Christ is Risen from the dead,
by death He trampled Death
And to those in the tombs,
He granted Life!
Let all pious men and women and all lovers of God rejoice in the splendor of this feast; let the wise servants blissfully enter into the joy of their Lord; let those who have borne the burden of the Fast now receive their pay, and those who have toiled since the first hour, let them now receive their due reward; let any who came after the third hour be grateful to join in the feast, and those who may have come after the sixth, let them not be afraid of being too late; for the Lord is gracious and He receives the last even as the first. He gives rest to him who comes on the eleventh hour as well as to him who has toiled since the first: yes, He has pity on the last and He serves the first; He rewards the one and praises the effort….
O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? Christ is risen and you are abolished. Christ is risen and the demons are cast down. Christ is risen and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen and life is freed. Christ is risen and the tomb is emptied of the dead: for Christ, being risen from the dead, has become the Leader and Reviver of those who had fallen asleep. To Him be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.
(Excerpts from Easter Homily of St. John Chrysostom)
The Sisters of St. Basil wish you a most blessed and radiant celebration of the Feast of the Resurrection. May the peace, joy and hope of the Resurrection reign in your hearts!
As we enter into Holy and Great Week, we should realize how much Our Lord’s mercy is prevalent. Let us remember this fact and always rely on it. No matter how far we stray or transgress, the Father’s love will never reject us, but will embrace and transform us.
Unfortunately, it is not so uncommon for people to transgress the laws of God. It is easy to fall into sin. Most people realize that this is part of the human situation. Once this does happen, the question remains how do we approach our loving God to help us deal with our sin and despair? How does one face God after one has violated his laws? How do we feel when it gets to be too much and our sinfulness brings us to a time of despondency?
Just as a loving child needs the support of his/her parents when something is wrong, so does the person who has sinned need the loving support of God. How many of us believe that this support is there for us?
This concept must be understood by us in order to fully understand God’s mercy. His love for us will be the hand that brings us to Him and the pat on the shoulder that gives us the courage to move on. No matter how horrible the deed or how deep we fall, his love will never reject us.
- In my most sinful, darkest hours, have I remembered to fall at the feet of Jesus and seek his mercy? When I have done this, has He not always generously forgiven and comforted my despairing soul?
- Have I, in turn, sought to generously forgive others, even when they fail to seek my forgiveness?
- As I draw closer to remembering the day of sublime mercy when Jesus died for us even though we were still in sin, have I forgiven those who have wronged me and sought forgiveness of those I have wronged?
These baskets have been prepared with many of the foods from which we’ve been fasting during Great Lent. Several foods are traditionally included in the basket: yeast bread, bitter herb, wine, cheese, meat, butter, salt, and a red egg. Each item in the basket has symbolic meaning.
God has his particular designs for each person. He plans his designs before each one is born. Because of free will, given by God, it is up to each person to carry out God’s plan.
Humans do not always do in their lives what God calls them to do. Just as John the Baptist was chosen to prepare the people of Israel for Jesus coming on this earth, so God calls each person to fulfill a task for which He planned.
This week the Church reminds us of the great task God asked of Jesus – the redeeming of humankind through his death on the cross. All are reminded of the events of the last weeks and days before the death of Jesus.
- What has God planned for me in my life?
- Have I fulfilled his call? Or have I given some excuse or just said, “no”?
- What can I learn from John the Baptist, who was called before he was born?
- What can I learn from Jesus, Who was called before He was born?
By Sr. Margaret Mary Schima, OSB. From Journey Through the Great Fast. Published by Office of Religious Education, Archeparchy of Pittsburgh. November 2001.