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Easter Season

April 17, 2022

JMJ

Blessed Easter!

Easter, like Christmas, is not the celebration of a day.
At its height, it’s an entire week.
For eight days (the octave of Easter), the Church celebrates every day as a Solemnity:
a week of Sundays.
The season continues for a total of fifty days–longer than the season of Lent!
Here are some ways to make the most of it.

Share the joy–invite friends and family to celebrate with you!

God bless your celebration!

Easter Sunday

April 17, 2022

JMJ

Blessed Resurrection Sunday!

ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA!

The_Resurrection_by_Carl_Heinrich_Bloch,_1881

Readings:
Acts 10: 34, 37-43 (St. Peter proclaims Jesus’ death and resurrection)
Psalm 118: 1-2, 16-17, 22-23 “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad”
Colossians 3:1-4 (set your heart on things above)
OR I Corinthians 5:6-8 (celebrate, not with corruption, but with sincerity and truth)
Sequence:

Christians, to the Paschal Victim
Offer your thankful praises!
A Lamb the sheep redeems: Christ,
Who only is sinless,
Reconciles sinners to the Father.
Death and life have contended in that combat stupendous:
The Prince of life, Who died, reigns immortal.
Speak, Mary, declaring
What you saw wayfaring.
“The tomb of Christ, Who is living,
The glory of Jesus’ resurrection;
Bright angels attesting,
The shroud and napkin resting.
Yes, Christ my hope is arisen”
To Galilee He goes before you.”
Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining.
Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!
Amen. Alleluia.

+John 20:1-9 (At Mary Magdalene’s word, Peter and John run to the empty tomb)

PeterJohnTomb

I do not understand
but I know
that with Christ
I have passed
from death
to life!

Praise to You, Risen Lord,
for my new life of goodness in You!

Holy Saturday, Vigil

April 16, 2022

JMJ

Blessed Holy Saturday!

Easter Vigil

Note: a plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who,
at the celebration of the Easter Vigil
(or on the anniversary of their own Baptism)
renew their baptismal vows in any legitimately approved formula,
with the usual conditions of Confession, Communion,
prayer for the Pope’s intentions
and no attachment to sin.

Readings:
Genesis 1:1-2:2 (Creation)
Psalm 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12-14, 24, 35 “Lord, send out Your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth”
or Psalm 33:4-7, 12-13, 20-22 “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord”
Genesis 22:1-18 (Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac–foreshadowing of Jesus’ crucifixion)
Psalm16:5, 8-11 “Keep me safe O God; You are my hope”
Exodus 14:15-15:1 (the parting of the Red Sea–foreshadowing of Baptism)
Exodus 15:1-6, 17-18 “Let us sing to the Lord; He has covered Himself in glory”
Isaiah 54:5-14 (God, our Bridegroom, will take us back, and love us)
Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13 “I will praise You, Lord, for You have rescued me”
Isaiah 55:1-11 (God offers us food and drink without cost from His abundance)
Isaiah 12:2-6 “You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation”
Baruch 3:9-15, 32-4:4 (we are in need because we have forsaken God, the Source of everything)
Psalm 19:8-11 “Lord, You have the words of everlasting life”
Ezekiel 36:16-28 (God will forgive and renew us for His own sake)
Psalm 42:3, 5; 43:3, 4 “Like a deer that long for running streams, my soul longs for You, my God”
or Is 12:2-6 “You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation”
or Psalm 51:12-15, 18-19 “Create a clean heart in me, O God”
Romans 6:3-11 (because we have been baptized into Jesus’ death, death has no more power over us)
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23 “Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!”
+Luke 24:1-12 (Why do you seek the living among the dead?)

God is Good!
when we are not

His Goodness
tackles death
and treads it down.

I rejoice, Risen Lord,
that Your Goodness defeated my sin!

Holy Saturday Morning

April 16, 2022

JMJ

Blessed Holy Saturday!

Today

the Church is, as it were, at the Lord’s tomb,
meditating on His Passion and death,
and on His descent into hell,
and awaiting His Resurrection with prayer and fasting
~Paschalis Solemnitatis, paragraph 73

“What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth,
a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps;
the earth was in terror and was still,
because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages…
(the rest can be found here)

As the great 8-day Solemnity and 50-day season of Easter dawn,

consider ways to celebrate these high holy days.

Some suggestions can be found here.

Good Friday

April 15, 2022

JMJ

Blessed Good Friday,

Prayer Before a Crucifix
Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus,
while before Your Face I humbly kneel;
and with burning soul, pray and beseech You to fix deep in my heart
lively sentiments of Faith, Hope and Charity,
true contrition for all my sins and a firm purpose of amendment;
while I contemplate with great love and tender pity Your five wounds,
calling to mind the words which David, Your prophet, said of You, my Jesus:
“They have pierced My hands and My feet, they have numbered all My bones!”
Amen.

Today begins the novena of Divine Mercy.

Also, there is a plenary indulgence available for the asking
for devoutly assisting at the adoration of the Cross in today’s solemn liturgical action,
with the usual conditions of Confession, Communion, prayer for prayers for the pope’s intentions
and no attachment to sin.

…we pick up where we left off last night…

Readings:
Isaiah 52:13- 53:12 (He Himself was wounded for our sins)
Psalm 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-17, 25 “Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit”
Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9 (our High Priest sympathizes with our weakness)
+John 18:1-19:42 (the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ)

Who would
believe
what we
have heard?

Who would
believe
that God
would die
a shameful death
for man?

O passionate God, I commend my spirit to You!

Holy Thursday

April 14, 2022

JMJ

Blessed Holy Thursday!

We begin at noon, at the cathedral, as our bishop, our successor to the apostles,
gathers his brother priests to celebrate the Chrism Mass.
At this Mass, chrism, the perfumed oil
which is used to signify the indelible gift of the Holy Spirit in the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders,
will be consecrated.
As Christ (literally, “the anointed one”) was anointed priest, prophet and king
(see Exodus 29: 1-9, I Kings 19:16, Samuel 10:1 & 16:1-13, Acts 10:38),
so are Christians–with chrism.
The Oil of Catechumens and the Oil of the Sick will be blessed at this Mass,
and priests will renew their commitment to the ordained priesthood
which Christ instituted on this day when He commanded His first bishops,

Do this in remembrance of Me
~Luke 22:19

Chrism Mass

Readings for the Mid-day Chrism Mass:
Isaiah 61:1-9 (The Lord anointed me to bring glad tidings to the lowly)
Psalm 89:21-22, 25-27 “Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord”
Revelation 1:5-8 (Christ has made us into a Kingdom, priests for His God and Father)
+Luke 4:16-21 (The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me)

Priests
are anointed
to anoint
with the oil
of gladness

Thank You, Lord, for the priests who have anointed me,
for the gladness they have brought into my life.
Grant me the grace to pass this gladness on
through my Baptismal priesthood (of the laity).

The Sacred Triduum

Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

At long last we enter the Sacred Triduum, literally “three days”
that form a single celebration of the Passion, Death and Resurrection
of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We see, hear, we smell, we taste, we touch–we are immersed–
in the mysteries of our salvation.
There are significant intermissions in this one celebration,
so that we can go home and rest,
but the celebration we begin tonight will not end until Easter Sunday.
This is the culmination, the highest point, of the entire year.
Come, let us worship…

Readings:
Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14 (the first Passover)
Psalm 116:12-13, 15-18 “Our blessing-cup is a communion with the blood of Christ”
I Corinthians 11:23-26 (the institution of the Eucharist)
+John 13:1-15 (Jesus washes His disciples’ feet)

What I must do
to follow Christ,
is kneel
to tend
to dirty feet.

Humble Lord, give me Your Spirit of self-emptying,
that my life may be at the service of those
who need to be purified.

Note:
There is a plenary indulgence available for the asking
for praying the “Tantum Ergo” (Down in Adoration Falling)
during reposition after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper tonight,
with the usual conditions of Confession, Communion, prayer for the pope’s intentions
and no attachment to sin.

Wednesday of Holy Week

April 13, 2022

JMJ

Blessed Spy Wednesday!

Spy Wednesday is a popular term, not a liturgical one,
yet it describes Judas’ new position among the disciples.
Today he becomes a spy among the Twelve, an informer for the enemy,
waiting for the opportune moment to hand over his Lord to condemnation and death.

Readings:
Isaiah 50:4-9 (My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting)
Psalm 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34 “Lord, in Your great love, answer me.”
+Matthew 26:14-25 (Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed)

He knew.
He knows.
He sets His Face
toward
the man he loves and chose
who is betraying Him.

Grant me the grace, O Lord, to love the ones who turn on me, to pray for them,
that they may fulfill their destiny by becoming glorious saints.

Personal note: My Prince (while calculating “use tax” in filing state taxes)
realized that we’ve been robbed of something approaching a thousand dollars
through the fraudulent use of our credit card number.
He has initiated the process of protesting the charges (which are from several months ago),
and we are praying for the conversion (the happiness!) of person who committed the crime.
We know God will provide for us (He’s proven that repeatedly, beyond all doubt),
so we are at peace largely thanks to what we’ve learned from St. John Chrysostom:

‘But,’ saith one, ‘he insulted me and robbed me of money;’
and which hath need to grieve,
he that suffered injury, or he that inflicted injury?
Plainly he that inflicted injury,
since whilst he gained money
he cast himself out of the favor of God,
and lost more than he gained:
so that he is the injured party.
Surely then need is not that one pray against, but for him,
that God would be merciful to him.
~St. John Chrysostom, _Homilies On Second Corinthians_

We know the thief has injured themselves far more than they injured us.
Our hearts go out to them, whomever they are.

Make the trial, I beseech you–
if you disbelieve, make the trial,
and you will see the glory of God.
When anything grievous has happened,
immediately give alms;
render thanks that it has happened,
and thou wilt see how much joy will come upon thee.
For spiritual gain, though it be small,
is so great as to throw into the shade all bodily loss.
-St. John Chrysostom, _Homilies On First Thessalonians_

It’s kind of a heady experience to be able to respond this way!
(it’s the fruit of many years of growing in our relationship with God)

Tuesday of Holy Week

April 12, 2022

JMJ

Blessed Tuesday!

Readings:
Isaiah 49:1-6 (God has prepared His servant for a mission to the whole world)
Psalm 71:1-6, 17 “I will sing of Your salvation”
+John 13: 21-33, 36-38 (Jesus predicts Judas’ betrayal & Peter’s denial)

God knows
my beginning.

He knows
my end.

He knows
the mess
in between…

that He
will redeem.

Deepen in me, O God,
the confidence of knowing
that You can handle me.

Monday of Holy Week

April 11, 2022

JMJ

Blessed Holy Monday!

Readings:
Isaiah 42:1-7 (the Messiah comes to rescue, not destroy)
Psalm 27:1-3, 13-14 “The Lord is my light and my salvation”
+John 12:1-11 (Mary anoints Jesus’ feet)

Extravagant
“waste”
in ecstatic love
befits
the rescued
soul

Unbar the gates of my heart, O Lord, that my love may rush out upon You!

Palm/Passion Sunday

April 10, 2022

JMJ

Blessed Palm Sunday!

Jesus Enters Jerusalem on a Donkey Matthew 21:7-9

Jesus Enters Jerusalem on a Donkey Matthew 21:7-9

We are entering into the most holy days of the Church year,
intensifying our preparation to unite ourselves with Jesus in His Passion and death
as He leads us through tragedy into triumph.
You will notice that we do not celebrate any saints this week or next.
Nothing may interrupt these high holy days.

The palms we receive today are blessed–
they’re sacramentals (sources of grace)
that are intended to remind us of Jesus’ victory over sin and death
(palms have long been symbols of victory).
That means they must be treated with reverence.
One common practise is to make crosses of them
and tuck these crosses behind holy pictures or crucifixes hanging in your home.
Instructions for making simple palm crosses can be found here.
If you need to dispose of old palms (or scraps from making palm crosses),
they should be reverently burned or buried in a place that will not be disturbed–
not thrown away (this is true of all blessed items of devotion).

Readings:
+Luke 19:28-40 (Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem)
Isaiah 50:4-7 (God’s messenger is not deterred by violence)
Psalm 22:8-24 “My God, my God, why have You abandoned me?”
Philippians 2:6-11 (Jesus emptied Himself)
+Luke 22:14-23:56 (the Passion)

He emptied Himself
and that is how
He remained
the same
in triumph
as in tragedy.

Grant me the confident humility, O Lord,
to be, like You,
neither inflated by adulation
nor deflated by condemnation.

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