Jesus Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia!
How beautiful it is to sing the Alleluia again on Easter! The historical fact of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is, as Dr. Ludwig Ott says, “the greatest of all Christ’s miracles, and as the fulfillment of prophecy, the strongest proof of the truth of His teaching.” If the resurrection is not
true, then nothing of which Jesus spoke and taught are of any value. Jesus Christ was not a good and holy teacher or prophet, but rather the Son of God, the Redeemer, the long awaited Messiah, who suffered for each of us, died the most innocent Man, and opened the gates of Heaven to us.
The solemnity of Holy Week points to all that He gave for our sakes. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops calls the Paschal Triduum, “liturgically one day unfolding for us the unity of Christ's Paschal Mystery.” It begins with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday evening. At this time, the Holy Oils which were consecrated at the diocesan Chrism Mass are received. Also, the Mandatum, or washing of the feet, is performed. This Mass commemorates the Institution of the Eucharist and Holy Orders. Mass concludes with a procession of the Blessed Sacrament and a period of Adoration at a reserved place such as a side chapel. This evokes the time of Our Lord’s agony in the garden of Gethsemane. The sanctuary is stripped
bare in preparation for the Good Friday Celebration of the Lord’s Passion. Usually held at 3 o’clock, this includes readings which meditate on the Passion of Christ, adoration of the cross, reception of Holy Communion which has been reserved from the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, and prayers of intercession for the whole world. The Triduum concludes with the Easter Vigil Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord. This is the most beautiful liturgy of all, and celebrates the glorious victory of Our Lord over sin and death. It includes four parts: The Service of Light; the Liturgy of the Word; the Liturgy of Baptism; and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
Let us follow Christ through His Passion. He shows us the way. At Easter, we may fully rejoice in His Resurrection, our redemption! He is Risen indeed; Alleluia!
April 1, 2015