MAY 21: SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
If you love me, you will keep my commandments. Love God and neighbor. The Holy Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son. It is through the gift of the Spirit that we are able to love at all. It is through the Holy Spirit that God is with us, always. Encouraged by the gift of the Spirit, we can witness to this great love to all those who feel alone, abandoned and discouraged. As we enter these last two weeks of the Easter Season and look forward to Pentecost, let us pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit’s gifts, that others may know us by our love.
MAY 14: FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
In today’s Gospel, Philip asks Jesus to show him the Father. He has been a disciple of Jesus since the beginning and still doesn’t recognize Jesus as being one with the Father. It is easy in today’s culture to see Jesus just as another teacher or religious leader. It is harder to recognize him as Lord and God. How many of us, even after years of going to Mass, fail to recognize Jesus. It is sometimes difficult to trust that he will come back for us and lead us home. Yet he has promised that he will prepare a place for us. He is the way, the truth and the life. In him is our way to the Father. In him is our home.
MAY 7: FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
Jesus is the gate that both protects us from and leads us out to good pasture and life. It is through Christ, through his life, death and resurrection that we have access to heaven. He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. The question is, do we listen to his voice? There is so much noise in today’s culture, so many other voices that call out to us that there is a danger that we no longer recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd. Let us be sure to meet him in prayer and scripture so that we may become ever more familiar with his voice.
APRIL 30: THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER
How familiar this Gospel is to us? We say “Road to Emmaus” and we immediately know the story. Or do we? The danger is of course that, assuming we know the story, we stop listening. Yet the Gospel is ever ancient, ever new. It is these familiar Gospels that require us to pay closer attention.
Jesus drew near and walked with them. Jesus didn’t just reveal himself. Rather he listened to them and answered the deepest questions of their hearts. He allowed them to grapple with and voice their disappointments. It was only after this encounter that he allowed them to recognize him in the breaking of the bread. If we are called to be Christ to others, can we walk with them, take their struggles to heart and listen to their questions? Can we lead them to Christ, and allow them to discover him in the breaking of the Bread?
APRIL 23: SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER/ SUNDAY OF DIVINE MERCY
Today is Mercy Sunday: Peace be with you… Receive the Holy Spirit: For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven. One year ago, we celebrated the canonization of two new saints: Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II. In addition to calling the Second Vatican Council, Bl. John XXIII is known for his Encyclical Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth) and Bl. John Paul II wrote a wonderful encyclical On the Mercy of God. Peace and Mercy go hand in hand and lead us to exclaim with the Apostle Thomas: My Lord and my God.
APRIL 16: EASTER SUNDAY OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD
Happy Easter! He is Risen! He is Risen indeed! In today's account of the resurrection from John there are so many wonderful details which can serve as food for our meditation. While it was still dark, Mary Magdalene discovered that Christ had been raised. Can you feel her excitement, her joy? She cannot keep it to herself. She runs to tell others. Do we? Today, on this Easter Sunday, can you share in her joy at the Resurrection? And rejoicing, can you share this good news with others: that we have been raised with Christ?
The office for the New Evangelization wished you a blessed Triduum and Easter Season. We hope that you can attend all the celebrations of the Triduum: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil as well as Easter Sunday at your local parish. These are the most important days in the Church Year, when we immerse ourselves in the sacred mysteries of our faith: that Jesus Christ lived, suffered and died for us and was raised on the third day.
In addition to the celebrations in our local churches, there will be opportunities to watch celebrations from around the world and from Rome through the media. Obviously, watching the masses and celebrations on TV cannot take the place of celebrating with your parish community. However, it can remind us that our Church is a universal church and watching the celebrations from Rome or Jerusalem or other places can remind us to pray for our Holy Father, Pope Francis and for people around the world, some of whom do not have the same freedoms we have or are in the midst of a warzone like Syria.
EWTN has let us know that they will be showing the following on TV or live streaming on the internet:
SOLEMN MASS OF THE LORD'S SUPPER FROM ROME
Pope Francis celebrates the Solemn Mass of the Lord's Supper
Thursday, Apr 13 12:00 PM ET (LIVE)
LITURGY OF THE LORD'S PASSION from DC
Celebration of the Liturgy of the Lord's Passion from the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Friday, Apr 14 2:30 PM ET (LIVE)
WAY OF THE CROSS FROM ROME
Pope Francis presides over The Stations of the Cross, from the Coliseum in Rome
Friday, Apr 14 6:30 PM ET (LIVE)
EASTER VIGIL MASS FROM ROME
Pope Francis celebrates the Easter Vigil Mass, live from Rome
Saturday, Apr 15 2:30 PM ET
URBI ET ORBI: MESSAGE AND BLESSING: EASTER
Live from St. Peter's Square in Rome
Sunday, Apr 16 6:00 AM ET
You can also follow these masses on the Pope’s App available for Android and IOS. And also on www.News.Va from CTV and Vatican Radio.
Another source is Salt and Light TV in Canada. They will have some of the papal masses, but will also show celebrations from Notre Dame in Parish and other Holy Week devotions.
If these media assist you in entering into the mystery of Christ’s passion and resurrection, then take advantage of these presentations. But be sure to spend some time in silence with the Word and the Blessed Sacrament, and participate locally at your parish with your family and local community.
May God Bless you.
APRIL 9: PALM SUNDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD
This Sunday is Palm Sunday. Today we read Passion according to St. Matthew. Jesus tells his disciples that "this night all of you will have your faith in me shaken." The Passion of Christ is an earth-shattering event that shakes and scatters the disciples. It is an earth-shattering event for us as well, but so often we get distracted and we tune out during the reading. It is long. We have heard it before. We think we know it. Perhaps this Sunday, we can listen to the reading of the Passion as if it were the first time and remind ourselves of how much Jesus loves us.
APRIL 2: FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT
And Jesus wept. This is the shortest verse in all of scripture, but it tells us so much. Our God weeps with us. He is Lord of all, yet he knows each of us personally, intimately. He is uniquely familiar with each of us as he is with his friends Martha and Mary. Even though he knows he will raise Lazarus from the dead, he enters into the sorrow of Mary and Martha, the same way he wants to enter into our lives, our sorrow and our joys, if only we open our hearts to Him.