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Easter Sunday

April 8, 2007

Blessed Resurrection morning!

_H E   _ I S  _  R I S E N _! ! !

A L L E L U I A !  _ A L L E L U I A ! _   A L L E L U I A !

Boy does that word give me a full heart after 40+ days of abstaining
from it!

And, praise God, we now have 7 Catholics who are fully initiated and in
full communion with the Church!  We just got home from the Easter Vigil,
in which two adults were baptized, 3 made professions of faith to come
into full communion and 6 were Confirmed (the 7th received all three
sacraments of Initiation as an infant in the Orthodox Church, but we
discovered through the process that since her father’s Roman Catholic,
she was Roman Catholic–she just needed to make her first Confession &
receive Communion).  Yes, our Vigil was 3 hours long :)!  And our
newly-baptized got about as wet as you can get without the facilities
for immersion ;).

Now we’re on to mystagogy (“unpacking” the spiritual gifts God showered
on them  tonight)…

When the church starts rejoicing, she just can’t seem to stop :).
Easter lasts for 50 days.  Then we go right into the celebration of
Pentecost…then the feast of the Holy Trinity the following Sunday, and
the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ the Sunday after that!  We’re
in celebration mode from now through June 22!  See why we need 40 days
to get ready for it all 😉 ?

Readings:
Acts 10:34, 37-43 (Peter preaches the 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 (raised with Christ, seek the things of heaven)
or I Corinthians 5:6-8 (replace the old yeast of corruption
with the unleavened bread of truth)
+John 20:1-9  (Mary Magdalene finds the tomb empty & Peter & John
run to investigate)

The tomb is empty!

Mary Magdalene, Peter and John are still trying to figure out what it
all means.  We too have to figure out what it all means.  We have some
details they didn’t have.  We know that Jesus has risen, that He will
spend the next forty days explaining to His disciples many things they
could not bear before His death, and that He will ascend to heaven.  We
know that He will send the Holy Spirit to be our Guide throughout the
rest of time.  But what does the resurrection of Jesus mean to us?  What
difference does it make in our lives?

St. Paul gives us a clue.  We have died with Christ.  Therefore, we
share also in His resurrection.  We have died to sin.  We live for
Christ, our hearts fixed on heavenly priorities (Colossians 3:1-4).
Before Passover, the Jewish people spend a week clearing their homes of
leaven and anything that could be leavened.  Then they feast on
unleavened bread for a full week.  We have spent forty days cleaning the
old yeast of sin out of our lives in preparation for this ultimate
Passover.  Now we feast on the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth
(I Corinthians 5:6-8).  That feast need not end!

We have disciplined and trained our passions, even as athletes
discipline and train their bodies before a competition, as musicians
spend hours practising before a concert.  The time has come for us to
put our training to the test, to fight the good fight of faith (I
Timothy 6:12), to run the race set before us (I Corinthians 9:24-27,
Hebrews 12:1), to praise God with skillful song (Psalm 33:1-3).  We must
take the lessons we have learned on our retreat, the vision of the “big
picture” that we have acquired, and apply them to this season of
rejoicing.

We do not do this on our own.  Jesus is with us.  Through His death, He
immersed us in the mystery of suffering and sacrifice.  He knew it would
be more than we could absorb in such a short time, so He not only rose
from the dead, He came to us to explain everything the Scriptures said
of Him (Luke 24:27).  He returned to explain how we could put His
example into practise in our own times of suffering and sacrifice.  He
came to prepare us to spread His Good News.

May we who have renewed our Baptismal vows, we who have died to sin and
risen with Christ to a life of holiness and purity, bring the joy of the
risen Lord into every facet of our lives.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

And just to help you make the most of this celebration, I’m including
some ideas I’ve gathered for our neophytes (who were Baptized and Confirmed last night).  Look for them in a neighboring post.

May God bless your Easter joy!

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