Easter Day! Catholic Inspiration

Easter Lily

Beyond the agony of the Cross and the sorrow of the Tomb on that first day of the week the message was proclaimed:  He’s Alive!

And everything changes.  This group of disciples – bound by fear and selfishness – are transformed with a new strength and conviction.  Their encounter with the Risen Lord will empower them to face the obstacles of this world with joy and hope.  They have seen the risen Christ…what is there to fear?  They have embraced the one who has conquered sin and death – there is NOTHING that can shake their confidence in the light of Easter morning.

This same strength comes to us.  Like the first disciples, we can turn to Jesus and allow his saving grace to renew us with a strength far beyond our own.  We can claim a hope that sustains us in the midst of our challenges and struggles.  The Easter sunrise brings light to the darkest corners of our hearts.

What in our lives needs to be touched by Jesus Christ?  We are invited to boldly come forward, receive his resurrection strength, and face whatever this world presents with confidence: the victory of Christ enlivens us to travel through life with the conviction that the grace he gave his disciples continues in our hearts today.

May this Easter season be a time of transformation and renewal; a time where we embrace the gift of our lives with a new freedom and conviction.  In the light of this Easter, may we follow the one who leads us from sin and death to the abundance of life…in this world, and the world to come.

Happy Easter!

Mass Readings – Easter Day

***************

Catholic Inspiration Archives

 


The Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday. Catholic Inspiration

We join the Church around the world as we wait in hope for the resurrection of the Lord.  This extraordinary Mass empowers us to look at the challenges in our lives with the conviction that God will give us the grace we need for the task at hand.

Mass Readings – Easter Vigil

***************

Catholic Inspiration Archives


Good Friday. Catholic Inspiration

Today the world stands silent at the foot of the Cross.  Only the unconditional love of God could remedy human sin, and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ gives us hope for eternal life.

Mass Readings – Good Friday 

***************

Catholic Inspiration Archives


Holy Thursday. Catholic Inspiration

We begin the Sacred Triduum with the solemn gathering around the altar.  Receiving the Body and Blood of Christ, we are strengthened by God’s grace for service in the world.

Mass Readings – Holy Thursday

***************

Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: The stage is set, let the great story begin. Catholic Inspiration

The Passover meal is prepared, the disciples are gathered around Jesus, and with sorrow the Lord announces that a betrayer is in their midst.  The point?  There is no spin or sugar coating salvation history as we embark on the Sacred Triduum.  For in the midst of human darkness and sin, the Son of God will shine the light of grace upon our world.

Mass Readings – Wednesday of Holy Week

***************

Catholic Inspiration Archives

 


Daily Mass: Betrayal and Denial. Catholic Inspiration

We discover in the Gospel of John of the betrayal of Judas and the denial of Peter.  This is a dark hour in the history of our salvation, and it underscores the consequences of our actions and our reliance on God’s infinite grace.

Mass Readings – Tuesday of Holy Week

***************

Catholic Inspiration Archives


Holy Week Preparations

Holy Week

Pastoral Note: This post was originally given on April 12, 2014.  I share it once again in the hope that all of us will enter more fully into the gift of this sacred time.  Fr. Andrew

Study:  Recall a time in your life when you experienced death and new life.  Where did you find the strength?  Who helped you through this time?

Pray:  Spend some time reflecting on the death and resurrection of Jesus this week.  Read Mark 14-16; Matthew 26-28; Luke 22-24; and John 18-21.  Take in as many prayer opportunities as possible in your parish.

Serve:  Who in your life is dealing with life and death issues right now?  How might you be present to them to offer help, comfort, or strength?

**********

We enter into the heart of the Christian mystery: Holy Week offers us a time to pause, reflect, and pray as the Church ponders on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This mystery, often called the Paschal Mystery, recalls us to the saving work of the Lord.  His death frees of from the burdens of sin and death, and his resurrection opens for us the path to eternal life.  This mystery is profoundly experienced over the Triduum – the 3 Great Days:

  • Holy Thursday – the Mass of the Lord’s Supper
  • Good Friday – the Passion of the Christ
  • Easter (Vigil/Day) – the Resurrection of the Lord

On Holy Thursday we find ourselves in Jerusalem, eating with the disciples at the Lord’s Supper and feeling awkward as he washes their feet – wondering how we would react if he did that for us.  We might identify with Peter or Judas – especially when we consider the times we have willingly betrayed or turned our back on the Lord.

On Good Friday we experience the physical pain, emotional abandonment, and personal humiliation on the path to Calvary (also called Golgotha or Skull Place) and look on with horror at the cruel death of Jesus.  We might also consider the times we have helped others – as Simon did when he was forced to carry the Cross of Christ.    And then we stand in profound sorrow with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, helpless as the innocent suffer injustice.

On Easter we wait in vigil and rise early in the morning with Mary Magdalen, only to find to our wonder and joy that the tomb is empty:  Christ is alive!  Our world, like that of the apostles, is changed forever as we experience new hope and life.

A word to the wise – we get out of Holy Week what we put into it.  Here are some simple ways for an incredible experience.

  • Make church services a top priority – Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter (Vigil or Day).
  • Take time to read and reflect on the scriptures (see at the top under “Pray”).
  • Make Holy Thursday an opportunity to offer a special act of service or kindness to another.
  • Make Good Friday fasting extra special with a gift to a particular charity that helps the poor.
  • Make Easter a time of gratitude – take a quiet moment to count our blessings and thank the Lord.
  • Find some time throughout this week to tell the people in our lives how much we love them.

May this be a time for all of us to grow closer to the Lord and one another.

***************

Walking with the Lord in Holy Week (March 9-12, 2015 – Our Lady of the Valley – Green Valley, AZ) This parish mission takes the listener on a journey with Christ – from his entry into Jerusalem, through the Last Supper, his Passion, and his Resurrection.

***************

Catholic Inspiration Archives