“Amen, amen, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy” (John 16:20).
Following a winter of unique impact, I look out this rectory window to blue skies, budding trees and flowers poking their stems through the newly placed mulch. With this backdrop it is easy to exclaim with my brother priests Fr. Ainikkal, Fr. Armando, Msgr. Conahan, Fr. Peterson, our wonderful staff Agnes Bross, Barbara Herr, Cathy Kornberg, Joanne McGuire, Jim and Linda McMahon, David and Mary Wurtz, the Pastoral and Finance Councils, and all the Catechists, Liturgical, and Social Ministers of our parish family:
Greetings and Easter peace and joy to you and your loved ones! Jesus Christ is risen! Alleluia! Our prayer is that you may have an Easter faith–the faith that helps all of us to find hope and new life in the Risen Christ from the “dark places” or painful experiences of our lives.
In our Judeo-Christian Tradition, we can note that the great moments of God’s Word occurred in the darkness. In the Book of Genesis, we read how God created light out of darkness. In the Exodus story, it was at night that Pharaoh sent for Moses to take his people and go into the wilderness. It was also during the night watch that Jesus, the Light of the World, was born. The Gospel of St. John on this Easter Morning begins with the words “Early in the morning while it was still dark…” In the darkness of the Easter morning, some disciples met the Risen Christ. Two thousand years later, as followers of this same Christ, we are called to look for Christ and transformation in “dark places.”
As I write these words I reflect upon how many times you have invited us in this past year to share with you, your own journey through many of these “dark places,” e.g., the death of a loved one, loss of health, loss of love and friendship, loss of job, loss of meaning, and loss of faith. For many others, the “dark places” might be an aging parent, caring continuously for a sick loved one with little or no support, fighting an addiction of some sort, quarreling with neighbors, conflict and stress in the workplace, and so on.
My prayer this Easter is that, in the same spirit of Mary, Peter and John, we might visit our own “dark tomb” and believe that good can come from this. Fortunately, to inspire our faith, we have lots of wonderful examples of people whose lives give a resounding “yes!” to the Risen Christ. In the dark place of his prison cell, St. Paul wrote some of his best epistles. St. John of the Cross wrote some of his best poetry in the darkness of his prison cell. Handel wrote part of his famous Messiah while in prison. These examples and millions of others down through the corridors of time, testify that “good things” can be discovered in “dark places.”
Easter is a wonderful reminder that we cannot overcome our difficulties and get out of our “tombs” on our own. Even Jesus did not overcome his great obstacles alone. Jesus did not rise up from the tomb by his own effort. The Acts of the Apostles tells us that “This Jesus God raised up” to new life. The Easter story assures us that we need God’s guidance and strength and we need to let go of trying to control life by ourselves. Let us place our hand in God’s hand and trust that God can raise us from our dark places.
I take this moment to share with you how grateful I am to share this journey of faith with you. I thank you for how you have supported me and one another through the sometimes dark places in our lives to places of life and light. I count myself blessed in so many ways because of you. May you and your loved ones have a very blessed Easter.
Mass Schedule for Holy Week and Easter
Palm Sunday Weekend, April 12/13, 2014
No changes to weekend schedule
Holy Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 7:00pm
Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper
followed by Adoration with Reposition at 10:00pm.
Good Friday, April 18, 2014 at 3:00pm
Good Friday Service and Veneration of The Cross
Tenebrae-Our Lord’s Entombment at 7:00pm
Holy Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 8:00pm
Easter Vigil Mass
Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014
Sunrise Mass, Beesley’s Point Beach at 5:45am
Saint Casimir Church at 7:30am
Resurrection Church at 8:00am
Saint Casimir Church at 9:00am
Resurrection Church at 9:30am
Saint Casimir Church at 10:30am Spanish Mass
Resurrection Church at11:00am
Resurrection Church at 1:00pm Spanish Mass
NO EVENING MASS ON EASTER SUNDAY
Saint Maximilian Kolbe Parish
Saint Casimir Church
Saturday, April 19 at 9:30am
Saturday, April 19 at 11am
The Triduum: Three Days that Define Us
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? (Mark 14:37)
As I consider the Sacred Triduum, I consider this question of Our Lord on the night of Holy Thursday and I wonder if we recognize that these three days are known as the days that define who we are as Catholics and Christians!
Three days but only one feast: a feast so great that no one day could possibly contain it.
The word Triduum comes from the Latin roots meaning ‘three days’: ‘tri’ meaning three and ‘dies’ meaning days. Although the celebrations are spread over three days it is, essentially, one continuous liturgy that begins with Mass on Holy Thursday and ends with the Vigil on Holy Saturday.
On Holy Thursday at 7pm in Church of the Resurrection, you will notice that there is no ‘ending’ to this Mass – there is no final blessing or dismissal. The liturgy also stresses the “institution of the Eucharist”, the precious Gift that Jesus gave to us of His Body and Blood which has defined us as Catholic people, and the “institution of the priesthood” where Jesus called those who would receive the mandate to shepherd His flock, including bringing the Eucharist to His people. Without a final blessing or dismissal we are invited to remain and “watch and wait with Jesus” until 10pm before the Blessed Sacrament.
Good Friday’s Service at 3pm in Church of the Resurrection has no ‘opening’ or ‘closing’ but contains the Liturgy of the Word, the Veneration of the Cross and the receiving of Holy Communion, consecrated at the Holy Thursday Mass. At 7pm in Church of the Resurrection, we will gather outside the Tomb, to pray the prayer of Tenebrae.
The Easter Vigil at 8pm in Church of the Resurrection is the highest point of our Liturgical year. It begins in the darkness of night where Good Friday has left us to emphasize that we are keeping vigil for the coming Resurrection! The darkness also emphasizes the beautiful symbolism in the lighting of the new fire and the passing of the flame from person to person, signaling the Light of Christ moving among us and lighting our lives. In this we are called to take the Light of Christ to the world. There is a rhythm to the Vigil Liturgy which is both comforting and exhilarating. The readings and psalms walk us through our history, each building on the last until the Gospel which proclaims that Jesus has truly risen! At this liturgy we will welcome six women and men into the Catholic faith and it is a beautiful symbol of the endurance of our faith and the hope for our future.
Speaking of darkness, please note that our Easter Sunrise Mass will begin at 5:45am at the beach in Beesley’s Point.
The Sacred Triduum is the telling of our story. It is the invitation to embrace what Jesus has done for us and for all that He has given us. How we respond is also part of the story and how we respond speaks to who we are. Will you make time in your busy schedule to spend but “one hour with Jesus” this Easter?