Posts Tagged 'Holy Week'

Triduum

The three holiest days on the Catholic calendar told in pictures (with passages from the Gospel of Matthew):

Holy (Maundy) Thursday

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.  For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.  But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”

Good Friday

” Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.” And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing.  Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?”  But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.

Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished.  And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”  For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy.  While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.”

But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.  The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They said, “Barabbas!”  Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!”  Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!”

When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.”  And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”  Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.

 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him.  And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”  Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head.  And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.   

Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross.  And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull,  they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink.  Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet:
“ They divided My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.”

Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him:

THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left.  And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”  Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said,  “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”  Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.

Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, “This Man is calling for Elijah!”  Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink.  The rest said, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.”

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.

Holy Saturday

Well, that one you’ll just have to attend Mass for.

Have a blessed Triduum.



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It’s Good Friday. Do you know why?

Well, do you?

If you don’t, I suggest a reading of the Passion in all four Gospels.  That might give you a clue.  But beyond that it’s about how Christ conquered death and freed us from sin.  Jesus did something so incredibly fantastic that only God could have done it.  And God did do it. It’s entirely mind-boggling and yet so profoundly simple that for over 2000 years we’ve recognized that fact in the celebration of Christ’s death on Good Friday.  Death may be the end and yet it is only a beginning.  There’s more but I’m not going to spoil the rest of the story.

Catholics remember and celebrate this conquering of death every time at Mass.  We hear about a people waiting for a Savior, he is born, lived, we follow him into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, celebrate the Last Supper with Him and the Apostles, celebrate His death, and then His Resurrection all in an hour on Sunday.  Holy Week affords us the opportunity to slow it all down and meditate and contemplate all these events at a much slower pace.

Yet even the Catholic Church understands that this daily celebration isn’t enough.  We have to spend time meditating on each event individually rather than all together.  We can get lost or even forget why and who we are supposed to be focusing on.  Yet how many of really slow down and truly think about these events?  Think about them outside of Lent and Triduum, outside of Mass?  Do some of use even think of them at all?  For how many of us, is Mass just a chore, something to check off the list with no engagement mental, spiritual, and very basic physical input whatsoever?  Is it even something out of the ordinary or is it just like watching TV or playing a game on the computer?

We live in a world that lets us, hell encourages and orders us to, tune in, turn on, and completely drop out while posting inane information on Facebook and Twitter that makes it look like we are busy when in reality we’re so closed off from reality, from God, from other people.  We’re stuck in our little make-believe worlds and wonder when we temporarily come out of them why things don’t go the way we want and escape back into our digital make-believe worlds.  God, Jesus, people, faith all require actions from us not passive mindlessness that’s found in watching TV and posting on Facebook and Twitter.  We apply our digital make-believe worlds to God and Jesus and faith and religion and get upset when they don’t match.  They aren’t meant to match.  God and make-believe are so vastly different that they shouldn’t even be used in the same sentence.  So we find that we have trouble with conceiving of a God who would take on human flesh, become a baby, live in poverty, gather twelve men one of which would betray him, and die on a cross as criminal and abandoned by all his friends while his mother watched him die.  It’s no wonder that Jesus becomes more myth-like, more a figment of the imagination, than the real flesh and blood human who suffered to save humanity from itself.   We live in a world that doesn’t want truth as absolutes and where God would suffer the indignity and humiliation of being treated like a criminal so he could conquer death and free us to be with him for all eternity.  Sounds nuts, doesn’t it.  Yet that’s exactly what Jesus did 2000 years ago.  And that’s the world we live in.

We live with people who don’t believe in sin while they commit it.  Where people think killing unborn babies because it “inconveniences”  the mother is a good enough excuse for murder.  Where sex is advertised as god and children should be allowed to worship such a god at an early age.  Where vices are considered virtues and virtues are considered vices.  Where anger and hate for God is considered THE religion.  Where children are led to the slaughter by willing parents.  Where common sense is out and propaganda and feel good is is.

Yet that’s exactly why Jesus came and died on a cross.  For sinners.  For ALL OF US, not just a select few.  He wanted to save all of us yet so many reject the gift he gave of himself because they have been seduced by the Devil.  We are the ones that crucified him with our sins and our silence and our shouts of rejection and our support of evil.  He conquered death but we sure don’t want that gift.  That gift is free but it comes with a price.  Yet His yoke is easy and His burden light.  Yet so many would rather crucify him over and over and over again than put down the hammer and nails and accept what he did.

We need what Jesus did 2000 years ago now more than ever.  We need to remember why he did and for whom he did.  We can’t forget or trivialize or push it aside or put it off.  It’s here and it’s now.  It’s GOOD FRIDAY.

Yes, it is Holy Week. But I’m not going to blog about it.

Still keep wishing I had a better work schedule.  The one I have is not so great.  And doesn’t provide much of a weekend.

While, yes, it is Holy Week, I won’t be posing here about it.  Mainly because anything I wrote would be mud.  I may be good at word puzzles (I can do the crossword in 20 minutes, well, with a little cheating and it is the Portland Tribune which isn’t much of newspaper to begin with) but writing about something as important as Holy Week is beyond my skill set.  I don’t have the skill or talent to write elegant prose about a sublime point in the narrative in Jesus’ life.  A pretty point week of events that lead to his Resurrection and overcoming death.  I’ll leave all that to theologians, saints, and the Gospels.

I do want to point out a link to a good article about the current sex abuse scandals.  It’s by Jimmy Akin and deals with the charge that Pope Benedict XVI covered up/squashed a case in Wisconsin.  Read the article here.

What? It’s Nearly Holy Week?

Yep.  Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week.  While I should write a post dedicated to that, I’m not.  Maybe in Holy Week?  We’ll see.

As you may have noticed, I haven’t been around much.  My job keeps me pretty busy (and pretty so that all I do when I get home is sleep).  But there have been a few issues that have come up that I want to mention.

The first: veiling.  I actually have a whole article written (first draft, needs typed and edited) about the subject and how women are using it as a means to bash and oppress, yes, oppress other women.  Especially Catholics and non-Catholic Christians. I need to post the article.  It will make more sense.  But I hate how some women are using something that is a personal preference (there is no mandatory rule though there is a suggestion by St.Paul who was dealing with a specific issue of the day and said that there was no custom) to force other women to do what they want and if they don’t, they resort to name calling, finger pointing, and even ostrisizing women who don’t follow their demands.  It can even resort in outright abuse.  By women.  But the article covers it more in depth.  It’s fine if it is personal choice but it cannot be imposed except by a competent and respected authority.  The Catholic Church does not require women to veil but allows women to veil as personal, private devotion.

The second: reading materials.  I’ve been able, with no working TV or DVD player, to read many books.  Several have been especially helpful in understanding how and why people act and think the way they do. A couple of recommends:

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman

Blues for Cannibals: The Notes from Underground by Charles Bowden

Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse by Greg Jants, Ph.D. and Ann McMurray

Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror by Jeffrey Goldberg

Soldiers and Slaves: American POWs trapped by the Nazis’ final gamble by Roger Cohen

Muslim Women Reformers: Inspiring Voices Against Oppression by Ida Lichter

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi

The Media Relations Department of Hizbollah Wishes You a Happy Birthday: Unexpected Encounters in the Middle East by Neil MacFaquhar

The third: politics, well stupid politics.  “our” government in its infinite stupidity decided to pass a health care bill that hurts Americans and funds abortions while forcing people who probably can’t afford health insurance to buy it while the politicians who passed it exempted themselves from it.  Yeah, government of the people my ass.  Politicians don’t care because if they had they would of listened to us and not passed the bill.  This wasn’t a surprise to me.  We have such a pro-death anti-American government in power headed by the most pro-death anti-American pro-Arab terrorist president in history.  See why we’re in such a bad state. But this isn’t the end of the US, not if we don’t want it to be.

The fourth: the sex abuse scandals that have hit in Ireland, Italy, Germany, and Austria.  The thing is, sex abuse By ANYONE is bad.  However, the Lame Stream Media is specifically targeting the Catholic Church where the abuse, for the most part, happened 20, 20, 50 years ago.  At the time, psychologists and the those that listened to them including Bishops in the Church thought homosexuality and pedophilia were mental illnesses that could be treated.  So, yes, they covered up but that was the conventional wisdom at the time.  Plus, 50 years ago child abuse and spousal abuse and sex abuse and rape weren’t really considered crimes.  They weren’t talked about.  Now we know better and they are prosecuted.  However, by targeting one specific group denies the validity and the reality of the problem (sex abuse knows no boundaries and doesn’t discriminate by age, sex, gender, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, etc.; it’s a sick pervasion that needs to be stopped and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law) and ignores other victims who were abused but weren’t abused by Catholic clergy and religious.  Or tells these other victims that they really weren’t victims because their abusers didn’t fit a specific stereotype that the Lame Stream Media wants to hype.  Basically, if you aren’t abused by Catholic priests, you weren’t really a victim.  So go away because you won’t sell.

If there’s a fifth thing, I don’t remember it.

Have a blessed Holy Week.

Holy Week

In a week, on the holiest Saturday of the year, many people will be coming home to the Catholic Church.

Ever since I heard Christ Daughtry’s “Home” I’ve always thought it appropriate description for the journey converts take coming into the Church.

I’m staring out into the night,
Trying to hide the pain.
I’m going to the place where love
And feeling good don’t ever cost a thing.
And the pain you feel’s a different kind of pain.

I’m going home,
Back to the place where I belong,
And where your love has always been enough for me.
I’m not running from.
No, I think you got me all wrong.
I don’t regret this life I chose for me.
But these places and these faces are getting old
So I’m going home.
Well I’m going home.

The miles are getting longer, it seems,
The closer I get to you.
I’ve not always been the best man or friend for you.
But your love, remains true.
And I don’t know why.
You always seem to give me another try.

So I’m going home,
Back to the place where I belong,
And where your love has always been enough for me.
I’m not running from.
No, I think you got me all wrong.
I don’t regret this life I chose for me.
But these places and these faces are getting old.

Be careful what you wish for,
‘Cause you just might get it all.
You just might get it all,
And then some you don’t want.
Be careful what you wish for,
‘Cause you just might get it all.
You just might get it all, yeah.

Oh, well I’m going home,
Back to the place where I belong,
And where your love has always been enough for me.
I’m not running from.
No, I think you got me all wrong.
I don’t regret this life I chose for me.
But these places and these faces are getting old.
I said these places and these faces are getting old.
So I’m going home.
I’m going home.

So Welcome Home.

The Four Final Things

I meant to start this much earlier so as to go into fuller depth but at this point I’ll just post what I intend to blog about and write the depth tomorrow.  Hopefully.

Yesterday morning as I was driving into school, waiting in traffic, and listening to Evanescence, I thought about the Four Final things: Death, Judgement, Heaven, and Hell.  We as Catholics do not give as much emphasis on these topics as we used to.  Now that is not to say they are never mentioned but rather the depth and consideration they are due have been lacking.

Now we will all die.  That’s a fact of life and cannot change, regardless of those that search after immortality and super long lives.  It ain’t gonna happen folks.  Now death is not something to be feared.  We should always be aware that at any moment we could die.  Everyone dies.  Jesus died and did so for us, to save us from death.  From the consequences of our sin.  To save us from ourselves.  Lent reminds us not only about physical death but about spiritual death caused by sin.  Lent is a season of repentence, penance.  We walk the path that Jesus did: through temptation (1st Sunday of Lent Gospel reading) which leads to sin, His entrance into Jerusalem (Passion/Palm Sunday), to the Institution of the Eucharist (Holy Thursday), His handing over to be crucified (Holy Thursday and Good Friday), His Crucifixion (Good Friday), and His Resurrection (Easter Vigil, Easter Sunday).  His Death broke death’s hold over us.

We are reminded that we are sinners in need of a Savior and that that Savior is Jesus who knew what it was like to be human, who understands our weaknesses.  We are called to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, to repair the damage, the death to our souls caused by sin.  Not only that but to repair the “death” in our relationship with Jesus that was caused by our sin.  When we sin, we kill our relationship with Christ.  His grace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation heals that death, that injury to make us whole again, to heal our relationship with Him.  He understands that there are temptations and that by making use of this Sacrament and of Holy Communion along with prayer He will give us the grace and ability to fight these temptations and for us not to choose sin.

Judgement comes when we die.  There is the Particular Judgement which we will face completely on our own and the Final Judgement comes when Jesus returns.  When we die it will not matter if we made millions of dollars or wore the latest fashions or belonged to the best clubs or attended the best schools.  It will come down to how we lived our lives.  Did we follow Jesus’s command to Love God and Love our Neighbors as Ourselves?  Did we clothe the naked, feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, visit the imprisoned, care for the sick?  In essence, did we just talk the talk or did we actually walk the walk?

Heaven and Hell are the two possible places we could end up.  We want Heaven, to be in God’s presence for eternity.  But there are those through their own choice who want to go to Hell because they do not want to be in the presence of the Loving God and God will not force His presence on those who do not want it.  We choose are destination through our actions, our desire to love God or our decision to be disobedient and reject God.  We have free will.  I suggest a reading of the Catechism for a better understanding of the Church’s teaching on Heaven and Hell.  We don’t know what Heaven or Hell will be like, only that they exist.  God desires us to be with Him but He won’t force us to love Him or follow Him.

As for Lent and Holy Week, which I briefly touched on earlier, they model many key events in our faith.  I hope to write about them in other posts.

I will clarify and add Catechism references tomorrow, hopefully.

Have a Blessed and Prayer-filled Lent.


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