meeting Christ in the liturgy library

The Solemnity of the Resurrection of the Lord

and the Easter Season

Select cycle here

YEAR A
YEAR B
YEAR C

YEAR A

The Resurrection of the Lord, A
Acts 10, 34.37-43; Psalm 118; Col 3, 1-4; John 20, 1-9

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Alleluia! Christ is risen! This day is the Sunday of Sundays. On this and every Sunday we identify ourselves as members of the one Body of the risen Lord, the Church, by worshipping as one people in the Eucharistic sacrifice.

The early Christians called this day "the Day of the Sun" as did everyone else in the Roman Empire. What they meant by that was much more than could be said for the typical Roman, for whom the day marked merely one more rising and setting of the fiery orb that coursed through the skies. For the Christian this was the day on which the "rising of the Sun" reminded them of the glorious rising of the "Son" of God. Many today habitually profane the Lord's Day, going about their business with no thought of the Lord's Resurrection.

If Christ is to be our light, if we are to share one day in the new dawn of His Resurrection, we must begin now to learn to celebrate the Lord's Day in a worthy way, and according to the ancient discipline of the Christian communio, or communion, and the law of Christ.

In the Eucharistic Sacrifice we offer the perfect prayer of Christ, the perfect means of keeping the Lord's Day holy. Our indifference to the Mass condemns us as indifferent to Christ Himself. Worship with the Christian communio is not an option among options. It expresses and makes present the core reality of our identity as Christians. Without the Lord, as he manifests Himself in Word and Sacrament, it is impossible for us to look forward to heaven and eternal joy. 'Without me," he warns, "you can do nothing."

The Catechism teaches that the day of the Resurrection is the beginning of the new creation.

"Jesus rose from the dead 'on the first day of the week.' (Jn 20:1) Because it is the 'first day,' the day of Christ's Resurrection recalls the first creation. Because it is the 'eighth day' following the Sabbath, (Mk 16:1) it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ's Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord's Day (he kuriaka hemera, dies dominica) - Sunday: We all gather on the day of the sun, for it is the first day [after the Jewish Sabbath, but also the first day] when God, separating matter from darkness, made the world; on this same day Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead (St. Justin, Apology) (CCC 2174)
I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy" -Father Cusick (Publish with permission.) www.christusrex.org/www1/mcitl/


SECOND Sunday of Easter, A

Acts 2, 1-11; Psalm 104; 1 Cor 12, 3-7; 12-13; John 20, 19-31

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Today we hear that the apostles, imprisoned and bound by fear, have locked themselves into the upper room, and that "Jesus came and stood before them...Then he breathed on them and said: 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive men's sins, they are forgiven them; if you hold them bound, they are held bound.' " In this Easter season, we celebrate the Divine gift of the third person of the Blessed Trinity, the Holy Spirit, as an outpouring of the Risen Christ. Today the Church shares in the Resurrection and the life of Christ by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. What does this gift mean to the Church? The peace of Christ, always ours with the forgiveness of our sins. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) teaches us what the Church has always believed when we say in the Creed: "I believe in the forgiveness of sins," our gift for salvation in the Holy Spirit. The Creed links "the forgiveness of sins" with its profession of faith in the Holy Spirit, for the risen Christ entrusted to the apostles the power to forgive sins when he gave them the Holy Spirit. Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of the forgiveness of sins: it unites us to Christ, who died and rose, and gives us the Holy Spirit. By Christ's will, the Church possesses the power to forgive the sins of the baptized and exercises it through bishops and priests normally in the sacrament of Penance. "In the forgiveness of sins, both priests and sacraments are instruments which our Lord Jesus Christ, the only author and liberal giver of salvation, wills to use in order to efface our sins and give us the grace of justification." (CCC, 984-987) If you would be preserved "from all anxiety", as we pray in the Mass, regularly practice the Sacrament of Confession. The Holy Spirit will give you the peace of confidence in Christ's saving passion and Resurrection.

Looking forward to meeting you here again next week, as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy" -Father Cusick (Publish with permission.)


THIRD Sunday of Easter, A

Acts 2, 14. 22-28; Psalm 16; 1 Pt 1, 17-21; Luke 24, 13-35

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
We are led to the Easter Christ in the Eucharist by this beautiful and moving account of our Lord's appearance to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, in the gospel according to Saint Luke, chapter twenty-four, verses thirteen to thirty-five. Shattered as they were by His crucifixion and death, news of which had been passed throughout the cities and towns from Jerusalem, the disciples were in need of the greatest gift this side of heaven, to fill them again with hope, to give them undying faith in the Risen Lord. And so the Catechism leads our thoughts to the presence of the risen Lord whom we worship, adore, praise and receive in the Mass, the "Lord's Supper."
The Sacrament of the Eucharist is known by this and other titles, discussed in the Catechism.
"The Lord's Supper, because of its connection with the supper which the Lord took with his disciples on the eve of his Passion and because it anticipates the wedding feast of the Lamb in the heavenly Jerusalem.(1Cor 11:20; Rev 19:9)
"The Breaking of Bread because Jesus used this rite, part of a Jewish meal, when as master of the table he blessed and distributed the bread, (Mt 14:19; 15:36; Mk 8:6,19) above all at the Last Supper. (Mt 26:26; 1 Cor 11:24) It is by this action that his disciples will recognize him after his Resurrection, (Luke 24:13-35) and it is this expression that the first Christians will use to designate their Eucharistic assemblies; (Acts 2:42, 26; 20:7, 11) by doing so they signified that all who eat the one broken bread, Christ, enter into communion with him and form but one body in him.(1 Cor 10:16-17)
"The Eucharistic assembly (synaxis), because the Eucharist is celebrated amid the assembly of the faithful, the visible expression of the Church. (1 Cor11: 17-34)
The Eucharist is the Easter Sacrament. In the Eucharist we meet, know and possess God incarnate, our Lord Jesus Christ.(CCC 1329) I look forward to meeting you here again next week, as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy" -Father Cusick (Publish with permission.)


YEAR B

 

The Easter Vigil, B
Genesis 1:1 - 2:2; Psalm 104; Genesis 22: 1-18; Psalm 16; Exodus 14: 15 - 15: 1; Exodus 15: 1-2. 3-4. 5-6. 17-18; Isaiah 54: 5-14; Psalm 30; Isaiah 55: 1-11; Isaiah 12: 2-3. 4. 5-6; Baruch 3: 9-15. 32 - 4:4; Psalm 19; Ezekiel 36: 16-28; Psalm 42; Romans 6: 3-11; Psalm 118; Mark 16, 1-8.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

Tertullian, an African Church Father who converted to Christianity around 197 A.D., testifies: "Belief in the resurrection of the dead has been an essential element of the Christian faith from its beginnings. 'The confidence of Christians is the resurrection of the dead; believing this we live.' " (CCC 991)

The Catechism recommends St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians as we meditate on our belief in the Resurrection of the Body:

How can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain....But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Cor 15:12-14)

Consider this from an Easter homily by Melito of Sardis, bishop:

"The Lord, though he was God, became man. He suffered for the sake of those who suffer, he was bound for those in bonds, condemned for the guilty, buried for those who lie in the grave; but he rose from the dead, and cried aloud: Who will contend with me? Let him confront me. I have freed the condemned, brought the dead back to life, raised men from their graves. Who has anything to say against me? I, he said, am the Christ; I have destroyed death, triumphed over the enemy, trampled hell underfoot, bound the strong one, and taken men up to the heights of heaven: I am the Christ.

Come, then, all you nations of men, receive forgiveness for the sins that defile you. I am your forgiveness. I am the Passover that brings salvation. I am the lamb who was immolated for you. I am your ransom, your life, your resurrection, your light, I am your salvation and your king. I will bring you to the heights of heaven. With my own right hand I will raise you up, ad I will show you the eternal Father."

Christ is truly risen! Alleluia!

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy" -Father Cusick (Publish with permission.) www.christusrex.org/www1/mcitl/


The Resurrection of the Lord, B

Acts 10, 34. 37-43; Psalm 118;
Col 3, 1-4; John 20, 1-9

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Resurrexit sicut dixit! Alleluia! He is risen as he said! Alleluia!

This day is the Sunday of Sundays. On this and every Sunday we identify ourselves as members of the one Body of the risen Lord, the Church, by worshipping as one people in the Eucharistic sacrifice.

The early Christians called this day "the Day of the Sun" as did everyone else in the Roman Empire. What they meant by that was much more than could be said for the typical Roman, for whom the day marked merely one more rising and setting of the fiery orb that coursed through the skies. For Christians this was the day on which the rising of the "Sun" ever reminded them of the glorious rising of the "Son" of God. Many today habitually profane the Lord's Day, going about their business with no thought of the Lord's Resurrection.

If we desire to live forever in light and love we must share now in the new dawn of the Lord's Resurrection. We do so when we learn to celebrate the Lord's Day in a worthy way, and according to the ancient discipline of the Christian communio, or communion, and the law of Christ.

In the Eucharistic Sacrifice we offer the perfect prayer of Christ, the perfect means of keeping the Lord's Day holy. Our indifference to the Mass condemns us as indifferent to Christ Himself. Worship with the Christian communio is not an option among options. It expresses and makes present the core reality of our identity as Christians. Without the Lord, as he manifests Himself in Word and Sacrament, it is impossible for us to look forward to heaven and eternal joy. 'Without me," he warns, "you can do nothing."

The Catechism teaches that the day of the Resurrection is the beginning of the new creation.

"Jesus rose from the dead 'on the first day of the week.' (Jn 20:1) Because it is the 'first day,' the day of Christ's Resurrection recalls the first creation. Because it is the 'eighth day' following the Sabbath, (Mk 16:1) it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ's Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord's Day (he kuriaka hemera, dies dominica) - Sunday:

We all gather on the day of the sun, for it is the first day [after the Jewish Sabbath, but also the first day] when God, separating matter from darkness, made the world; on this same day Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead." (St. Justin, Apology) (CCC 2174)

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy" -Father Cusick
(Publish with permission.) www.christusrex.org/www1/mcitl/


SECOND Sunday of Easter, B
Acts 4, 32-35; Psalm 118; 1 John 5, 1-6; John 20, 19-31

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

Today we hear that the apostles, bound by the imprisonment of fear, have locked themselves into the upper room, and that "Jesus came and stood before them...Then he breathed on them and said: 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive men's sins, they are forgiven them; if you hold them bound, they are held bound.' "

In this Easter season, we celebrate the Divine gift of the third person of the Blessed Trinity, the Holy Spirit, as an outpouring of the Risen Christ. Today the Church shares in the Resurrection and the life of Christ by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. What does this gift mean to the Church? The peace of Christ, always ours with the forgiveness of our sins.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) teaches us what the Church has always believed by professing in the Creed "I believe in the forgiveness of sins": our gift for salvation in the Holy Spirit. The Creed links "the forgiveness of sins" with profession of faith in the Holy Spirit because the risen Christ entrusted to the apostles the power to forgive sins when he gave them the Holy Spirit. Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of the forgiveness of sins: it unites us to Christ, who died and rose, and gives us the Holy Spirit. By Christ's will, the Church possesses the power to forgive our sins after baptism and exercises it through bishops and priests normally in the sacrament of Penance.

"In the forgiveness of sins, both priests and sacraments are instruments which our Lord Jesus Christ, the only author and liberal giver of salvation, wills to use in order to efface our sins and give us the grace of justification." (CCC 984-987)

If you would be preserved "from all anxiety" as we pray in the Mass, regularly practice the Sacrament of Confession. Salvation begins now as we are released from the bonds of fear and anxiety, in the first place by the forgiveness of our sins. Confession is an Easter sacrament. Celebrate Easter: celebrate Confession. The Holy Spirit will give you the peace of confidence in Christ's saving passion and Resurrection.

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy" -Father Cusick
(Publish with permission.) www.christusrex.org/www1/mcitl/


THIRD Sunday of Easter, B
Acts 3, 13-15. 17-19; Psalm 4; 1 John 2, 1-5; Luke 24, 35-48

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

At Emmaus Jesus gave his Body and Blood as he celebrated the Eucharist. There the disciples encountered the Easter Christ: "they had come to know Jesus in the breaking of bread." (Lk 24, 25) "Breaking of bread" is an ancient name for the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass. Each of us relives the wonder and awe of Emmaus at every Mass. We "know Jesus the Lord" in the most perfect way outside of heaven itself as the priest, acting in the person of Christ, offers the Mass. In this way we encounter the Resurrection as an historical and transcendent event. Earth and heaven come together in Jesus the God-Man as he appears before us on the altar of sacrifice.

"The mystery of Christ's resurrection is a real event, with manifestations that were historically verified, as the New Testament bears witness. In about a.d. 56, St. Paul could already write to the Corinthians: "I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve..." (1 Cor 15:3-4) The Apostle speaks here of the living tradition of the Resurrection which he had learned after his conversion at the gates of Damascus. (Cf. Acts 9:3-18)" (CCC 639)

The Gospel records the appearances of the risen Christ and tells of the panic and fright, the joy and wonder of the women and the Apostles who first saw him. This is put down in writing so that we may know, even as we experience the same lack of belief as they surely did, that Christ really and truly rose from the dead. We must through God's grace overcome our lack of belief and embrace the virtue of faith more and more. "Lord I believe, help my unbelief." Without faith we cannot freely choose to love God as he commands us to do. It is through the virtue of love, freely chosen, of Jesus the risen Lord, encountered in faith, that we hope to share in the Resurrection of the Lord. Even the beautiful accounts of Jesus in the Gospel are only fully understood and accepted by faith. The Easter gift of the Eucharist is the fount of these and all the gifts of grace.

"Mary Magdalene and the holy women who came to finish anointing the body of Jesus, which had been buried in haste because the Sabbath began on the evening of Good Friday, were the first to encounter the Risen One. (Mk 16:1; Lk 24:1; Jn 19:31, 42) Thus the women were the first messengers of Christ's Resurrection for the apostles themselves. (Cf. Lk 24:9-10; Mt 28:9-10; Jn 20:11-18) They were the next to whom Jesus appears: first Peter, then the Twelve. Peter had been called to strengthen the faith of his brothers, (Cf. 1 Cor 15:5; Lk 22:31-32) and so sees the Risen One before them; it is on the basis of his testimony that the community exclaims: "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!" (Lk 24:34, 36)" (CCC 641) Be a messenger of the Resurrection; live the glory of Easter through the transcendent gifts of faith, hope and love.

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy" -Father Cusick
(Publish with permission.) http://www.christusrex.org/www1/mcitl/


FOURTH Sunday of Easter, B

Acts 4, 8-12; Psalm 117; 1 John 3, 1-2; John 10, 11-18

Alleluia! Christ is risen!



Jesus Christ is truly risen. Through the glory of the Resurrection the triune God reveals himself so that we may believe. "Christ's Resurrection is an object of faith in that it is a transcendent intervention of God himself in creation and history. In it the three divine persons act together as one, and manifest their own proper characteristics. The Father's power 'raised up' Christ his Son and by doing so perfectly introduced his Son's humanity, including his body, into the Trinity. Jesus is conclusively revealed as 'Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his Resurrection from the dead.' (Rom 1:3-4; cf. Acts 2:24) St. Paul insists on the manifestation of God's power (Cf. Rom 6:4; 2 Cor 13:4; Phil 3:10; Eph 1:19-22; Heb 7:16) through the working of the Spirit who gave life to Jesus' dead humanity and called it to the glorious state of Lordship." (CCC 648)

But, many ask, how do we know here and now that this God-Man has risen for us, that we now share in his life, that we too will rise again? "I am the Resurrection and the Life", says the Lord, "he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live." (Jn 11:25) Our belief is his gift that we may have life "abundantly". (Jn 10:10) But by this faith we are to live in relationship to Christ, finding security and sustenance in him: "I am the door; if anyone enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and will find pasture." (Jn 10:9)

There is a door through which all of us must pass: the door of death which leads beyond this earthly life. Jesus Christ has gone through this door, having died according to the flesh, and he has revealed that death has no power over him because he is Lord of life. He has returned from that journey to tell us the way, to show us how to live so that when we die we need have no fear of death's danger. Again and again he greets us with the words "Peace be with you" after his Resurrection. Peace is ours because all fear is cast out when we place perfect faith in Him who is Life and who gives life. For those who love Him and surrender to His lordship Christ is the door. Whoever departs this world through him will be "safe". How do we enter the sheepfold? Where in the world is the "gate" of which Jesus speaks? Who are the thieves and hirelings of whom we must beware?

"You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.' ( Mt 16:18) Christ, the 'living stone,' (1 Pet 2:4) thus assures his Church, built on Peter, of victory over the powers of death. Because of the faith he confessed Peter will remain the unshakable rock of the Church. His mission will be to keep this faith from every lapse and to strengthen his brothers in it. (Cf. Lk 22:32)" (CCC 552)

An ancient saying helps us to find our way: "where Peter is, there is the Church", ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia. "Jesus entrusted a specific authority to Peter: 'I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.' (Mt 16:19) The 'power of the keys' designates authority to govern the house of God, which is the Church. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, confirmed this mandate after his Resurrection: 'Feed my sheep.' (Jn 21:15-17; cf. 10:11) The power to 'bind and loose' connotes the authority to absolve sins, to pronounce doctrinal judgments, and to make disciplinary decisions in the Church. Jesus entrusted this authority to the Church through the ministry of Peter, the only one to whom he specifically entrusted the keys of the kingdom." (CCC 553)

The choice is ours to make. If we are to be preserved from the "powers of death", the curse of those who pass through the "gates of Hades", then we must live in the Church against which the jaws of death shall never prevail. We must surrender to the governance of the Holy Father as to Christ himself: in absolution, doctrine and discipline.

The Church, in union with Peter the rock throughout the world, is the gate through which all men go to eternal life. Blessed be God who has given the gift. Now it is up to us to preach and live the truth about the Church, "house of God and gate of heaven", in which we confidently and joyfully look forward to passing safely through the danger of death into the eternal embrace of the triune God.

Let us pray: Almighty and ever-living God, give us new strength from the courage of Christ our shepherd, and lead us to join the saints in heaven, where he lives and reigns with you and the holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. (Opening prayer for today's liturgy.)

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy" -Father Cusick

(Publish with permission.) http://www.christusrex.org/www1/mcitl/


FIFTH Sunday of Easter, B

Acts 9, 26-31; Psalm 22; 1 John 3, 18-24; John 15, 1-8

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
"Jesus says, 'I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." (Jn 15:5)

"The fruit referred to in this saying is the holiness of a life made fruitful by union with Christ. When we believe in Jesus Christ, partake of his mysteries, and keep his commandments, the Savior himself comes to love, in us, his Father and his brethren, our Father and our brethren. His person becomes, through the Spirit, the living and interior rule of our activity. 'This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.' (Jn 15:12)" (CCC 2074)

The branches exist to draw life from the vine so as to bear fruit. Failing to do so they are useless: cut down, thrown out, good only for fueling the flames of a fire. "If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned." (Jn 15: 6) So that we may live as fruitful branches in intimate union with Christ, the true vine, he has given us the Church, his true body in the world.

"The mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit is brought to completion in the Church, which is the Body of Christ and the temple of the Holy Spirit. This joint mission henceforth brings Christ's faithful to share in his communion with the Father in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit prepares men and goes out to them with his grace, in order to draw them to Christ. The Spirit manifests the risen Lord to them, recalls his word to them and opens their minds to the understanding of his Death and Resurrection. He makes present the mystery of Christ, supremely in the Eucharist, in order to reconcile them, to bring them into communion with God, that they may 'bear much fruit.' (Jn 15: 8,16)" (CCC 737)

The Church is not a way to Christ, as simply one choice among others, but the way to Christ. "Thus the Church's mission is not an addition to that of Christ and the Holy Spirit, but is its sacrament: in her whole being and in all her members, the Church is sent to announce, bear witness, make present, and spread the mystery of the communion of the Holy Trinity." (CCC 738)

St. Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria (d. 444), teaches why our communion with the Triune God happens in the fullest and most perfect way in this life in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church:

"All of us who have received one and the same Spirit, that is, the Holy Spirit, are in a sense blended together with one another and with God. For if Christ, together with the Father's and his own Spirit, comes to dwell in each of us, though we are many, still the Spirit is one and undivided. He binds together the spirits of each and every one of us,...and makes all appear as one in him. For just as the power of Christ's sacred flesh unites those in whom it dwells into one body, I think that in the same way the one and undivided Spirit of God, who dwells in all, leads all into spiritual unity." (CCC 738)

Seek the opportunity for daily participation in the liturgy; draw from the Eucharistic sacrifice the life-blood of Christ the vine that you may bear fruit that will last: heart, mind, soul and strength aflame with God's love unto life eternal!

Let us pray: God our Father, look upon us with love. You redeem us and make us your children in Christ. Give us true freedom and bring us to the inheritance you promised. (From opening prayer for today's liturgy.)

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy" -Father Cusick
(Publish with permission.) http://www.christusrex.org/www1/mcitl/


SIXTH Sunday of Easter, B

Acts 10, 25-26. 34-35. 44-48; Psalm 98 (97);
1 John 4, 7-10; John 15, 9-17

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

Everybody needs love. It is when we look for love "in all the wrong places", as the popular song goes, that unhappiness results. 100% genuine real love comes only from God. The commandments protect us from falling for the counterfeits, the shams and the lies that often pass for love in our world.

"If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." (Jn 15: 10-11) Joy comes with the moral life lived in love of God and neighbor, not one in which the commandments are kept only out of fear of the fires of hell. There are many souls in the world who wonder why they find no happiness in going to Mass, in living a morally good life, by good works and faithfulness in prayer. All of these things must be done, but if the fire of God's own love is not present in them they will not bring joy, will fail to satisfy. What is needed is the fire of charity.

"The practice of the moral life animated by charity gives to the Christian the spiritual freedom of the children of God. He no longer stands before God as a slave, in servile fear, or as a mercenary looking for wages, but as a son responding to the love of him who 'first loved us.' "(CCC 1828)

St. Basil, (c. 330-379), teaches how to do good and find joy in it: "If we turn away from evil out of fear of punishment, we are in the position of slaves. If we pursue the enticement of wages, ...we resemble mercenaries. Finally if we obey for the sake of the good itself and out of love for him who commands...we are in the position of children." (CCC 1828) Children who know they are weak and small find joy in pleasing their parents by doing good. They look to their parents for all that is good.

The love of God is easy for those who see in God a loving and faithful Father. St. Therese of Lisieux, whose 100th anniversary of death we celebrate this year, was a master of the spiritual life and taught well of the love which is its essence. She taught the "little way" of childlike simplicity and obedience to God as the way to grow in love. "It seems to me that there will be no judgment for victims of love, or rather, the good God will hasten to reward, with eternal delights, His own love which He will see burning in their hearts."

Love of God is tied to the commandments, because the commandments are the love of God in action. Those who love God long to be holy as he is holy and so live the commandments by holy thoughts, words and actions. But they do it out of love. "In the heart of the Church I will be love," St. Therese exclaimed upon discovering her true vocation. Though bound by the walls of her cloister, she knew unlimited freedom to reach the heights of holiness through courageous devotion to charity. We too are students of the love of God. The commandments are the lessons by which we simple children will master the love of God our Father in thought, word and action.

Let us pray: Ever-living God, help us to celebrate our joy in the resurrection of the Lord and to express in our lives the love we celebrate. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy", Father Cusick (Publish with permission.) http://www.christusrex.org/www1/mcitl/

(For further reading on today's Gospel see also these paragraphs in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: 434, 459, 609, 737, 1823, 1824, 1972, 2745.)



SEVENTH Sunday of Easter, B

Acts 1, 15-17. 20-26; Psalm 102; 1 John 4, 11-16; John 17, 11-19

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

"Freedom of choice" is a mantra, a rallying cry that rings from one corner of our earth to the other. This freedom to choose whatever we want has brought millions of aborted babies, the deaths of many women on abortion tables, millions of broken marriages and homes, partial-birth infanticide, disregard for the marriage laws of Christ and many other evils. Freedom is good, but freedom comes from God and is given to us so that we may freely choose to be like God. Freedom is for choosing good, not evil. Jesus Christ took on our flesh and our freedom to choose what is holy so that we can do likewise, with the constant help of his grace in the Gospel and the sacramental life.

...in Jesus the name of the Holy God is revealed and given to us, in the flesh, as Savior, revealed by what he is, by his word, and by his sacrifice. (Cf. Mt 1:21; Lk 1:31; Jn 8:28; 17:8; 17:17-19) This is the heart of his priestly prayer: "Holy Father...for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth." (Jn 17: 11, 19) Because he "sanctifies" his own name, Jesus reveals to us the name of the Father. (Cf. Ezek 20:39; 36:20-21; Jn 17:6) At the end of Christ's Passover, the Father gives him the name that is above all names: "Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil 2:9-11) (CCC 2812)

The revelation of Christ in the flesh is our gift, that we may be "consecrated", made holy, in the truth. We have been created by God and redeemed by Christ so that we can achieve the destiny God intended for us from the beginning. Now, in Christ, we can know the truth and live the truth, be "consecrated" through him with him and in him. And by this consecration we are delivered from evil, for which we pray in the Lord's Prayer. Our life of prayer and petition furthers and deepens the life of grace, strengthens us in holiness. The Lord prays: "I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one." (Jn 17:15)

...evil is not an abstraction, but refers to a person, Satan, the Evil One, the angel who opposes God. The devil (dia-bolos) is the one who "throws himself across" God's plan and his work of salvation accomplished in Christ. (CCC 2851)

And so our freedom is for "choice": choice of the good and rejection of evil. For this we must entrust ourselves by repentance and prayer to consecration in the truth: Jesus Christ. "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life." The Holy Spirit has been given to the Church to "lead you into all the truth." because only "the truth will set you free." We live now as sons and daughters of the Church, teacher of truth for all the world, with joyful hope of eternal freedom in heaven.

Let us pray: Father, help us keep in mind that Christ our Savior livs with you in glory and promised to remain with us until the end of time. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy", Father Cusick (Publish with permission.) http://www.christusrex.org/www1/mcitl/

(For further reading on today's Gospel see also these paragraphs in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: 434, 459, 609, 1823, 1824, 1972, 2745.)

 


YEAR C