A Lectio Divina Approach to the Sunday and Weekday Liturgy

 

BREAKING THE BREAD OF THE WORD (Series 10, n.19)

HOLY WEEK – EASTER TRIDUUM: April 1-7, 2012**

 

(N.B. The pastoral tool BREAKING THE BREAD OF THE WORD: A LECTIO DIVINA APPROACH TO THE SUNDAY LITURGY includes a prayerful study of the Sunday liturgy of Year B from three perspectives. For reflections on the Sunday liturgy based on the Gospel reading, please scroll up to the “ARCHIVES” above and open Series 1. For reflections based on the Old Testament reading, open Series 4. For reflections based on the Second Reading, open Series 7. Please go to Series 10 for the back issues of the Weekday Lectio.

 

Series 10 presents A LECTIO DIVINA APPROACH TO THE SUNDAY - WEEKDAY LITURGY: April 1-7, 2012. The following reflections are based on the weekday liturgy’s Gospel reading.)

 

***

 

April 1, 2012: PALM SUNDAY OF THE LORD’S PASSION

 “LENT: A Time to Contemplate the Sacrifice that Leads Us from Brokenness to Wholeness”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Is 50:4-7 // Phil 2:6-11 // Mk 14:1-15:47

 

 

I. BIBLICO-LITURGICAL REFLECTIONS: A Pastoral Tool for the LECTIO

 

The Palm Sunday celebration helps us to contemplate the Suffering Servant who faces adversity bravely and unselfishly. Jesus is the ultimate Servant of God who brings to fulfillment the logic of the cross, which is a sacrificial love to bring life to others. The mystery of the passion of Christ is not a mystery of death alone, but a mystery of love that triumphs over death. Jesus is wounded for our offenses that we may be healed. His sacrificial love leads us from brokenness to wholeness. The sacrificial love of the saving Lord Jesus is the focus of our contemplation this Holy Week, a season of beauty and grace ushered in by the celebration of the Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion.

 

It is only in the context of love that suffering can have meaning. Jesus Christ, in his passion, loves us to the end. The mystery of Christ’s sacrificial love – often unrequited - endures through time and space and continues to be replicated in the men and women of today. The following story illustrates this.

 

My mom had one eye. I hated her … She was such an embarrassment. She cooked for students and teachers to support her family. There was this one day during elementary school when my mom came to say hello to me. I was so embarrassed. How could she do this to me? I ignored her, threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school, one of my classmates said, “EEEE! Your mom only has one eye!” I wanted to bury myself. I also wanted my mom just to disappear. I confronted her that day and said, “If you’re only going to make me a laughing stock, why don’t you just die?” My mom did not respond. I didn’t even stop to think for a second about what I had said, because I was full of anger. I was oblivious to her feelings.

 

I wanted out of that house, and have nothing to do with her. So I studied real hard, got a chance to go abroad to study. Then, I got married. I bought a house of my own. I had kids of my own. I was happy with my life, my kids and the comforts. Then one day, my mother came to visit me. She hadn’t seen me in years and she didn’t even meet her grandchildren. When she stood by the door, my children laughed at her, and I yelled at her for coming over uninvited. I screamed at her, “How dare you come to my house and scare my children! GET OUT OF HERE! NOW!!!” And to this, my mother quietly answered, “Oh! I’m sorry. I may have gotten the wrong address,” and she disappeared out of sight.

 

One day, a letter regarding a school reunion came to my house. So I lied to my wife that I was going on a business trip. After the reunion, I went to the old shack just out of curiosity. My neighbors said that she died. I did not shed a single tear. They handed me a letter that she wanted me to have.

 

“My dearest son, I think of you all the time. I’m sorry that I came to your house and scared your children. I was so glad when I heard you were coming for the reunion. But I may not be able to even get out of bed to see you. I’m sorry that I was a constant embarrassment to you when you were growing up. You see… when you were very little you got into an accident, and lost your eye. As a mother, I couldn’t stand watching you having to grow up with one eye. So I gave you mine. I was proud of my son who was seeing a whole new world for me, in my place, with that eye. With all my love to you … Your mother.”

 

 

II. POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART: A Pastoral Tool for the MEDITATIO 

 

Do we give ourselves the time and leisure to contemplate the saving events of the Lord’s passion, death and resurrection? Do we commit ourselves to glean the lessons of beauty and grace offered by the liturgy of the Holy Week and the Easter Triduum? Do we respond with love to our Lord Jesus, who loved us to the end?

 

 

 

 

 

III. PRAYING WITH THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the ORATIO

 

Loving Father,

we thank you for Jesus, the ultimate Suffering Servant,

who loved us to the end.

He immersed himself fully into the bloodbath of passion and death

that we may live.

We are heartily sorry for our sins

and for our indifference to his sacrificial love.

By his suffering and death

enfold us with new life.

By his wounds heal us.

By his brokenness make us whole.

We love you and serve you,

the God mercy and compassion,

now and forever. Amen.

 

 

IV. INTERIORIZATION OF THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the CONTEMPLATIO

 

The following is the bread of the living Word that will nourish us throughout the day. Please memorize it.

 

            “My soul is sorrowful even to death.” (Mk 14:34)

 

 

V. TOWARDS LIFE TRANSFORMATION: A Pastoral Tool for the ACTIO   

 

Meditate on the passion of Christ and thank God for this saving grace. Imitate Christ’s sacrificial love especially when our personal giving is not requited or justly recognized.

***

 

April 2, 2012: MONDAY OF THE HOLY WEEK

 “LENT: A Time to Anoint His Feet with the Ointment of Love”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Is 42:1-7 // Jn 12:1-11

 

 

I. BIBLICO-LITURGICAL REFLECTIONS: A Pastoral Tool for the LECTIO

 

 

I remember vividly a beautiful gesture of love that I witnessed sixteen years ago. I was in O’Connor Hospital at the bedside of Sr. Cornelia De Toffoli, the local superior of our religious community in San Jose, CA-USA. She was dying of cancer, but the outpouring of love and care given her was consoling. A nurses’ aide assigned that day spoke to me, “When I finish my duty this afternoon, I will come and trim Sister’s toe nails.” Indeed, she came back with a nail cutter and lovingly did a pedicure on Sr. Cornelia. On the following day - March 29, 1996 - Sr. Mary Cornelia peacefully passed away. The kind gesture of that nurses’ aide, giving extra care outside official working hours to a dear patient, touched me deeply. Like Mary of Bethany in today’s Gospel, she “anointed” Sister’s feet with an “ointment of love”.

 

Today we contemplate Mary of Bethany’s loving gesture for the Divine Master, who had restored her brother, Lazarus, to life. Her prodigious love for Jesus is expressed in the quality and prodigal amount of ointment she used to anoint his feet. Jesus perceives the anointing as Mary’s last act of charity done to him. In Judaism, burying the dead ranked above almsgiving as a greater work of charity. There will always be the opportunity to give alms to the poor, but Mary’s anointing is an ultimate act done to Jesus in preparation for his burial. The precious ointment used by Mary fills the Bethany house with fragrance just as the scent of burial oils pervades a tomb. Mary’s “oil of love” exudes a fragrance of life that dispels the looming stench of death. As we journey with Jesus from Bethany to his paschal destiny in Jerusalem, we too are called to anoint his feet with our very own “ointment of love”.  Jesus Lord invites us to share intimately in his passion, death and resurrection.

 

 

 

II. POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART: A Pastoral Tool for the MEDITATIO

 

Is my love for Jesus as generous and prodigious as that of Mary of Bethany?  Am I willing to anoint his feet with an “ointment of love”?

 

 

III. PRAYING WITH THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the ORATIO

 

Loving Jesus, you journey to your paschal destiny. Stay with us for a while. Make our hearts a little Bethany to give you welcome and comfort. Like your friend Mary, we anoint your feet with an “ointment of love” in preparation for your victorious struggle against the power of death and sin. Let the fragrance of life-love dispel the stench of death brought by our disobedience to the Father’s saving will. Help us to be generous and prodigious in pouring out our life-love for you. Free us from the tomb of despair. Let your sacrificial death be for us the beginning of new and eternal life. We love and serve you, our Lord and Master, now and forever. Amen.

 

 

IV. INTERIORIZATION OF THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the CONTEMPLATIO

 

The following is the bread of the living Word that will nourish us throughout the day. Please memorize it.

 

“Mary anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair.” (cf. Jn 12:3)

 

 

V. TOWARDS LIFE TRANSFORMATION: A Pastoral Tool for the ACTIO

 

In this Holy Week, by your act of practical charity, “anoint” with an “ointment of love” a person who is deeply distressed and troubled.

 

 

***

 

April 3, 2012: TUESDAY OF THE HOLY WEEK

“LENT: A Time to Trust in a Love that Surpasses Betrayal”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Nm 21:4-9 // Jn 13:21-33,36-38

 

 

I. BIBLICO-LITURGICAL REFLECTIONS: A Pastoral Tool for the LECTIO

One day, a Persian nobleman was walking in his garden when a man climbed over the wall and approached him. He was fleeing a lynch-mob bent on killing him. The nobleman, who had authority to grant amnesty, had pity on this man because he was going to be killed. The nobleman was eating a peach at the time, so he broke off part of the peach and shared it with the man. When the clamoring mob finally came into the garden to pursue the man, the nobleman said, “What did he do?” The people replied, “He just committed a murder and the murder victim was your son.” The man was brokenhearted to learn that his son had been killed and that the culprit was the man with whom he had just shared his peach. But he said, “I’ve shared food with you. I am covenanted with you. We’ve shared food together, so you are free to live. Go in peace.”

Like the compassionate Persian nobleman, Jesus is covenanted to us. The love of Jesus is stronger than our guilt and betrayals, our foibles and failings. The covenant of love that Jesus seals in the paschal meal is sacred. Jesus, on the night of the Last Supper, shares food with his disciples. But Judas will betray him and Peter will deny him. The perfect love of Jesus, however, asserts itself even in the face of denials and betrayals. He gives a morsel of food to Judas as a gesture of love. Judas does not respond, but simply carries out his evil intent of betrayal. Jesus warns Peter that he will deny him. Peter does not heed Jesus, but instead boastfully asserts his readiness to die for him. Peter soon realizes that he can not rely on his purported love for Jesus for he is a weakling, but rather on Jesus’ rock-strength love for him. We too are called to trust in Jesus’ covenant love – a love stronger than death - a love radically revealed by his death on the cross. As we commit ourselves to Jesus, we overcome the evil effects of betrayals and denials. His healing love transforms us and we resolutely continue our Lenten journey from brokenness to wholeness.

 

II. POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART: A Pastoral Tool for the MEDITATIO

Are we guilty of denial and betrayal of Jesus? Do we trust in his love that surpasses all kinds of betrayal and denial?

 

 

III. PRAYING WITH THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the ORATIO

 

Jesus, full of mercy and compassion, forgive us for the sins of denial and betrayal that we have committed against you. Forgive us for breaking the covenant of love that you have sealed with us in the paschal meal – the Eucharist. Help us to trust in you and in your perfect love that surpasses our foibles and failures, our ugliness and flaws, our brokenness and fecklessness, our weakness and pride. Give us strength to follow you faithfully on the way of the cross toward the Easter glory. You are our saving Lord, now and forever. Amen.

 

 

IV. INTERIORIZATION OF THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the CONTEMPLATIO

 

The following is the bread of the living Word that will nourish us throughout the day. Please memorize it.

 

“One of you will betray me … The cock will not crow before you deny me three times” (cf. Jn 13:21,38)

 

 

V. TOWARDS LIFE TRANSFORMATION: A Pastoral Tool for the ACTIO

 

Participate in the Rite of Reconciliation to invoke the grace of healing and in reparation for the sins of denial and betrayal committed against Jesus.

 

 

***

 

 

April 4, 2012: WEDNESDAY OF THE HOLY WEEK

“LENT: A Time to Detest the Sin of Betrayal”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Is 50:4-9a // Mt 26:14-25

 

 

I. BIBLICO-LITURGICAL REFLECTIONS: A Pastoral Tool for the LECTIO

 

I attended a very heart-rending funeral Mass last December. The son of a dear friend was slain in his apartment. The police found the victim’s decomposing body and his house totally ransacked. The assailant had first gained the trust of the victim who became a benefactor to him and his wife and children. The bereaved sister wept bitterly and cried, “How could he do this to my brother? How could he betray and hurt him? How could he do this all for money?”

 

Today’s Gospel speaks of the betrayal of Jesus by Judas, an intimate friend. Betrayal is the worst crime to commit or experience. It tears us apart at the core of our existence and inflicts pain and sadness, humiliation and death. Judas betrays Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, the compensation for a slain servant. The enormity of the betrayal is underlined by the fact that Judas shares the same food dish with Jesus, who remains steadfast in his love for this erring disciple. The Lord is deeply distressed and wants to salvage him from his despicable act. Judas has a chance to admit his sin and turn to Jesus in sorrow. But Judas chooses instead to act on his evil intent and is personally responsible for his action. Today’s liturgy reminds us that betrayal is possible even at the Eucharistic table. The Church invites us to present to the Lord our sinful tendencies and weaknesses that we may have the strength to be faithful to the Son-Servant in his paschal suffering. Our prayerful contemplation will help us detest the sin of betrayal.

 

 

II. POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART: A Pastoral Tool for the MEDITATIO

Have we experienced betrayal or have we ever betrayed someone? What was the motive for the betrayal? What did we do to rectify the betrayed relationship?

 

III. PRAYING WITH THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the ORATIO 

Lord Jesus, you were deeply troubled by the betrayal of Judas. We too have betrayed and negated your love. You have shared your body and blood with us as food and drink in the Eucharistic meal. But our thoughts, words and actions betray you because they do not mirror your self-giving love for us. We have also failed you when we refused to love and care for our needy brothers and sisters and when we refused to forgive those who have wronged us. Loving Jesus, we turn to you with contrite hearts. Heal our brokenness and bring us to wholeness of mind, body and soul. Help us to detest the crime of betrayal. We surrender ourselves to your saving will. You live and reign forever and ever.

 

IV. INTERIORIZATION OF THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the CONTEMPLATIO

 

The following is the bread of the living Word that will nourish us throughout the day. Please memorize it.

 

“Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” (cf. Mt 26:21)

 

 

V. TOWARDS LIFE TRANSFORMATION: A Pastoral Tool for the ACTIO

 

If you have betrayed the trust of another person, make an effort to rectify and heal the hurtful situation.

 

 

***

 

 April 5, 2012 (Thursday): EVENING MASS OF THE LORD’S SUPPER

“I, Your Lord and Teacher, Have Washed Your Feet”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Ex 12:1-8,11-14 / I Cor 11:23-26/ Jn 13:1-15

 

 

I. BIBLICO-LITURGICAL REFLECTIONS: A Pastoral Tool for the LECTIO

 

At the Last Supper, Jesus washes the feet of his disciples, an expression of perfect love and readiness to serve and forgive others. In this dramatic scene, the Servant-Son of God becomes the servant of humankind. The foot washing signifies his self-emptying on the wood of the cross. It is an expression of a life totally at the service of the Father’s saving will. As Jesus Master carries out the servant’s task of foot-washing, so too must his disciples wash one another’s feet and serve one another. Baptized into Jesus’ saving death, we too must be consecrated to the service of God and love each other. We too must learn to serve to the point of sacrifice and be capable of loving “to the end”.

 

A volunteer at a shelter for the homeless experienced the deepest meaning of foot washing. It was a cold winter. Into the crowded dormitory staggered a huge man who dropped down onto the floor. In an instant, he was sleeping like a log. His feet stank terribly and those around him made uproar. They wanted to put him out into the street, but the sleeping man was in deep stupor. The volunteer went to the kitchen and came back with a basin filled with warm water, a bottle of dishwashing liquid and a towel. He removed the filthy boots and the grimy socks. The stench almost made him gag. He bathed the feet with water and soaped away the stench and the dirt. When the feet were clean, he wiped them with the dishtowel. The volunteer stood up after the foot washing. A lady resident, who seemed particularly hostile to him, approached him, took his “servant’s hands” and kissed them reverently. In the meantime, the man whose feet had been washed continued to sleep!

 

 

II. POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART: A Pastoral Tool for the MEDITATIO

 

Do we imitate the spirit of service of Jesus? Do we follow his command to wash one another’s feet? Do we see the intimate connection between Jesus’ servant-action of foot-washing and his death on the cross as God’s Servant-Son?

 

 

III. PRAYING WITH THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the ORATIO

 

Lord Jesus, you teach us the way of humility and self-emptying. You are our Divine Teacher whom we love. You instill in us the spirit of service and obedient submission to the Father’s saving will. You washed the feet of your disciples and call them to share in your paschal destiny as Servant-Son. Through the sacrament of baptism, we are immersed into your life-giving sacrifice on the cross, your greatest act of servitude. Teach us to wash one another’s feet with love and devotion. Give us the grace to be totally united with you, who loved us to the end. You live and reign, forever and ever. Amen.

 

 

IV. INTERIORIZATION OF THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the CONTEMPLATIO

 

The following is the bread of the living Word that will nourish us throughout the day. Please memorize it.

 

“If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet.” (Jn 13:14)

 

 

V. TOWARDS LIFE TRANSFORMATION: A Pastoral Tool for the ACTIO

 

In your daily life, be aware of, and maximize, the many opportunities given you to “wash another’s feet” and the graces to be of service to one another.

 

***

 

 April 6, 2012: GOOD FRIDAY OF THE LORD’S PASSION

“The Passion of Christ … The Passion of the World”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Is 52:13-53:12 / Heb 4:14-16;5:7-9 // Jn 18:1-19:42

 

I. BIBLICO-LITURGICAL REFLECTIONS: A Pastoral Tool for the LECTIO

 

On Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, we celebrated the triumphant entry of the Messiah into Jerusalem as well as the saving events that resulted from it. We contemplated Jesus, who was greeted with cries of “Hosanna” by an ecstatic crowd waving palm leaves and green branches. But the triumphant welcome was a prelude to the passion of the Christ. We could sense something foreboding in the “Hosannas” of the fickle crowd. The messianic entry into Jerusalem gave a foretaste of his paschal victory and glorification as the Risen Lord, but first the Christ needed to undergo his passion. In the Holy Week liturgy, we are confronted with the harsh conditions of his victory: per crucem ad lucem – through the cross to the light of glory. Today we are to delve more deeply into the mystery of the self-abasement that leads to healing, wholeness and salvation.

 

The “obedience unto death” of Jesus Christ was the lowest depth of his humiliation. His utter self-giving on the cross, however, was life-giving and led to his greatest glory. The final redemption of humankind and creation was achieved by the passion and death of Jesus on the cross. From the total abnegation that was his sacrificial death, the movement progressed upward – to his exaltation as Lord of heaven and earth. As he did with Jesus, God the Father will also raise to the loftiest height all who humble themselves and participate in his beloved Son’s obedient suffering and supreme self-emptying on the cross.

  

The mystery of Christ’s self-emptying and obedient suffering lives on in the Church today. The passion of Christ continues to be the passion of the Church and of every Christian disciple. The recent martyrdom of Fr. Thomas Pandippall, a Carmelite of Mary Immaculate priest from India, is an example. He was brutally murdered on August 16, 2008, on his way from a mission in Burgida, Andhra Pradish, by a group of Hindu extremists who broke his hands and legs, tore out his eyes, beat him with sticks and stabbed him repeatedly (cf. “Catholic Martyrs a Daily Reality” in L’OSSERVATORE ROMANO, September 3, 2008, p. 5-6). Archbishop Joji Marampudi, Secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Andhra Pradesh, gave the following statements in an interview granted to L’OSSERVATORE ROMANO journalist, Roberto Sgaramella:

 

They killed Fr. Thomas for three reasons: because he was a religious, because he was a Christian and because he was charitable to the poor. His attackers were waiting for him on his way home from one of our missions in Burgida. He was probably waylaid at about 10:00 o’clock in the evening, not far from the village of Bellampally, an area unfortunately known for acts of violence perpetrated there by groups of Hindu fanatics. They stopped him while he was returning on his motorcycle and clubbed him with sticks. They then ferociously slashed his body with knives. I myself went there the following morning and saw his blood mingled with the dust. I saw the mess they had made of his body.

 

He was killed because Catholic missionaries take the side of the poor in this region where, in fact, a rigid form of slavery still exists, linked to farming the land. The landowners do not recognize that the peasants have any rights and use bands of Hindu fanatics to thwart anyone who attempts to improve the standard of living of the rural population. (…)

 

To be a Christian and, in particular, a Catholic, is a very courageous choice, but a choice that puts one’s own life and that of one’s relatives at risk … I would like to call the authorities’ attention to our men and women missionaries. Various groups of Sisters work constantly for the needy in relatively isolated localities where there are absolutely no policemen. They work at a serious risk to themselves. They work for children and the elderly. They help mothers and the sick. They organize classes for illiterate youth. They work trusting in God’s protection alone. They do their utmost to help their neighbor and thereby bear witness to the Gospel. I am thinking of these absolutely heroic missionary Sisters. I am thinking of the missionary priests who never fail to go to the help of the lowly as, precisely Fr. Thomas.  I am thinking of our little Church of Hyderabad. It is a small Church because of the number of the faithful but certainly large from the point of view of their heroism – heroism because of their constant witness to faith in God and in the Gospel.

 

 

 

II. POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART: A Pastoral Tool for the MEDITATIO

 

How does the Church participate in the life-giving sacrifice of Jesus? How do I live out the passion of Christ today?

 

 

 

III. PRAYING WITH THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the ORATIO

 

            Loving Father,

we thank you for the salvation that flowed forth

from the passion of your Servant-Son Jesus Christ.

Help us to participate fully

in his sacrificial offering on the cross

so that we may experience joyfully the Easter victory.

Enable us to render our eternal praise to Jesus Lord.

Help us to sing our joyful “Hosannas” to him,

now and forever. Amen.

 

IV. INTERIORIZATION OF THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the CONTEMPLATIO

 

The following is the bread of the living Word that will nourish us throughout the day. Please memorize it.

 

 “And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.” (Jn 19:30).

 

 

V. TOWARDS LIFE TRANSFORMATION: A Pastoral Tool for the ACTIO

 

Unite your sufferings with the passion of Christ and the passion of the Church.

 

 

***

 

 

April 7, 2012 (Holy Saturday Night): THE EASTER VIGIL

“He Has Been Raised”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Gn 1:1-2:2, etc. / Rom 6:3-11/ Mk 16:1-7

 

I. BIBLICO-LITURGICAL REFLECTIONS: A Pastoral Tool for the LECTIO

 

            This story, narrated by Paul Harvey, is about Philip, a nine-year-old boy who joined a Sunday school class of eight-year-olds (cf. Stories for the Heart, compiled by Alice Gray, Multromah, Publishers Inc.: Sisters, Oregon, 1996, p. 15-16). The third-graders did not welcome Philip into their group, not just because he was older, but because he was “different”. Philip suffered from Down’s syndrome with its obvious manifestations: facial characteristics, slow responses and symptoms of retardation. One Easter day, the Sunday school teacher gave each child a plastic egg that pulls apart in the middle. On that beautiful spring day each child was to go outdoors and discover some symbol of “new life” and place that symbolic seed or leaf or whatever inside the plastic egg. The teacher would open the eggs, one by one, and each youngster would explain how his/her find was a symbol of “new life”. At the appointed time, all the children “oohed” and “aahed” at the lovely symbols of new life they had hidden in the plastic eggs: flower, butterfly, leaf, etc. When the last egg was opened, there was nothing inside. “That’s not fair”, someone said. Another one muttered, “That’s stupid!” Everyone laughed. Then the teacher felt a tug on his shirt. It was Philip. Looking up, he said: “It’s mine. I did do it. It’s empty. I have new life because the tomb is empty.”

 

The resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Servant of Yahweh and the Son of God, is the stupendous and radical event that infuses meaning to the entire salvation history. All the events of Jesus’ earthly life, especially his passion and death, acquired a deeper and transformed meaning in light of his glorious resurrection. Blessed James Alberione exhorts us: “Let us contemplate Jesus, the Risen Christ.  Behold, our life!  Like Jesus, the Divine Master, we pass through many sufferings and trials so as to come to glory. Was it not necessary for Jesus to suffer, and by his suffering, to enter his glory? And so it is for us. The way to heaven is similar to the way of Calvary where Jesus died. But he broke forth from his tomb gloriously in the resurrection.”

 

            Indeed, the resurrection of the Lord is a dynamic reality that transforms those who unite themselves with him in faith. The Easter people formed by the sacrificial offering of Christ on the cross and his glorious rising to new life are called to crystallize and incarnate his gift of compassion in today’s wounded and shattered world. With the rising of Jesus from the dead, our Lenten journey from brokenness to wholeness is complete!

 

 

II. POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART: A Pastoral Tool for the MEDITATIO

 

Do we truly believe in the power of Christ’s resurrection? Do we allow this marvelous saving event to transform our lives? As an Easter people, are we ready to incarnate the Lord’s compassion in today’s world and be ardent messengers of the good news of his resurrection?

 

 

III. PRAYING WITH THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the ORATIO

(Cf. Opening Prayer, Mass of Easter Sunday)

  

God our Father,

by raising Christ your Son

you conquered the power of death

and opened for us the way to eternal life.

Let our celebration today

raise us up and renew our lives

by the Spirit that is within us.

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God for ever and ever. Amen.

 

 

IV. INTERIORIZATION OF THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the CONTEMPLATIO

 

The following is the bread of the living Word that will nourish us throughout the day. Please memorize it.

            “He has been raised!” (Mk 16:6) 

 

V. TOWARDS LIFE TRANSFORMATION: A Pastoral Tool for the ACTIO

 

Pay particular attention to the liturgy of Easter Sunday and let the joy of the resurrection event lift your minds, hearts and entire being. Write an Easter card or prepare an Easter gift for a person you know who is in most need of the joy of the Risen Lord.

 

 

***

 

 

Prepared by Sr. Mary Margaret Tapang  PDDM

 

 

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