Holy Week and Easter Sunday (B)

BILINGUAL REFLECTIONS FOR SUNDAY

HOLY WEEK AND EASTER (B) March 29, 30, 31, April 1, 2018

Christ became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross; because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name

Wiling to learn more from their professor, once the theologian Karl Barth´s students asked him, "What is the most profound truth you learned in your studies?" He simply replied, "Jesus loves me. This I know, for the Bible tells me so."

This Holy Week, which we have started with the solemn entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem, on Palm Sunday, reaches its most important moment in the three days we call the Sacred Triduum: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter.


ON HOLY THURSDAY evening we get together to celebrate the hour of Jesus, not the Jewish Passover any more, but when “He was fully aware that he had to pass from this world to the Father, and had loved his own in this world, and would show his love for them to the end (…) he rose from supper (…) and began to wash his disciples´ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist.” (Cf. John 13: 1-15) In this way he gave his disciples and us a model to follow.

During that exiting night of the Last Supper Jesus instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist, the anticipation of the Paschal Mystery and his new covenant, “Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and after he has given thanks, broke it and said, ´This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.´ In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, ´This cup is the new covenant of my blood. Do this (…) in remembrance of me.´” (cf. I Cor. 11: 23-26)

ON GOOD FRIDAY we celebrate that afternoon when Jesus offered the supreme sacrifice of his life. The burial tells us that his death was real. Today is a day of quietness.

Today is spiritually healthful to meditate THE SEVEN LAST WORDS of Jesus on the Cross:

1st. word: "Father, Forgive them for they do not know what they do!"

2nd. word: "This day you shall be with me in paradise!"

3rd. word: "Woman, Behold your son! Son, Behold your mother!."

4th. word: "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"

5th. word: "I thirst!"

6th. word: "Father, into your hands I commend my Spirit!"

7th. word: "It is finished!" Is it the end? No, is Jesus´ triumphant maximum accomplishment.

EASTER VIGIL. With the great silence of Holy Saturday we expect the resurrection. “When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go and anoint him (…) On entering the tomb they saw a young man (…) He told them, ´Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here (…) He is going before you to Galilee, there you will see him, as he told you.´”

This, the holiest night in our liturgy, comprises four parts: the Liturgy of the Light, the Liturgy of the Word, the Baptismal Liturgy, and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. But what we celebrate is only one thing: the resurrection of Christ. These four moments of our Easter Vigil help to highlight and understand better the resurrection of Christ.

EASTER SUNDAY OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD

John 20: 1-9 - April 01, 2018

Scripture readings, prayers, and songs tell us about Christ´s resurrection. The newly baptized, the flowers, the candles, the alleluia music, and the expression of joy of our faces tell us all about Easter, and are symbols of a new Life. The darkness and death of Good Friday has been transformed by the power of the Cross. The risen Christ is our hope for a new life after our death. The fact that we celebrate Easter should tell us and others of a new meaning of life. We need to experience faith, hope, and joy in the Risen Lord.

The climax of the Good News today is told by John and gives meaning and purpose to the entire life of the Church: “On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple Jesus loved, and told them, ´They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we do not know where they put him.´ So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb (…) When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple went in (…) and he saw and believed.”

In the first official appearance of Peter to the Gentiles, he presents the kerigma of the ”good news” of Jesus. He tells them about his personal experience of the resurrection, “This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible , not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.” In the second reading Paul emphasizes the moral dimension of our faith in the resurrection.

With the resurrection of his Son, God approves everything Jesus taught and did. His death on the cross is not a defeat but victory. He was not destroyed by the religious and political powers of his time. This miracle is the cause of our salvation. Paul teaches us that if Christ did not rise, we are still in sin. He is the assurance of our eternal life. The resurrection of Christ stands at the heart of faith.

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