“Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said.” (Matthew 28: 5-6)
Alleluia! He is risen! This is the most joyous feast of the year. Christ’s death and resurrection is the foundation of the Christian Faith.
The church is now filled with the spirit of Jesus and with His Light. It is no longer silent as we join our songs of praise with the choirs in heaven. We are reminded of Christ’s promise “I will give you a joy which no one will take from you.” (John 16:22). Easter is the beginning of our new life with Christ. Although our Lenten Journey is complete don’t forget to create times of prayer in your daily lives where you can spend time with our Risen Lord.
As we reflect on today’s readings, especially the Gospel, let us ask the Risen Christ for courage and strength we need to take His Light into the world.
Holy Saturday, Morning Reflections
Most families gather together after a funeral. It is a time to console one another, share memories of the deceased one, and offer one another support during the healing days ahead.
O Jesus, Son of God, You were born in a stable and died on the cross for our salvation.
Say to your heavenly Father at the hour of my death: “Father, forgive them.”
Say to your loving mother: “Behold your daughter, behold your son.”
Say to my soul: “This day you shall be with me in Paradise.”
“My God, my God, do not abandon me” in that hour.
“I thirst,” my God, yes, my soul thirsts for you, the fountain of living waters.
My life passes like a shadow. Yet a little while and “it is finished.”
So, my Savior, from this moment and for all eternity, “Into your hands, I commend my spirit.”
Lord Jesus, receive my soul. Amen
“But He was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins; upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed. We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way; but the Lord laid upon Him the guilt of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6)”
Since the altar was stripped bare and the Eucharist removed from the Tabernacle on Holy Thursday, in the past Good Friday was sometimes called “Long Friday.” The church seems empty and we again feel a sense of waiting. One of the most beautiful traditions of this day is the Veneration of the Cross. “While we bend down in body before the cross we bend down in spirit before God.” If possible, try to attend Stations of the Cross at 3pm. Many parishes also begin the Divine Mercy Novena on this day.
As we reflect on today’s readings, especially John’s recount of Christ’s Passion, let us try to keep an awareness of Our Lord’s suffering in our hearts throughout the day.
THURSDAY OF HOLY WEEK
“Let us live Lent, then, as a “Eucharistic” time in which, welcoming the love of Jesus, we learn to spread it around us with every word and deed.” (Pope Benedict XVI’s Message for Lent 2007)
On Holy Thursday we celebrate the institution of the “source and summit” of our Catholic Faith – The Holy Eucharist.
On the night of the Last Supper, Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with His disciples: “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28)
As we reflect on today’s readings, especially Paul’s remembrance of the Last Supper, let us ask for the Graces we need to truly believe in Christ’s presence in the Eucharist and to approach the altar with reverence and awe.