“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.
Holy Friday, Easter Triduum
“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.
Holy Thursday, Easter Triduum
Readings: Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-15
“But if I washed your feet then you must wash each other’s feet.” (John 13:14)
People often say “Seeing is believing.” But on Holy Thursday, Christ turns it all around. On Holy Thursday, believing is seeing. Today the Lord establishes His greatest gift to His disciples, the Eucharist, the gift that has carried the Lord’s Presence to His followers throughout the centuries. Here in the Eucharist we humble human believers see and taste God.
If you go to the Holy Land and visit the room of the Last Supper, you will probably be surprised at how plain it is. No great church surrounds it, and nothing in the room would give a hint of the majestic event that occurred there. It is a simple upper room. This simplicity reflects our gospel reading that calls us to be servants of one another. Jesus’ act of washing the disciples’ feet was a sacred rite that prepared and purified them for the bread of life. If they did not serve one another as Jesus was serving them, then they could not receive the bread of life.
The poor of Jesus’ day did not wear sandals, so their feet needed to be washed before entering a house. The poor of our day do not have sandals, food, a home, or political power. Once we have seen Christ in the Eucharist, we also see the poor who need us to wash their feet, call them into our home, lead them to the bread of life.
Let us Pray: Loving Father, at that supper, Jesus told us to “love one another” and I know that is the heart of his gift, his sacrifice for me. I ask that I might find the source of my own heart, the meaning for my own life, in that Eucharist. Guide me to the fullness of your love and life. Amen.
“See, you lowly ones, and be glad; you who seek God, may your hearts revive!” (Psalm 69:33)
As we reach the middle of our Holy Week our waiting turns to anticipation. Spending a little time in prayer each day has helped us to identify some of our weakness and times we need to turn quickly to Christ for help.
If you have not gone already during Lent, today may be your last chance to go to Confession. Most churches do not have times available once the Tritium begins. If you can’t find a time for Reconciliation, or if you can’t fit it into your schedule, spend some of your daily prayer time doing an examination of conscience. If you are in the habit of praying The Liturgy of the Hours the examination is a natural part of Night Prayer.
As we reflect on today’s readings, especially Isaiah’s words foretelling Our Lord’s suffering, let us seek forgiveness for times we have caused others to suffer.
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Luke 19:38)
On Palm Sunday we commemorate the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. On this joyful day He was surrounded by throngs of people singing His praises and marvelling at all the miracles He had performed.
Here, at the beginning of Holy Week, let us take some time to focus on the things we wanted to accomplish during Lent. Have we made improvements in our prayer life? Have we offered sacrifices to God? Have we given alms or service to those in need?
As we reflect on today’s readings, especially the Lord’s Passion and Death, let us renew our commitment to a deeper relationship with our Saviour.