Holy Saturday at Easter Vigil
April 3, 2021
The Easter Language: Alleluia
Jesus Christ is risen today! Alleluia! Alleluia! “He has been raised; he is not here.”
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the ultimate joy and purpose of his Incarnation (Christmas) and Passion (Lent). Jesus invites all of us to live a life of Easter. How do you live a life of Easter? How do you listen, think, talk, act or believe today? What are you looking for everyday in order to live a life of the resurrection? I would like to use the word ALLELUIA to introduce a few languages of Ester of Jesus Christ.
1)Amazing. If you and I live in the moments of Easter, we see everything with the eyes of wonder and beauty. You can hear “the spirit of life” moving and living inside you and around you. You can understand and communicate with the sun, moon, animals and nature with the language of the heart. Your heart is burning with joy.
2)Lovely. You may recognize everything is so beautiful and lovely, including You. You are lovely. You can look at yourself in the mirror and check it out. You can see God in you. And you can see others in God.
3)Lively. The Easter persons do not live in death, but in liveliness. Even if it seems to be dead and losing in life, they still believe that they will live and live eternally. Because Jesus conquers the death.
4)Evangelizing. The Easter people cannot live in a safe cage of fears and selfishness but in a free spirit of sharing. They go out and proclaim the good news of life, joy, peace and mercy of God to all people.
5)Letting-go. Many people celebrate Easter only one day. The rest of their lives is Lent. They keep holding on to the crucified Jesus. They love to visit and revisit the hurts and the hopeless experiences. Let go and let God is the strategy of Easter.
6)United: The people of Easter live and promote the spirit of unity. Our God is the God of inclusiveness and togetherness. Beware the evil language of division and hatred. The Trinity is the God of unity.
7)Illuminating. Your presence is God’s present for others. You are the light of the world. You are the salt of the earth. The world needs more light today.
8)Alive. The spirit of being alive is the spirit of celebration. Each life (yours, others’ and all creatures) is blessed by God. God said, “It is good.” Let us celebrate together our lives, faiths and families.
We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.
Let us speak and live the language of Easter!
Happy Easter! Alleluia!
Question: How do you celebrate your Easter life?
Good Friday – The Lord’s Passion
April 2, 2021
The 7 Last Words of Jesus
Good Friday is always special and unique in my heart. In Vietnam, we observe Good Friday very closely and seriously. I personally mourned in front of the crucifix in white robe and headband like I cried and mourned for my deceased loved ones. I would like to invite you to choose one of the 7 last words of Jesus on the cross and meditate on.
1. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:34. Forgiveness is the act of love. Love without forgiveness is only fantasy and illutional. Forgiveness truly comes from one who loves God and others so much that they can forget about his/her own self. Without sincere forgiveness, the world continuously and viciously lives in division, violence, suffering, hopelessness and death. We are called to forgive always. Who should you forgive now to breathe freely?
2. “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43. Paradise is unity. Unity with God is paradise. Jesus wants to be with us always. It’s up to each one of us to desire to unite with God or not. When we live in sinfulness, we are living in hell. The moment we surrender and conform our will to the Will of God, we live in true paradise. God wants us to be with God today and forever. God is gracious and merciful always. Do you want to live in paradise with God?
3. “Woman, behold your son. Son Behold your mother.” John 19:26–27. Relationship is not just important but also necessary and essential for Jesus. We only can live a meaningful life when we live in healthy and generous relationships. Children-parents relationships are sacred for God. We all have parents and families. Do not disown your loved ones. Embrace them and keep them close to your heart when you can. Strong and healthy relationships will assure us for salvation. How is your relationship with your mother/father or children?
4. “My God, My God, have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34. Feelings of loneliness, abandonment and suffering are so real. It is ok to cry out for help and clarification in our prayerful lives. Jesus cried out to his God because he loved God so much. Some of us endure in sickness, homebound and dying. If you are with those who are living in the time of sickness and dying, do not stop them to cry out to God. Be present and be attentive with them like Mother Mary stood on the foot of the cross with her son Jesus. Will you verbally cry out for help when you have a difficult time?
5. “I thirst.” John 19:28. If you and I listen well, we still hear “I thirst” today. Jesus thirsts for our love and mercy. Poor children living in immigration and refugee camps are crying out “I thirst”. People living in domestic violence, addiction and PTSD are waiting for a moment of change. People living in ignorance, corruption and sinfulness deeply desire for a moment of conversion and redemption of God. What do you ‘thirst’?
6. “It is finished.” John 19:29-30. Jesus naturally died on the cross after his body endured so much pain and affliction. Many people, including the young, do not want to continue their lives anymore because of the intensity of suffering and hopelessness. Today we need to honor those who finished their sacred vocation and mission in life for the sake of their families, country and God. May they truly live in peace and joy of God. Do you love your life?
7. “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Luke 23:46. Everyone must die. Hopefully, everyone also knows and believes where they are going to after they die. Jesus went to his Father. He lived and died for his Father. He will return to God. May we learn to entrust ourselves into God’s hands in order to live fully and peacefully every day. Are you willing to let go of your life?
Good Friday service at 3pm.
Sorry for a long message today! Ft
Fr. Tat invites you to join The Gospels of Hope this Wednesday at 7PM (CT). God bless you always! Please invite and share this Zoom link with those who might need Hope of God in their lives.
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Theme: Do you believe in the Death and the Resurrection?
On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture
that he had to rise from the dead.