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April 13, 2006 Edition

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Living the Scriptures
Faith Alive!
This week's readings
Pope's Prayer Intentions
Prayer for St. Raphael Cathedral

He lives:
Resurrection of Jesus fulfills God's promise

photo of Sarah Keyes

Living the Scriptures 

with St. Paul University 
Catholic Center 

Sarah Keyes 

Lent is this amazing 40-day period that we spend fasting with Jesus.

This is a sorrowful time - we deny ourselves certain worldly comforts in order to gain a mere sliver of Jesus' discomfort in the desert and his journey to the cross.

Thankfully, this is also a joyful time, as we realize in prayer the plentiful blessings we receive from the cross, mainly forgiveness of sins.

Easter Sunday
(April 16, 2006)
Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Col 3:1-4 or 1 Cor 5:6b-8
Jn 20:1-9

But today is Easter, the culmination of Lent. The tomb is found empty because Jesus is resurrected!

We celebrate with family and friends, feast on Easter dinner, and worship in Mass. This day is certainly joyful!

Upon needing to write this article, I asked myself why it is so joyful . . . What makes the resurrection such a big deal?

We spend 40 diligent days meditating on the Cross, but only one really celebrating the Resurrection. Although the Easter season is eight weeks long, our lives have returned to normal and we can easily forget about the church season, whereas in Lent we focus our minds on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, structuring our minds especially on Jesus.

As a result, my grasp on the cross is much stronger. After all, in every church, there is a crucifix - not an empty tomb. Does our faith short change Easter?

Surely not! Without Easter, Lent - especially Good Friday - is meaningless. Paul tells us in his letter to the Corinthians, "And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins" (1Cor 15:17).

Resurrection is the completion of God's promise: the coming of His Son to save us from our sins and open the gates of heaven. Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of our faith; we believe He is LIVING, ever present in our lives and in the Eucharist.

Reflection questions

• What will you do this Easter season to keep your focus on the resurrected Christ?

• How can you see the risen Christ acting in your life?

The cross is about His death. If we stop our meditations there, we lose this living aspect. This makes no sense!

I invite you to meditate on the empty tomb, its image of the burial cloths, and its significance. I urge you to spend heartfelt energy spending the next eight weeks of Easter meditating on Jesus' resurrection in order to gain a stronger understanding of our LIVING Jesus Christ.

Sarah Keyes, a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is studying elementary education. She is peer minister at St. Paul University Catholic Center.

St. Paul's Web site is www.stpaulscc.org

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Faith Alive!

Faith Alive! logo

In a Nutshell

  • The paschal mystery centers on Christ's passage from darkness to light, from death to life -- transitions beginning with suffering, ending with joy.

  • The paschal mystery is called a "mystery" because its meaning is the secret hidden in the depths of all human life.

  • Easter is the wonderful morning that never ends. The paschal mystery has everything to do with our lives now.

    Catholic News Service
    3211 Fourth St NE
    Washington DC 20017
  •  Food for Thought
    If you subtracted Easter from Christianity, you'd have an entirely different religion from the one the world has know the past 2,000 years. The life, you might say, would go out of it.

    I suppose that without Easter, Christianity still could have become a religion of wonderful teachings on how to live and of quite amazing insights that could have stood the test of time. Still, without Easter, death, it seems, would have been the end of the road.

    Without Easter, the tone of Christianity would have been so different, certainly less joyful.

    With Easter factored in, Christianity is life-giving. Because the death and resurrection of Christ are liberating, Christianity represents much more than a body of teachings and insights.

    full story

    Yes, there is something new in the world: Easter!
    By Father Gerald O'Collins, SJ

    Catholic News Service

    Some years ago when ending a course on the resurrection, the students joined me for a eucharistic liturgy. At the presentation of the gifts they each brought to the altar a gift symbolizing the Easter mystery.

    At the end of the line came two tall students, Mimi and Matthew. When they walked up with nothing in their hands, I wondered whether they would produce something from their pockets.

    full story 

    Discerning the significance of the paschal mystery
    By Father Stephen D. Ryan, OP

    Catholic News Service

    When we refer to the paschal mystery, we speak of something at faith's core. The church uses the term "paschal mystery" primarily to refer to Christ's passion, death and resurrection.

    1.These events took place at the time of the Passover (Hebrew "pesach"; Aramaic "pascha"). The word "paschal" -- derived from the Greek "pascha" and Latin "pascha," also forms of the word "passover" -- recalls this ancient rite.

    full story 

    Easter's proclamation: If we have eyes
    to see it
    By H. Richard McCord

    Catholic News Service

    "I keep reminding myself that life is changing, not ending," a friend said recently when he described how he was dealing with some difficult situations in his family and work. Looking through the eyes of faith, he was trying to see and embrace the paschal mystery unfolding in his life.

    Father Ronald Rolheiser, in his book "The Holy Longing," presents the paschal mystery as a process of transformation that begins with suffering and death and moves to new life. He uses the church's journey from Good Friday to Pentecost as a way to unfold the paschal mystery. He sees it as a five-step process:

    full story

    Faith Alive! logo
     Faith in the Marketplace
    This Week's Discussion Point:

    Share the memory of an Easter that you hope never to forget.

      Selected Response From Readers:  
    Copyright © 2006 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

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    This week's readings

    Week of April 16 - 22, 2006

    Sunday, April 16, 2006
    Easter Sunday
    The Resurrection of the Lord
    The Mass of Easter Day

    Reading I: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
    Reading II: Col 3:1-4 or 1 Cor 5:6b-8
    Gospel: Jn 20:1-9

    Monday, April 17, 2006
    Monday in the Octave of Easter
    Reading I: Acts 2:14, 22-33
    Gospel: Mt 28:8-15

    Tuesday, April 18, 2006
    Tuesday in the Octave of Easter
    Reading I: Acts 2:36-41
    Gospel: Jn 20:11-18

    Wednesday, April 19, 2006
    Wednesday in the Octave of Easter
    Reading I: Acts 3:1-10
    Gospel: Lk 24:13-35

    Thursday, April 20, 2006
    Thursday in the Octave of Easter
    Reading I: Acts 3:11-26
    Gospel: Lk 24:35-48

    Friday, April 21, 2006
    Friday in the Octave of Easter
    Reading I: Acts 4:1-12
    Gospel: Jn 21:1-14

    Saturday, April 22, 2006
    Saturday in the Octave of Easter
    Reading I: Acts 4:13-21
    Gospel: Mk 16:9-15

    Pope's Prayer Intentions

    April General Intention

    Rights of Women. That the individual, social and political rights of women may be respected in every nation.

    April Mission Intention

    Church in China. That the Church in China may carry out its evangelizing mission with serenity and in full freedom.

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    Prayer for St. Raphael Cathedral

    O God,
    Whose word is like fire,
    who spoke to Your servant Moses in the burning bush;
    who led Your people Israel out of bondage
          with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night:
    hear Your people as we call upon You
    in both need and gratitude.

    May the Cathedral fire purify Your Church
    in the Diocese of Madison
    so that our hearts may burn with the knowledge
          that Your Church is built upon the bedrock
    of Your Son, Jesus Christ.

    Through the intercession of Saint Raphael,
          Your messenger of healing,
    in union with our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI,
    and with our Bishop, Robert C. Morlino,
    may we find comfort in our affliction
    and the courage to proclaim
          the Good News of Jesus Christ,
    who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
    one God forever and ever.


    For more prayer resources visit the Office of Worship's Web page at www.straphael.org/~office_of_worship/
    (Click on the link on the main page.)

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    Diocese of Madison, The Catholic Herald
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