Category Archives: Easter, Ascension & Pentecost

The 8th Day of the Resurrection

Today is Thomas Sunday. Also known by other names, Low Sunday and now Divine Mercy Sunday. The Church asks to make connections between what we commemorate in the Incarnation and the Resurrection. Today is a fitting day to account for our faith in what the Lord said and did was true.

St. Thomas gives witness: what do we believe and what do we do? St. Thomas also opens for us the new mission given my the Lord Himself began when the Father missioned Him. Consider a few things taught in the Catechism we read:

“Jesus is often addressed as “Lord” in the gospels as a sign of respect and trust. In the encounter with the risen Jesus, this title becomes adoration: “My Lord and my God!” (Jn 20.28) and “It is the Lord!” (Jn 21.7). (CCC 448)

“When his visible presence was taken from them, Christ did not leave his disciples orphans but remained with them to the end of time by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. As a result, our communion with Jesus has become in a way more intense.” (CCC 788).

AND

“Jesus is the Father’s Emissary, the one the Father has sent. Jesus, in turn, chooses and sends out the Twelve to preach in his name (Mk 3.13-14). These are his emissaries (Greek apostoloi), in whom Christ continues his own mission: “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you” (Jn 20.21) and “He who receives you receives me” (Mt 1.40; Lk 10.16). (CCC 858).

The full appreciation of the Paschal Mystery maintains a connection with the Feast of the Nativity. Archbishop DiNoia recently preached the following:

The Resurrection of Christ is in a real sense the fulfillment of the Annunciation when Mary’s fiat opened the way to our redemption, and her own. The body of our risen Lord—the same body he offered in sacrifice on the cross—was the body he received from Mary in the womb. What is more, Easter has made her what we hope to be as well. “Welcoming the risen Jesus, Mary is … a sign and anticipation of humanity which hopes to achieve its fulfilment through the resurrection of the dead” (Pope St. John Paul II, General Audience, 21 May 1997). Our Lady is the first one to share in the resurrection of her Son, the first fruits, as it were, of Easter: assumed into heaven and now reigning as Queen of Heaven, she anticipates the resurrection of our bodies and the life of bliss to come. How easy it is to imagine with Sedulius that she who was “the way by which he once came to us, might also signal his return.”

At Easter, we call on Mary to rejoice—Regina coeli, laetare—thus “prolonging in time the ‘rejoice’ that the Angel addressed to her at the Annunciation” (Pope St. John Paul II, General Audience, 21 May 1997). While the (probably Franciscan) author of this wonderful antiphon is unknown, there is a beautiful legend that Pope St. Gregory the Great—as he followed barefoot in procession with St. Luke’s icon of Mary—heard angels singing the first lines, and added what would become the antiphon’s concluding line: “Ora pro nobis Deum, Alleluia.”

Archbishop J. Augustine DiNoia, O.P.
April 16, 2017
DHS

Blessed Easter

Dear friends in Christ: today, right now, we realize that our lives are filled with Divine meaning. Our personal stories are a part of a much bigger narrative. Your life, my life — our lives are all a part of the story of the family of God and the history of salvation. Jesus Christ is the point of unity and completeness in God.

In the First Ode of the Canon of Pascha, we read (sing):

It is the day of Resurrection! O people, let us be enlightened by it.
The Passover is the Lord’s Passover,
snce Chrits our God has brought us from death to life,
and from earth to heaven,
Therefore we sing the hymn of victory!
CHRIST IS RISEN FRM THE DEAD!
Let us cleanse our sense that we may see the risen Christ,
in the glory of the Resurrection and clearly hear Him greetinbg us:
Rejoice! as we sing the hymn of victory!
CHRIST IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD!
Let the heaves properly rejoice and let the earth be glad;
and let the whole visible and invisble world celebrate,
for Christ, our everlastng joy, is rosen!
CHRIST IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD!
It is the day of Resurrection! O people, let us be enlightened by it.
The Passover is the Lord’s Passover,
snce Chrits our God has brought us from death to life,
and from earth to heaven,
Therefore we sing the hymn of victory!

Happy Easter!

Pentecost

Pentecost GrecoIn fact, the paschal mystery — the passion, death and resurrection of Christ and his ascension into Heaven — finds its fulfillment in the powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles gathered together with Mary, Mother of the Lord, and the other disciples. It was the “baptism” of the Church, baptism in the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:5)… God’s voice divinized the human language of the Apostles who were enabled to proclaim the one divine Word in a “polyphonic” manner. The breath of the Holy Spirit fills the universe, generates faith, leads to truth, and predisposes people to unity…The Holy Spirit, “who is the Lord and Giver of life” — as we say in the Creed — is joined to the Father through the Son and completes the revelation of the Blessed Trinity. He comes from God like a breath from his mouth and has the power of sanctifying, abolishing divisions, dispelling the confusion due to sin. Incorporeal and immaterial, he lavishes divine goods upon living beings and sustains them so that they may act in conformity with the good. As an intelligible Light he gives meaning to prayer, vigor to the evangelizing mission, he makes the hearts of those who listen to the happy message burn and inspires Christian art and liturgical music.

Pentecost
Benedict XVI
Regina Caeli Address, June 12, 2011

Because the Holy Spirit charges the world

PentecostTHE WORLD is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

“God’s Grandeur”
Gerard Manley Hopkins

Between Ascension and Pentecost

Last SupperIn the period between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday the Church gives us a reminder that we are to follow the key example of communion there is, the communion (unity) between God the Father and God the Son. Saint Cyril of Alexandria tells us that the unity of Father and Son is known in the Last Supper.

Cyril said,  “Who could separate those who are united to Christ through that one sacred body, or destroy their true union with one another? If we all share one loaf we all become one body, for Christ cannot be divided.”

I am grateful for this reminder in a time when there is so much division in our country, Church, and in our own hearts. The psalmist talks about the divided heart, the forked tongue; the spiritual masters speak against gossip (murmuring) and the seeds of division. Do we allow negativity and fear to rule our lives? Sadly, no seems to be free of the divisions caused by sin: not the laity, certainly not the clergy, not business people, not healthcare professionals and not the politicians and the like.

Only in Christ Jesus can we find our hope. Are we united to the Body of Christ –in sacrament, in Church, in family, with ourselves?

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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