Posted by: Fr Chris | April 24, 2011

Pascha!!

My hands are pretty tired so a brief posting.

Holy Wednesday: Anoiting – 60 people – healing for soul and body to continue to journey with Jesus.

Holy Thursday: Last Supper; gift of the Eucharist which is Jesus’ absolute self-giving to us that night and at all eucharistic liturgies; betrayal of Judas and be wary of how we betray Christ; Judas’ love of money – what do we love that can also interfere with God in our lives; the holy priesthood, a life which is meant to serve, heal, and proclaim in humility.  About 80 people.

Good Friday- Vespers of the Burial. Full house of 200. The sorrowful procession in the dark, returning to a darkened church and placing the Holy Shroud in the grave.  God bends down from the Cross to kiss us and touch us. Do I respond to Him? Jesus willingly went to the Cross,willingly endured terrible pain and humiliation, so that we would be saved. His blood is our redemption.

Holy Saturday – vigil. About 30 people and one very enthusiastic boy who has bugged his parents for two years to let him worship with his grandparents and be baptized. He finally won his battle, and now embarks on life as a Byzantine Catholic.

Pascha – Packed church, 30 extra chairs put up (but we don’t really sit much on Easter!). The Eternal Word of God became flesh in the womb of Mary; lived an ordinary life; preached, healed, and proclaimed among the people of Israel; gave Himself absolutely and still does so at the Eucharist of Last Supper and every Eucharist. For the 40 days we are to learn more about our Faith (the themes of each Sunday), and be joyful, greeting one another with the Christ is risen greeting. The Epistle today was Jesus’ speech to the apostles at His ascension. Why? Because the 40 days of Easter are to prepare for Pentecost; Ascension Thursday launches the nine days of waiting; the Apostles and disciples meet in the Upper Room, the room of the Last Supper, to be fortified with the Eucharist in Communion; Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit, Comforter and Advocate. He comes to us – we must respond, fortified with Jesus Christ, and go out and gather in those whom we know who are searching for God and truth: ex-Catholics, Catholics wanting a good spiritual home, non-Catholic Christians, people of other faiths who wonder about our faith. We should work in the power of our risen Lord so that on Pentecost, we will have a jam-packed church ready to welcome and be strengthened by the Holy Spirit!

For locals: our CAFE group and Knights of Columbus sponsor “Night with the Knights” this Tuesday at UNM, Student Union Building, Santa Ana Rooms A & B. A panel of lay apologists will take questions, give three-minute answers, and try to help answer people’s questions about the Faith. All topics are fair game. We start at 6 pm, close at 8 pm. Join us! And if you can’t join us, pray for us!

Christ is risen! Slavonic – Christos voskrese! Arabic – Al-Masih qam!


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