April 12, 2015

Companions on the Journey

EASTER WEEK 1

Our Easter church banner pictured above displays symbols of the various themes.

Our Journey begins with God who creates us, accompanies us through life, death and resurrection until we return to God in glory. Our journey is from, “glory to glory.”(2Cor.3:18) Along the way we are transformed into the image and likeness of Christ. God holds our hand on the journey and we are invited to hold the hands of our brothers and sisters on every step.

We are Companions on the Journey with God and with each other. The Two Figures shown form a Heart Shape as they companion one another in a bond of divine and human love. The word companion has its origins in two Latin roots; com-with and panis-bread. We “break bread” and share meals with the ones we love.

The Host and Chalice remind us of the precious Sacrament of the Eucharist where we share intimate communion with the Lord, our Bread of Life, and with each other.

The Cross in the center of the Host is the sign of our belief in the love of our God, Father, and Holy Spirit.

The Vertical line of the Cross calls to mind that everything, everyone and even we ourselves come From God as free gifts and grace.

The Horizontal line of the cross suggests the purpose for our lives which is to share our gifts For Others.

Our Prayer of Grace for Easter – Using Our Hands

Giving thanks before meals is a holy practice which keeps us mindful that all that we have is a gift From God.
Making a Sign of the Cross as a simple blessing or grace before a meal is a way to reflect our Mission to share our gifts For Others.
During this Lent, you are invited to give thanks with a prayer of grace before each meal.

Trace the sign of the cross, saying or thinking:

Grace means gift; we acknowledge all that comes From God and remember to share what we have and are For Others.

EASTER WEEK 1

Today is the Octave of Easter, the eighthday.  We celebrate Easter Day for eightdays because it is the central mystery of our faith.  And now for six more weeks we are invited toenter this mystery throughout the Easter Season.  It stands at theheart of our faith for several reasons. First, if God did not raise Jesus fromthe dead, then our faith is in vain. Second, if God did not raise Jesus fromthe dead, Jesus’ proclamation about the kingdom of God was false. Third, if Goddid not raise Jesus from the dead, death has conquered Jesus and we have nohope of eternal life.  Jesus has given usthe gift of eternal life through his resurrection.  It is a gift and a mystery.  It is a gift and mystery that we are invitedto pray about and reflect upon.

One of the most familiar Easter stories is of the disciples approaching the tomb on Easter morning only to find that the tomb is empty. Amazed, confused, troubled, mystified they enter the tomb. They enter the mystery of the empty tomb. The Resurrection is a mystery. It is a miracle. It is difficult to grasp intellectually. In order to understand it, we must first experience it. We must first enter into the mystery. Pope Francis in his Easter homily spoke about entering into this mystery. “To enter into the mystery means going beyond our own comfort zone, beyond the laziness and indifference which hold us back, and going out in search of truth, beauty and love. It is seeking a deeper meaning, an answer, and not an easy one, to the questions which challenge our faith, our fidelity and our very existence” (Pope Francis, Easter Vigil Homily, April 4, 2015).

The disciples found the empty tomb and then had to go out to find the Risen Lord. They went out in search of what was true, beautiful, and good. We too are encouraged to seek the Risen Lord in truth, beauty, and goodness. Where do we find the Risen Lord? In our relationships, our work, our leisure…seek what is true, beautiful and good. Seek the Risen Lord. In our work, our hardships, our troubles…seek what is true, beautiful and good.  Seek the Risen Lord. In our emptiness, our confusion, our mysteries…seek what is true, beautiful, and good. Seek the Risen Lord. In our successes, knowledge, and joys…seek what is true, beautiful, and good. Seek the Risen Lord.

Easter is not just one day, eight days, or fifty days. Easter is every day when the Lord reveals himself to us in the truth, beauty, and goodness of his creation. Enter the mystery of the empty tomb and receive the abundance of life!
Fr. Jared

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