We are the Easter People

“Exult, let them exult, the hosts of heaven, exult, let Angel ministers of God exult, let the trumpet of salvation sound aloud our mighty King’s triumph!” ~From the Exsultet, or Easter Proclamation

Dear friends, we have made it.

The 40 days lost in the desert are over.

On Palm Sunday we processed with Christ, palms in our hands, into Jerusalem.

On Spy Wednesday we saw Christ anointed by a woman from Bethany, reminding us that all we must do must be done in accordance to Him. We also saw Judas prepare his imminent betrayal.

On Holy Thursday, we saw Christ’s institution of the Mass. We saw bread and wine become fully body, blood, soul, and divinity of God the Son. We saw the institution of the priesthood, men called to be priests forever, in the line of Melchizedek. We were then mandated by Christ to do for others what he has done for us. Little did we know the depth of what that actually meant.

On Good Friday, we shouted “Crucify Him!” We were not ready for what Christ had in store for us. We crucified Him because we believed it was impossible to love in the same way He loved. We denied Him and abandoned Him because the world wallowed in its sin. We found it easier to deny and abandon Him. We found it easier to sin than to love.

On Holy Saturday, we waited. We wondered where we were going. We were lost.

And on the Easter Vigil, we witnessed the miracle we most definitely did not deserve. We saw Christ triumph over death and sin. We saw the tomb empty, stone rolled away.

Why did He do it? Why did he defeat death and show himself to us who denied Him, abandoned Him, crucified Him?

“O happy fault, that earned for us so great, so glorious a Redeemer!”

Christ defeated death so that we may have hope to defeat death.

Christ took on sin because we could not hope to atone for our sins by ourselves.

Christ died so that we may live for others.

We did not deserve this, and yet we are here as witnesses to the King’s triumph.

It is time to roll away our own stones of sin so that we may join in the beatific vision of the many countless Saints who have lived for others and for God.

It is time to recommit ourselves to Christ’s mandate.

It is time to show ourselves and others that we are made in the image and likeness of God, and thus deserving of the divine love Christ showed us.

And when we do so, may we sing our praises together with the angels.

8c8a533dccc0c9e2249a2ebb4153ffdd

Spy Wednesday, or Are we Judas?

Today is Spy Wednesday, traditionally the day when we believe that Judas made the bargain with the High Priest to betray Christ.

I am not going to get into why Judas chose to betray Christ. Today also happens to be the day Christ was anointed with an expensive jar of perfume by the woman in Bethany. The only person who questioned this was Judas, who asked why is Christ being anointed when the perfume could have been sold for silver for the poor.

As we approach the Triduum, these three Holy Days, let us ask ourselves “In what ways are we Judas?”

In what ways do we reason ourselves into betraying Christ and justifying our sin?

In what ways do we question Christ and God’s promises for us?

Let us meditate on that as we strive to perfect ourselves waiting for Christ’s return.

Easter is coming. Let us be ready.

Palm Sunday; We are Almost There

Collect: Almighty ever-living God, who as an example of humility for the human race to follow caused our Savior to take flesh and submit to the Cross, graciously grant that we may heed his lesson of patient suffering and so merit a share in his Resurrection.

Sorry dear readers; I was out of the country last week and could not post about last week’s Mass.

But anyway, Palm Sunday is here.

Holy Week, the week of weeks. We have walked with Christ to Jerusalem.

Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!

Let us set aside some time to follow our King, not just to Jerusalem, but to the Glory of His Resurrection.

We are almost there.

Fourth Sunday of Lent, or Let’s Take a Break

Collect: O God, who through your Word reconcile the human race to yourself in a wonderful way, grant, we pray, that with prompt devotion and eager faith the Christian people may hasten toward the solemn celebrations to come.

Laetare, Ieursalem!

Rejoice, O Jerusalem!

We are now past the halfway point of Lent.

Holy Mother Church asks us to rejoice! But why during this season of Lent?

We rejoice because this is now the time we step back and examine how Lent has been for us.

If you promised yourself to do something, or if you are lacking in your own personal fasts, this is the time to rejoice!

Because you now know that you cannot do this along; you can only do this by the grace of God.

If you are one of the blessed ones who have kept your Lenten promises, rejoice!

Because God has given you the grace to do more.

We take this to take a step back and look at ourselves in the context of eternity.

Are we truly preparing ourselves for the coming of Christ?

Can we do more to spread the love of Christ to others?

Can we do more to show the people around us what is true, Christian love?

In the end, this is our calling.

Let us take a step back, and see how it is we can properly love.

Let us take a step back, and see how much it is God loves us.

And then may we move forward, nourished by the same very love we are called to spread.

May we move forward for Christ is coming.

Rejoice.

Have a blessed Lent.

Monday of Lent Week 3, or How to Deal with Stress

Collect: May your unfailing compassion, O Lord, cleanse and protect your Church, and, since without you she cannot stand secure, may she be always governed by your grace.

Well, not much happened today. It was just a lot of work. And I mean A LOT of work.

Deadlines, responsibilities, etc.

Sometimes it just feels like a lot. I know I left the office well, exhausted.

What’s the easiest way to deal with stress?

To me, the easiest way is going to Mass or Adoration. It just so happens my home parish has evening Adoration followed by Mass. Once you realize that Heaven is on Earth and God is right there in the Eucharist in front of you, why should you be stressed? There is literally and objectively nothing better that could be in front you.

And so that’s the easiest way to deal with stress. Deal with stress by getting yourself to Heaven. Then continue to work for the sake of bringing yourself and others to Heaven.

That is our calling.

Have a blessed Lent.

Third Sunday of Lent; God’s Inexplicable Mercy

Collect: O God, author of every mercy and of all goodness, who in fasting, prayer and almsgiving have shown us a remedy for sin, look graciously on this confession of our lowliness, that we, who are bowed down by our conscience, may always be lifted up by your mercy.

And today we have finally reached the Scrutinies, readings during Lent where we basically scrutinize those in the conversion process checking that they truly want to be received into the Church in Easter.

With that, today’s Gospel is the famous story of the Samaritan woman at the well. This story is one of the most important stories in the Gospel because it shows God’s mercy towards a sinner.

We see a woman at the well at noon, when it is the hottest during the day. Why? Because she is an adulteress, shunned by the community. And yet Christ, a Jew, asks her for water. Already then we see God reaching a sinner where she is at, no matter where it is. She is a Samaritan, she is a woman, she is an adulteress. There is no reason for a practicing devout Jewish man to even look at her, and yet Christ asks her for drink.

God’s mercy is open to everyone. Afterwards, Jesus reveals that he is the Son of Man, and the woman goes to the village to proclaim the Good News.

This is what happens when we are totally open to God’s will; we should be able to spread the Good News with joy and without fear.

May we all be open to God’s will, and may we all be open to the people around us, for everyone is made in the image and likeness of God.

Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

Have a blessed Lent.

 

Tuesday of Lent Week 2, or The Need for Rest

Collect: Guard your Church, we pray, O Lord, in your unceasing mercy, and, since without you mortal humanity is sure to fall, may we be kept by your constant helps from all harm and directed to all that brings salvation.

So today was a really busy day at work. Came in at 8:15 am, left at 6:35 pm. Had to take a nap at a rest area before driving home because of how tired I was after work. In fact, I am really tired typing this right now.

What does that have to do with anything?

Well, today, in the old calendar, is the feast of St. Peter Damian, Doctor of the Church. I decided to look into him for a bit and found out that he invented the siesta!

For those of you who don’t know, the siesta is a short nap taken in the afternoon.

Originally, it was instituted for monks and hermits to have the energy to recite the night hours of the Divine Office (Vespers and Compline). The prayers of the canonical hours in the past are a lot more intense than they are today in the modern Liturgy of the Hours.

What does that mean for us?

Well, it simply means that we need the proper amount of rest to do what is required of us. For the religious, it means being able to pray all day. For laypeople, it means having the rest to work and contemplate.

There is nothing wrong with taking a little nap when you are exhausted. There is especially nothing wrong with resting so that you may pray more effectively.

Devotion to God requires the entirety of our being. Rest allows us to do exactly that.

And so dear readers, rest well.

Have a blessed Lent