Quote/s of the Day – 27 December – Feast of St John the Apostle and Evangelist and the Third Day of the Christmas Octave
“Look into Peter’s wide open eyes and John’s intense gaze. Their eyes contain a mix of anxiousness and hope, the way a parent or grandparent’s eyes look at the news of an impending birth. A new life is about to emerge but there is still uncertainty because it is a mystery beyond full human comprehension or control. Peter and John’s faces capture the same sense of anticipation.
Burnand created a sparse, simple painting capturing two of the most important players in the greatest story ever told. Meditate upon their faces, as Burnand intended you to do and through them, discover the empty tomb.” (Elisabeth Ehrhard-Crises Magazine).
Oh Teach Me then, Dear Saint! An Invocation of St John, Apostle and Evangelist Unknown Author
Saint of the Sacred Heart, Sweet teacher of the Word, Partner of Mary’s woes And favourite of thy Lord!
Refrain Oh teach me then, dear Saint! The Secrets Christ taught thee; The Beatings of His Heart, And how it beat for me!
We know not all thy gifts But this Christ bids us see, That He Who so loved all, Found more to love in thee. Refrain
When the last evening came, Thy head was on His breast, Pillowed on earth, where now In Heaven the Saints find rest. Refrain
Dear Saint! I stand far off, With vilest sins opprest, Oh may I dare, like thee, To lean upon His Breast? Refrain
His Touch could heal the sick, His Voice could raise the dead, Oh that my soul might be Where He allows thy head. Refrain
The gifts He gave to thee He gave thee to impart And I, too, claim with thee His Mother and His Heart! Refrain
Christ is Risen! He is Truly Risen, Alleluia! – Thought for the day – 23 April – Tuesday of Easter Week
So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we do not know, where they have laid him.”…John 20:2
“Church of men, Church of women”
By Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)
In the Gospel, Mary of Magdala, the first person to see the open grave, rouses the two most important disciples – Peter (ecclesial office) and John (ecclesial love).
Both disciples run there “together” yet not together, for, unburdened by the cares borne by Office, Love runs faster. Yet Love yields to Office when it comes to examining the tomb and Peter thus becomes the first to view the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head and establish that no theft had occurred. That is enough to permit Love to enter, who “sees and believes” – not precisely in the Resurrection but in the correctness of all that has happened with Jesus. This is as far as the two symbolic representatives of the Church go – things have happened properly, faith in Jesus is justified, despite all the opaqueness of the situation.
It is the woman for whom this first turns into genuine belief in the Resurrection. She does not “go home” but perseveres at the place where the dead one disappeared, searching for Him.
The empty place becomes luminous, measured off by the two angels at the head and the foot. But this luminous emptiness is not enough for the Church’s love – the forgiven woman here, seems to represent the Woman herself, Mary the Mother, she has to have her one true Love. This she receives in Jesus’ call – “Mary!” With that, everything is more than complete – the sought after corpse is the eternally Living One. But she dare not hold Him, for He is on His way to the Father and earth ought not hold Him back. Instead it must consent. As it was with His Incarnation, so now with His return to the Father.
This Yes, turns into the happiness of the mission to the brethren, giving is more blessed than holding on.
The Church is Woman at her most profound depths, as woman she embraces both ecclesial office and ecclesial love, which belong together. “The woman will encompass the man” (Jer 31:22).
Christós anésti. Jesus Christ is risen! He is truly risen!
In the words of Pope Francis in the Urbi et Orbi Message of Easter 2013, “let us accept the grace of Christ’s Resurrection! Let us be renewed by God’s mercy, let us be loved by Jesus, let us enable the power of His love to transform our lives too and let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish”.
The tomb is empty. It is a silent witness to the central event of human history: the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. For almost 2,000 years the empty tomb has borne witness to the victory of Life over death. With the Apostles and Evangelists, with the Church of every time and place, we too bear witness and proclaim: “Christ is risen! Raised from the dead he will never die again; death no longer has power over him” (cf. Rom 6:9).
“Mors et vita duello conflixere mirando; dux vitae mortuus, regnat vivus” (Latin Easter Sequence Victimae paschali). The Lord of Life was dead; now He reigns, victorious over death, the source of everlasting life for all who believe.
“Dear Brothers and Sisters,
These have been days of intense emotion, a time when our soul has been stirred not only by the memory of what God has done but by His very presence, walking with us once again in the land of Christ’s Birth, Death and Resurrection. And at every step of this Jubilee Pilgrimage Mary has been with us, lighting our pilgrim path and sharing the joys and sorrows of her sons and daughters.
With Mary, Mater dolorosa, we stand in the shadow of the Cross and weep with her over the affliction of Jerusalem and over the sins of the world. We stand with her in the silence of Calvary and see the blood and water flowing from the wounded side of her Son. Realising the terrible consequences of sin, we are moved to repentance for our own sins and for the sins of the Church’s children in every age. O Mary, conceived without sin, help us on the path to conversion!
With Mary, Stella matutina, we have been touched by the light of the Resurrection. We rejoice with her that the empty tomb has become the womb of eternal life, where He who rose from the dead now sits at the Father’s right hand. With her we give endless thanks for the grace of the Holy Spirit whom the risen Lord sent upon the Church at Pentecost and whom He continually pours into our hearts, for our salvation and for the good of the human family.
Mary, Regina in caelum assumpta . From the tomb of her Son, we look to the tomb where Mary lay sleeping in peace, awaiting her glorious Assumption. The Divine Liturgy celebrated at her tomb in Jerusalem has Mary say: “Even beyond death, I am not far from you”. And in the Liturgy her children reply: “Seeing your tomb, O holy Mother of God, we seem to contemplate you. O Mary, you are the joy of the angels, the comfort of the afflicted. We proclaim you as the stronghold of all Christians and, most of all, as our Mother”.
In contemplating the Theotókos, almost at this journey’s end, we look upon the true face of the Church, radiant in all her beauty, shining with “the glory of God which is on the face of Christ” (2 Cor 4:6). O Advocate, help the Church to be ever more like you, her exalted model. Help her to grow in faith, hope and love, as she searches out and does the will of God in all things (cf. Lumen gentium, n. 65). O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!”