Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Easter Celebrations!!


Alleluia, Alleluia! He Is Risen!

Our Triduum and Easter celebrations over the Easter weekend bring us to the same place as the apostles. "What Now?" 

As Catholics we have participated in all or part of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday, His brutal crucifixion on Good Friday and, victoriously, 
His resurrection on Easter Sunday but ...
                          What do we do now??

I imagine the Apostles thought that their little group of followers were just about done.  Their leader dead, buried and now Risen...     WHAT??!!!
They headed back to work on the boats because, well, what else were they supposed to do. 

The Gospel of John recounts how the apostles had gone back out to the boats but couldn't catch a thing.  Jesus appeared to them and when they finally recognized him, he commanded them to "Feed My Sheep."

I somehow think this is the call that Jesus has for us, as well.  We are called to go out, no matter where we are, and bring light to the world, to treat others not only with kindness but with justice. It is our task to seek peace, in our homes and workplaces.  We might need to give up our own place of honour and recognize the importance of putting others first.  A little humility is never a bad thing as the Apostle Peter can attest! 
Pope Francis has named this the Jubilee Year of Mercy and we've got to get out there and just do it!  Be Merciful!! Show others who struggle and suffer, that regardless of your own feelings, you can offer them mercy and compassion for their situation.

And of course, Feed My Sheep!  To feed and clothe the hungry and naked in the community and in the world, is central to what we must do. 
We already know this and we do it, too!! 
However, part of feeding the sheep has to do with feeding the soul and spirit, as well.  

So, I guess I know what to do now, in some ways...
                                                                            off to feed the sheep!

Pope Francis' Easter Address

Pope Francis: 

Mercy and love have conquered sin at Easter

Pope Francis during his Regina Coeli address on Easter Monday. - REUTERS
Pope Francis during his Regina Coeli address on Easter Monday. - REUTERS
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said “we also stand today before the empty tomb of Jesus, and meditate with wonder and gratitude on the great mystery of the Resurrection of the Lord” during his  Easter Monday Regina Coeli address.

   “Life has conquered death. Mercy and love have conquered sin! There is need of faith and hope to open this new and wonderful horizon,” Pope Francis said.

   “And we know that faith and hope are a gift from God, and we have to ask: ‘Lord, give me faith, give me hope! We have so much need!’. Let us by pervaded by the emotions that resonate in the Easter sequence: ‘Yes, we are certain: Christ is truly risen.’ The Lord has risen among us! This truth marked in an indelible way the lives of the Apostles who, after the Resurrection, again felt the need to follow their Master and, receiving the Holy Spirit, went without fear to proclaim to all what they had seen with their own eyes and personally experienced.”

The Holy Father said “in this Jubilee Year we are called to rediscover and to welcome with particular intensity the comforting announcement of the resurrection: ‘Christ, my hope, is risen!’”, adding “if Christ is risen, we can look with new eyes and hearts at every event of our lives, even the most negative.”

   “The moments of darkness, of failure, and also of sin can be transformed and announce a new path. When we have reached the base of our misery and our weakness, the risen Christ gives us the strength to lift ourselves up. If we have faith in Him, His grace saves us!” – Pope Francis continued – “The crucified and risen Lord is the full revelation of mercy, present and active in history. This is the Easter message that still resonates today and that will resonate throughout the time of Easter until Pentecost.”
The Pope said “the silent witness to the events of the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus was Mary.”

   “She was standing next to the cross: She did not collapse in the face of grief, but her faith made her stronger” – he explained – “In the broken heart of a mother, there was always the flame of hope. We ask her to also help us to accept in fullness the Easter proclamation of resurrection, to embody it concretely in our daily lives.”

   He then invoked Our Lady before reciting the Regina Coeli prayer, which is prayed instead of the Angelus during the Easter season: “May the Virgin Mary give us the certainty of faith that suffered every step of our journey, illuminated by the light of Easter; that it will become a blessing and joy for us and for others, especially for those who suffer because of selfishness and indifference.”

  After reciting the Regina Coeli, Pope Francis condemned the “reprehensible” terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan, and called on civil and other authorities to “do everything possible to restore security and peace to the population and, in particular, to the most vulnerable religious minorities.”

   At the end of his address, the Holy Father encouraged everyone to spend a little bit of time every day reading from the Gospels.

   “It takes no more than five minutes to read a passage from the Gospel. Remember this!...And do not forget to pray for me!” Pope Francis concluded