in my life?  What am I to do?  What changes should I make?  Am I more ready to see Jesus in the world and the people around me?  Am I more ready to love and forgive?...
                      •  "They laid him in a rock-hewn tomb":  Jesus tasted death for everyone. The bodies of executed criminals were usually left as carrion for vultures and dogs, but thanks to Joseph of Arimathea. Jesus was spared this indignity.  Joseph didn't stand up for Jesus at his trial but still honored him with a proper burial.  No tomb could contain the Lord for long.  The mystery of Christ's lying in the tomb reveals God's great rest of God after the fulfillment of our salvation.  Is my hope founded in the resurrection of Christ and in his promises?
                      New fire:
                      Exsultet visual
                      Dress legend
                      • Blue in suspenders:  water, God-created, of Red Sea, of baptism...; "I'll sprinkle clean water on you..."; "You'll draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation"
                      • 'Plants' pin:  God made the plants (I can represent trees, birds, cattle, wild animals, and people too but drew the line.)
                      • 'Fish with cross' pin:  God made fish; Jesus is risen
                      • 'Bird,' 'cow,' 'lion' pins:  God created birds, cattle, creeping things, wild animals...; "
                      • 'Star' tie pin:  God made the stars; Christ the Morning Star; "I'll make your descendants as countless as the stars of the sky..."
                      • 'Sheep' tie bar: Abraham: "God will provide sheep for the holocaust"
                      • 'Wood' tie pin:  Abraham took wood for the holocaust...
                      • 'Hand' tie pin:  "Abraham, don't lay your hand on the boy"; "with the Lord at my right hand I shall not be disturbed"; "you'll show me delights at your right hand"; Moses stretched his hand to split [and unsplit] the sea; Your magnificent right hand has shattered the enemy; The Lord's right hand of the Lord has struck with power; the Lord's right hand is exalted.
                      • 'Rams' tie:  Abraham found a ram caught by its horns to offer up in place of his son.
                      • 'Chariot' tie pin:  Pharaoh's chariots
                      • 'Horse' tie pin:  "Horse and rider he cast into the sea"
                      • 'Phone' tie bar:  "The Lord 'calls' you back; 'call' him while he is near"; when God 'calls' the stars, they answer
                      • 'Owl' tie pin:  "in wisdom you have wrought your works"; the Lord's decree gives wisdom to the simple; "who has found the place of wisdom?"
                      • 'Eyeball' pin:  The Lord's command enlightens the eye.
                      • 'Hearts' suspenders:  "Create a clean heart in me"; "I'll give you a new heart..."; "My sacrifice is a contrite heart"; "my heart is glad because you won't abandon me"; The Lord's precepts rejoice the heart
                      • 'Bees' knees' button:  The Lord's ordinances are sweeter than honey; tiny bees made candle's honey (Exsultet)
                      • 'Stone' tie pin:  "I'll take your stony hearts from your bodies"; "angel rolled away the stone"; "I'll make your walls of precious 'stones'"; The stone the builders rejected became the cornerstone; They saw the large stone had been rolled back.
                      • 'Deer' tie pin:  "Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for You."
                      • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  "Though the mountains leave their place, my covenant of peace won't be shaken"
                      • 'Grain' pin:  "You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat"
                      • 'Blood drop' pin:  "The house of Israel poured out blood on the ground, so I poured out my fury, but I've relented."
                      • White shirt:  "His clothing was white as snow"; On entering the tomb they saw a man clothed in a white robe; color of the day