Pope Francis presided over the traditional Easter Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter in a full Saint Peter’s Basilica on Saturday evening. The celebration started inside at the entrance of the Basilica with the evocative rite of the blessing of fire followed by the candlelight procession while Lumen Christi was sung and the Basilica lights came on in all their brilliance. The celebration included the baptism and confirmation of eight catechumens from Albania, the United States, Nigeria, Italy and Venezuela.
In his homily, Pope Francis underscored how the women who set out to visit Jesus’ tomb and found it empty underwent an incredible experience that marked a passage from the immense sorrow of over Jesus’ death to experiencing utter amazement over the Lord’s resurrection. And this journey from sadness to indescribable joy is one to which we are all called.
The Gospel tells us that the women went “to see the tomb” (Mt 28:1). They think that they will find Jesus in the place of death and that everything is over, forever. Sometimes we too may think that the joy of our encounter with Jesus is something belonging to the past, whereas the present consists mostly of sealed tombs: tombs of disappointment, bitterness, and distrust, of the dismay of thinking that “nothing more can be done”, “things will never change”, “better to live for today”, since “there is no certainty about tomorrow”. If we are prey to sorrow, burdened by sadness, laid low by sin, embittered by failure, or troubled by some problem, we also know the bitter taste of weariness and the absence of joy. – Pope Francis
Full Text: Pope Francis’ homily for Easter Vigil 2023 at the Vatican
As both Easter and Passover are being celebrated this Holy Week, I’ve also decided to shift away from business and motivation and instead, share what I believe is a relevant post for the times. The following is from, “First Things, first…” a post I had shared last year on Easter Sunday, soon after the war in Ukraine was launched by Russia. I was inspired by one of the many blogs to which I subscribe and read weekly. The blog, First Things is presented as America’s Most Influential Journal of Religion and Public Life.
I will leave you with my thoughts to start each day, beginning today by being thankful for all that you have in your life. Be thankful for each new day and the opportunity to go after all the things you truly want in your life. Start with an attitude of gratitude and watch your achievements happen one after another. On this glorious day, I hope and pray God’s love fills your heart and soul.
Wishing everyone a beautiful Easter Sunday filled with happiness, love, and faith. May you feel the love of God on this blessed day.
JESUS made this a great day. HE made it happen. HE made it count. All for US!
Very truly yours,
[REVISITING] HOLY WEEK 2022: A WARTIME MEDITATION by George Weigel
In both the Roman and Byzantine liturgical calendars, Lent 2022 has coincided with a brutal war in Ukraine. That war was launched by Russia’s Vladimir Putin for an ignoble, imperial cause. It has been conducted by the Russian military in a manner that recalls the barbarism of the Romans who crucified six thousand slaves along the Appian Way after the Spartacus revolt. It’s an old story. Tyrants cannot tolerate the truth about their tyranny; they terrorize in order to break the spirit of those who seek freedom.
In the third week of the war, Latin-rite Catholics read a passage from St. Augustine’s commentary on Psalm 140 that would surely ring true in the hearts of our Eastern Christian brethren in Ukraine, both Greek Catholic and Orthodox:
“Lord, I have cried to you, hear me.” This is a prayer we can all say. This is not my prayer, but that of the whole Christ. Rather, it is said in the name of his body. When Christ was on earth he prayed in his human nature and prayed to the Father in the name of his body; and when he prayed, drops of blood fell from his whole body. So it is written in the Gospel: “Jesus prayed with earnest prayer, and sweated blood.” What is this blood streaming from his whole body but the martyrdom of the whole Church?
Blood has been streaming from Christ’s body, the Church in Ukraine, for eight weeks now. It has poured from the bodies of men, women, and children. Ukrainian patriots have fallen in defense of their homeland; Russian soldiers have fallen for reasons they could not comprehend, because their superiors lied to them about their mission. The bloody wounds that have been inflicted on the Body of Christ in this war call to mind the Lord’s scourging; the mindless cruelties inflicted on civilians remind us of his crowning with thorns by sadists. With Christ, the Ukrainian people, who ask only to be themselves, have walked the bloody path to Calvary, where those who inflict their suffering mock their claims to be who they are.
Read more (and subscribe) at FirstThings.com.
Resources & Support
The future may be a bit bumpy for some, more so for others. Knowing who to turn to and when to turn to for guidance and help is important. Having resources at your disposal is also important. So, if you hit a wall, for whatever reason, please feel free to reach out to me for assistance or even if you just need someone to talk to. Please do not hesitate.
You can reach me via a LinkedIn message, by email to Paul@Acceler8Success.com, and by phone or text at (832) 797-9851.
One thought on “Happy Easter: May Your Day be Full of Light and May Peace be With You!”
Comments are closed.