This blog is based on references in the Bible to fear. God wills that we “BE NOT AFRAID”. Many theologians state that the eighth deadly sin is fear. It is fear and its natural animal reaction to fight or flight that is the root cause of our failings to create a Kingdom of God on earth. By “the power of the Holy Spirit” we can be witnesses and “communicators” of a new and redeemed humanity “even to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7 8). This blog is dedicated to Mary the Mother of God.
Sunday, April 21, 2019
aPRIL 21 Easter Sunday
1 Samuel, Chapter 12, Verse 14
you fear and serve the LORD, if you
listen to the voice of the LORD and do not rebel against the LORD’s command, if
both you and the king, who rules over you, follow the LORD your God—well and
These were the word of the Priest Samuel at the coronation
of King Saul and just like Eli Saul and his family did not listen to the voice
of the Lord and rebelled. Our only king was crowned not with gold but with
thorns. It was His afflictions which prepared us for an eternal weight of glory
beyond all measure. Hear His voice.
gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without
is the feast of Easter?
The celebration of the day on which Jesus Christ, according to the predictions
both of Himself and the prophets, by His almighty power, reunited His body and
soul, and arose alive from the grave.
is Easter Sunday sometimes called Pasch or Passover? It is from the Latin Pascha, and
the Hebrew Phase, meaning “the passing over” because the destroyer of the
firstborn in Egypt passed over the houses of the Israelites who had sprinkled
the transom and posts of the door with the blood of the paschal lamb and
because the Jews were in that same night delivered from bondage, passing over
through the Red Sea into the land of promise. Now we Christians are by the
death and resurrection of Christ redeemed and passed over to the freedom of the
children of God, so we call the day of His resurrection Pasch or Passover.
should we observe the feast of Easter?
We observe the feast in such manner as to confirm our faith in Jesus Christ and
in His Church, and to pass over from the death of sin to the new life of grace.
is the meaning of Alleluia, so often repeated at Easter-time? “Alleluia” means “Praise God.” In
the Introit of the Mass of the day the Church introduces Jesus Christ as risen,
addressing His heavenly Father as follows “I rose up and am still with Thee, alleluia;
Thou hast laid Thy hand upon Me, alleluia. Lord, Thou hast proved me, and know
me; Thou hast known my sitting down and my rising up.”
O God, Who this
day didst open to us the approach to eternity by Thy only Son victorious over
death, prosper by Thy grace our vows, which Thou dost anticipate by Thy
EPISTLE, i. Cor. v.
Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new paste, as you are unleavened. For
Christ, our Pasch, is sacrificed. Therefore, let us feast, not with the old
leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened
bread of sincerity and truth.
Explanation. The Apostle selected the leaven
as a type of the moral depravity from which the Christian community and every
individual Christian should be free. Let us, therefore, purge out the old
leaven of sin by true penance, that we may receive our Paschal Lamb, Jesus, in
the Most Holy Eucharist with a pure heart.
GOSPEL. Mark xvi.
At that time:
Mary Magdalen and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought sweet spices, that
coming they might anoint Jesus. And very early in the morning, the first day of
the week, they came to the sepulchre, the sun being now risen. And they said
one to another: Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the
And looking, they
saw the stone rolled back: for it was very great. And entering into the
sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed with a white
robe: and they were astonished. Who saith to them: Be not affrighted: you seek
Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified: He is risen, He is not here: behold the
place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter that He goeth
before you into Galilee: there you shall see Him, as He told you.
Why did the holy
women desire to anoint the body of Jesus with sweet spices? The women wanted to anoint Jesus’
body out of love for him. This love God rewarded by sending to them an angel,
who rolled back the great stone from before the mouth of the sepulcher,
comforted them, and convinced them that Christ was really raised from the dead.
From this we learn that God always consoles those who seek Him. The angel sent
the holy women to the disciples to console them for Christ’s death, and in
order that they might make known His resurrection to the world. St. Peter was
specially named not only because he was the head of the apostles, but because
he was sadder and more dispirited than the others on account of his denial of
How did Our Savior
prove that He was really risen from the dead? Our Lord proved Himself risen by showing Himself
first to the holy women, then to His disciples, and finally to five hundred
persons at once. His disciples not only saw Him, but ate and drank with Him,
not once only, but repeatedly, and for forty days.
It was through combat and inexpressible sufferings
that Our Savior gained victory. So also with us we gain heaven only by labor,
combat, and sufferings shall we win the crown of eternal life; though redeemed
by Christ from the servitude of Satan and sin, we shall not be able to enter
the kingdom of Christ unless, after His example and by His grace, we fight till
the end against the flesh, the devil, and the world; for only he that perseveres
to the end shall receive the crown (n. Tim. ii. 5).
Read: Easter does not just last for a
day! Take time to read about the span of the Easter season today.
Reflect: Take extra time with the readings
today practicing lectio divina. . . .
Pray: O God, who on this day, through
your Only Begotten Son, have conquered death and unlocked for us the path to
eternity, grant, we pray, that we who keep the solemnity of the Lord's
may, through the renewal brought by your Spirit, rise
up in the light of life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and
reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Collect, Easter Sunday of the
Resurrection of the Lord, Mass During the Day, Roman Missal, Third Edition, International Commission on English
This is the day
the Lord hath made; let us be glad and rejoice therein. - Ps. 117.24
this antiphon, the Church proclaims Easter Sunday the greatest day of the year.
For the Christian believer every day is, of course, a celebration of Jesus
Christ's resurrection from the dead, as is every Mass. Yet daily rejoicing
pales in comparison to that of the Sunday Mass, since Sunday is the day that
the resurrection took place, the "eighth" day of the week signifying
a new creation and a new life. And these Sundays of the year, in turn, are
dwarfed by Easter, the Feast of Feasts celebrated in the newness of the vernal
moon and in the rebirth of springtime. Easter is the Christian day par
commemoration of our Lord's physical resurrection from the dead provides not
only the crucial resolution to the Passion story, but to several liturgical
themes stretching back over the past two months. Easter ends the seventy days
of Babylonian exile begun on Septuagesima Sunday by restoring the Temple that was destroyed on Good
Friday, i.e. the body of Jesus Christ. It ends the forty days of wandering in
the desert begun on Ash Wednesday by giving us the Promised Land of eternal life. It
ends the fourteen days of concealment and confusion during Passiontide
by revealing the divinity of Jesus Christ and the meaning of His cryptic
prophecies. It ends the seven days of Holy Week
by converting our sorrow over the crucifixion into our jubilance about the
resurrection. And it ends the three days of awesome mystery explored during the
sacred Triduum by
celebrating the central mystery of our faith: life born from death, ultimate
good from unspeakable evil. It is for this reason that all the things that had
been instituted at one point or another during the past penitential seasons
(the purple vestments or the veiled images) are dramatically removed, while all
the things that had been successively suppressed (the Alleluia, the Gloria in
excelsis, several Gloria Patri's, or the bells) are dramatically restored.
Easter season (or Paschaltide, as it is traditionally known) is not an
undifferentiated block of joy but one that consists of several distinct stages.
The first is the Easter Octave, lasting from Easter Sunday to "Low"
Sunday. These eight days comprise a prolonged rejoicing in our Savior's victory
over death and in the eternal life given to the newly baptized converts. In
fact, Christian initiates used to receive a white robe upon their baptism on
Holy Saturday night and would wear it for the rest of the week. They would take
off these symbols of their new life on the following Sunday, which in Latin is
called Dominica in albis depositis as a result of this practice. (The English
name, Low Sunday, was used as a contrast to the high mark of Easter). For
centuries the first Sunday after Easter was also the day when children would
receive their first Holy Communion, often with their father and mother kneeling
beside them. So meaningful was this event that in Europe it was referred to as
the "most beautiful day of life." (Significantly, both customs are
encapsulated in Low Sunday's stational church, the basilica of St. Pancras (see
St. Pancras, a twelve-year-old martyr, is the patron saint of children and
The Easter Kiss and Greeting. The day that
the risen Christ appeared to His apostles, breathed the Spirit on them, and
wished them peace is the day that Christians greet each other with special
fraternal affection. Early Latin Christians embraced each other on Easter with
the greeting, Surrexit Dominus vere ("The Lord is truly
risen"). The appropriate response is Deo gratias ("Thanks be
to God"). Greek Christians, on the other hand, say, Christos aneste
("Christ is risen"), to which is answered, Alethos aneste ("Truly
He is risen"). The mutual kiss and embrace last throughout the Easter
was a time in both the Eastern and Western churches that no one would dream of
eating unblessed food on Easter. Priests would either visit families on Holy
Saturday night and bless the spread made ready for the following day, or they
would bless the food brought to church after the Easter Sunday Mass. The old
Roman ritual attests to this tradition by its title for Food Blessings: Benedictiones
Esculentorum, Praesertim in Pascha - "The Blessings of Edibles,
Especially for Easter".
New Clothes & the Easter Parade. Most people are familiar with the
old-fashioned images of ladies bedecked in crisp new bonnets and dapper escorts
during the annual Easter parade. What at first blush appears to be no more than
a spectacle of vanity, however, is a combination of two deeply religious
practices. The first is the custom of wearing new clothes for
Easter. This stems from the ancient practice of newly baptized Christians
wearing a white garment from the moment of their baptism during the Easter
Vigil until the following week. The rest of the faithful eventually followed
suit by wearing something new to symbolize the new life brought by the death
and resurrection of Christ. Hence an old Irish saying: "For Christmas,
food and drink; for Easter, new clothes." There was even a superstition
that bad luck would come to those who could afford new clothes for Easter but
did not buy them. The second practice is the Easter walk, in
which the faithful (mostly couples) would march through town and country as a
part of a religious procession. A crucifix or the Paschal candle would often
lead the way, and the entourage would make several stops in order to pray or
sing hymns. The rest of the time would be spent in light banter. This custom
became secularized after the Reformation and thus became the "Easter
parade" so popular before the 1960s.
Easter Eggs. Two kinds of activities (besides eating) surround this
famous feature of Paschal celebration. The first is the decoration of the egg,
a custom that goes back to the first centuries of Christianity. Colored dyes
are the easiest way this is done, though different customs from various
cultures sometimes determine which colors are used. The Chaldean, Syrian, and
Greek Christians, for example, give each other scarlet eggs in honor of the
most precious blood of Christ. Other nations, such as the Ukrainians and
Russians, are famous for their beautiful and ornate egg decorations. Egg
gamesare also a familiar part of Easter merriment. Most
Americans are familiar with the custom of Easter egg hunts, but there are
other forms as well. Egg-peckingis a game
popular in Europe and the Middle East (not to mention the White House lawn),
where hard-boiled eggs are rolled against each other on the lawn or down a
hill; the egg left uncracked at the end is proclaimed the "victory
The Dancing Sun. There is an old legend that
the sun dances for joy or makes three cheerful jumps on Easter morning. In
England and Ireland families would place a pan of water in the east window to
watch the dancing rays mirrored on it. Other "sun" customs involve
some kind of public gathering at sunrise. Greeting the daybreak with cannons,
gunfire, choirs, or band music was once very popular, as was holding a prayer
service, followed by a procession to the church where Mass would be offered.
"Sacred" Theater. According to some
scholars the beautiful sequence Victimae Paschali Laudes sung during the
Easter Mass in the traditional Roman rite is the inspiration for the
development of medievalreligiousdrama. The poem's dialogic structure, with its question and answer
format, became the foundation on which more lines were added until a separate
play was formed. This play, in turn, inspired the composition of the other
medieval "mystery" plays held on Christmas, Epiphany, Corpus Christi,
and so on. Solemn vespers and benediction were a traditional part of every
Sunday afternoon in many parishes, but especially so on Easter. Perhaps one
reason for this was the medieval custom of Easterfables where, prior to the service, the priest would
regale the congregation with amusing anecdotes and whimsical yarns. This served
as a sort of antidote to the many sad or stern Lenten sermons of the previous
The Easter Octave. The entire Octave of Easter
constitutes an extended exultation in Christ's victory over death. Obviously,
the two most important days of this Octave are the two Sundays. As mentioned
elsewhere, Low Sunday was once the day that the neophytes took off their
white robes and resumed their lives in the daily world, and it was also the
traditional time for children to receive Holy Communion. Other days of the
Octave, however, also had distinctive customs of their own.
reserved as a special day for rest and relaxation. Its most distinctive feature
is the Emmaus walk, a leisurely constitution inspired by the Gospel
of the day (Luke 24.13-35). This can take the form of a stroll through field or
forest or, as in French Canada, a visit to one's grandparents.
of mischief dating to pre-Christian times also take place on Easter
Monday and Tuesday. Chief among them are drenchingcustoms,
where boys surprise girls with buckets of water, and vice versa, or switchingcustoms, where switches are gently used on each other.
Thursday in Slavic
countries, on the other hand, was reserved for remembering departed loved ones.
Mass that day would be offered for the deceased of the parish.
Fridaywas a favorite day for pilgrimages in many parts of
Europe. Large groups would take rather long processions to a shrine or church,
where Mass would be offered.
Third Day - Today Bring Me All Devout and Faithful Souls.
Most Merciful Jesus,
from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in the great abundance
to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and
never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by that most wondrous love for
the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.
turn Your Merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your
Son. For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround
them with Your constant protection. Thus, may they never fail in love or lost
the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and
Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.