READINGS for 2009-04-11
“But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.’” – Mark 16:7
Peter is one of my favorite Apostles. He loves Jesus yet he has done a lot of things that, if he had done them to another person, would have ended their relationship immediately. Peter was a person who was fiercely devoted to Christ that he was willing to do everything for Him. (He even cut off another person’s ear when Jesus was about to be arrested at Gethsemane.) He also said things that he wasn’t sure he could fulfill. (He said he would never deny Jesus but then renounced Him not once but three times a few hours later.)
Still, Jesus loved him and forgave him enough for the angel to tell the women at the tomb to inform Peter specifically that He is risen from the dead. How’s that for second chances?
I like Peter a lot because he reminds me of myself — willing to follow Christ, yet falling into things that I know are bad and that hurt Him. Yet even so, Jesus still forgives me and assures me that He loves me even if I do not deserve it at all.Tina Matanguihan
This Holy Saturday, remember that Jesus died on the Cross to give us a second chance, and He is expecting to see us at Easter.
Jesus, thank You for giving me another chance.
I remember going to the Easter Vigil as a child and being so restless at the length and number of the readings that my dad must have vowed never to take me again! This was a great shame as the liturgy of the Easter Vigil is truly magnificent — fire, baptisms, water, candles and the readings … The readings are far from boring as they trace salvation history from creation up to the resurrection of Jesus. The style of liturgy in the Church may not be the equivalent of the drama we see in the movies in terms of technical presentation, but the content is the best there possibly can be. All it requires from us is a little indulgence of our time and a little bit of attention in our hearts and minds and I am sure the whole liturgy of the Easter Vigil will come alive for us!
Genesis 1:1-2:2 (or 1:1. 26-31a or Genesis 22:1-18 or 22:1-2. 9a. 10-13. 15-18 or Exodus 14:15-15:1 or Isaiah 54:5-14 or Isaiah 55:1-11or Baruch 3:9-15. 32-4:4 or Ezekiel 36:16- 17a. 18-28)
1 In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, 2 the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters. — 3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. — 4 God saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from the darkness. — 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” Thus evening came, and morning followed — the first day. 6 Then God said, “Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters, to separate one body of water from the other.” And so it happened: 7 God made the dome, and it separated the water above the dome from the water below it. 8 God called the dome “the sky.” Evening came, and morning followed — the second day. 9 Then God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin, so that the dry land may appear.” And so it happened: the water under the sky was gathered into its basin, and the dry land appeared. 10 God called the dry land “the earth,” and the basin of the water he called “the sea.” God saw how good it was. 11 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth vegetation: every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it.” And so it happened: 12 the earth brought forth every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it. God saw how good it was. 13 Evening came, and morning followed — the third day. 14 Then God said: “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night. Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years, 15 and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth.” And so it happened: 16 God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day, and the lesser one to govern the night; and he made the stars. 17 God set them in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw how good it was. 19 Evening came, and morning followed — the fourth day. 20 Then God said, “Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures, and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky.” And so it happened: 21 God created the great sea monsters and all kinds of swimming creatures with which the water teems, and all kinds of winged birds. God saw how good it was, 22 and God blessed them, saying, “Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas; and let the birds multiply on the earth.” 23 Evening came, and morning followed — the fifth day. 24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures: cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds.” And so it happened: 25 God made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle, and all kinds of creeping things of the earth. God saw how good it was. 26 Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.” 27 God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them, saying: “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth.” 29 God also said: “See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food; 30 and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground, I give all the green plants for food.” And so it happened. 31 God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good. Evening came, and morning followed — the sixth day. 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed. 2 Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing, he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.
P S A L M
Psalm 104:1-2. 5-6. 10. 12. 13-14. 24. 35 (or Psalm 33:4-5. 6-7. 12-13. 20-22 or Psalm 16:5. 8. 9-10. 11 or Exodus 15:1-2. 3-4. 5-6. 17-18 or Psalm 30:2. 4. 5-6. 11-12. 13 or Isaiah 12:2-3. 4. 5-6 or Psalm 19: 8. 9. 10. 11 or Psalm 42:3. 5; 43: 3. 4 or Isaiah 12:2-3. 4bcd. 5-6 or Psalm 51:12-13. 14-15. 18-19 or Psalm 118:1-2. 16-17. 22-23)
R: Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD, my God, you are great indeed! You are clothed with majesty and glory, 2 robed in light as with a cloak. (R) 5 You fixed the earth upon its foundation, not to be moved forever; 6 with the ocean, as with a garment, you covered it; above the mountains the waters stood. (R) 10 You sent forth springs into the watercourses that wind among the mountains. 12 Beside them the birds of heaven dwell; from among the branches they send forth their song. (R) 13 You water the mountains from your palace; the earth is replete with the fruit of your works. (R) 14 You raise grass for the cattle, and vegetation for men’s use, producing bread from the earth, 24 How manifold are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you have wrought them all — the earth is full of your creatures. 35 Bless the LORD, O my soul! (R)
There is nothing boring about the history of salvation. It is almost heretical to even think such a thing, as what we are dealing with here is God’s intervention in the world FOR OUR SAKE, not for Himself. Jesus does not die on the cross because it feels good to do that — ask anyone who has pierced his body with an object as thick as a nail if it is an enjoyable experience and I am sure he will tell you that it was not! The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is a sacrifice done out of obedience to God — obedience to love as God is love.
3 Brothers and sisters: Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. 5 For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him, so that our sinful body might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin. 7 For a dead person has been absolved from sin. 8 If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him. 10 As to his death, he died to sin once and for all; as to his life, he lives for God. 11 Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as [being] dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.
G O S P E L
When we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, we celebrate the victory of life and love over sin and death. Just when the devil thought he had triumphed, God the Father raises Jesus from the dead by the power of His glory. We are all called to share in the glory of God through our participation in the life of God as His disciples. This is why we celebrate the Easter liturgies yearly — to remind ourselves why we are here and what we should do with our lives.
1 When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go and anoint him. 2 Very early when the sun had risen, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb. 3 They were saying to one another, “Who will roll back the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4 When they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back; it was very large. 5 On entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe, and they were utterly amazed. 6 He said to them, “Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold the place where they laid him. 7 But go and tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.’ ”
think:The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is a sacrifice done out of obedience to God — obedience to love as God is love.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Exodus 10-12
eAster viGil — A DrAmA in symbols AnD rituAl
For me, more than the Midnight Mass at Christmas, the Easter Vigil in the evening of Holy Saturday is impressive and touching. Every year, I look forward to this celebration and I am glad when I can lead a community of the faithful into this special night. Remember, it all begins in total darkness. All lights are turned off. Then, outside the Church, the Easterfire is blessed, the huge Paschal Candle is lighted and carried into the dark church. And there the faithful receive from the Paschal Candle light for their small candles. Slowly the light spreads and fills the whole church as the faithful share the light with each other. Many readings and songs lead us from the story of Creation to the climax of salvation history, to the proclamation of Christ’s resurrection and the renewal of our baptismal promises.
What a celebration! In this ritual we experience symbolically what happened to us in baptism, when the waters of baptism swept away the stains of sin, and when the light of the Risen Lord drove away from us the darkness of sin, when we died with Christ and rose with Him to new life.
What has become of us after our baptism? This night, with all its signs and wonders, makes us reflect and look into our hearts before we renew our baptismal promises. It is so easy to say,”Yes, I do,” when the priest asks the three questions whether we reject Satan, all his works and all his empty promises. The test comes when we leave the beautiful celebration and return to everyday life. But we have Christ on our side. He is risen. He has fought the main battle for us — and won. He calls us to follow Him into victory. We have received, and continue to receive, enough graces and blessings to fight the forces of darkness in and around us. We must not allow ourselves to be influenced by the negative notion that it is too difficult. We need to tell ourselves every day: With the Risen Lord, I can win the battles I have to fight! Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
How can I make Easter and its message more relevant for my life, especially in the ongoing struggle against evil?
Risen Lord, thank You for fighting for me against Satan. I should not be afraid to do my share in the ongoing struggle against evil. The baptismal grace You have granted me will be enough — and couple with my strong determination not to allow myself anymore to give in to what opposes Your light and love.
St. Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr, pray for us.
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