Durer: The Resurrection, A.D.1510.
[Ordinary of the Mass]
[ Mass Text-Latin]
Thanks to all who attended, contributed
to, helped with, or participated in—the celebration of Holy Week and Easter.
All of these things are essential to our parish.
The Mass today is the climax of this
week that we call Holy Week, extending from Palm Sunday until Easter. And if
you have attended some of these Masses, you understand that we have been
commemorating our Lord's last week on earth: The triumphal entry into
Jerusalem; His Last Supper, establishing the Blessed Sacrament, the Mass and
the Priesthood; His crucifixion and death; and finally, today, His glorious
resurrection from the dead.
We know too that the suffering our Lord
endured was to redeem us from our own sins and from the original sin of Adam.
His resurrection is fundamentally a demonstration that He conquered sin and
death. So this feast has the tone of celebrating an heroic victory.
We ought to recognize, though, that this
feast of Easter—while it is the greatest feast of our Lord—is also our own
feast. Certainly, we have cause to celebrate, since we are the beneficiaries of
our Lord's triumph.
Let me suggest to you, though, that we
ought not look at Easter as an event that occurs today and will be over and done
with tomorrow, as though our salvation were now assured. That would be to miss
its fundamental meaning. In fact, there ought to be an element of Holy Week and
Easter in most everything we do in the spiritual life.
When we offer Mass, we not only re-live
the Last Supper, but we also re-enact the sacrifice of Calvary, and our Lord's
resurrection from the dead.
When we pray, our prayer ought not to take our redemption
and hoped for salvation for granted. There ought to be an element of Good
Friday in every prayer; doing penance, asking forgiveness for sin, and begging
God for the graces to remain strong in the faith. And then, too, there ought to
be an element of Easter in our prayer as well; rejoicing with God for His
goodness, praising Him for His glory, and thanking Him for all that He has done
Likewise we ought not to think of Lent
as a thing that is over and done with, now that Easter has rolled around.
Hopefully, all of us gained some spiritual graces from this Lent we have just
experienced. For different people it may have been different things. Some
gained a bit of self-control through fasting. Others developed a little more
regular prayer life. Some got in to the habit of saying the Rosary each day.
Some picked up the practice of spiritual reading. Maybe a few improved some
failing they saw in themselves; a quick temper, or the desire to gossip, or
whatever. A few got in the habit of coming to Mass a day or two during the
The point is that we need to retain
these practices and build on them. We may not fast as much, and we may not keep
quite the same schedule as we did for Lent, but we don't want to give up the
good habits that we worked so hard to form during Lent. Never forget that in
the spiritual life we must always be moving forward, otherwise we will fall
backward. If you have ever driven an automobile in snow, you know that once you
get it going up the hill, you must not stop—for if you do, it will slide,
backwards, down the hill—a very dangerous situation, indeed.
Remember, this is our feast as well as
our Lord's—a feast of our own victory over sin and death—a victory that we can
secure only by being Christ like. Saint Paul puts it pretty eloquently: “If
you have risen with Christ, seek the things that are above…. not the things of
this earth.” “Christ our Passover has been sacrificed …. let us keep festival
with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
We need to “purge out the old leaven of malice and wickedness,” and live our
lives as one continuous Holy Week and Easter.
“This is the day that the Lord has
made: Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”