TUESDAY     April 18, 2000    vol. 11, no. 77    SECTION ONE

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SECTION ONE Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • CATHOLIC PewPOINT on the Triumph of the Cross
  • THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS - Palm Sunday Homily
  • APPRECIATION OF THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH: Installment 155 - Calvary part one

  • We can only gain through pain - the pain of the Cross!

        In today's editorial, we point to the importance of this week and the fact one can't expect to 'put the cart before the horse' by celebrating Easter and the triumph of the Cross without sharing the pains and sorrows of the Cross. Jesus has told us that is not possible for the Paschal Mystery is only complete when incorporating the Passion, Death and Resurrection, not just the latter. We question why so few attend liturgical ceremonies during Holy Thursday and Good Friday and overflow for Easter. Maybe they haven't understood totally Christ's message that the only way they can be His disciples is to "take up your cross and follow Me. For today's editorial There is no Glory without the Cross! , click on CATHOLIC PewPOINT

    There is no Glory without the Cross!

    Michael Cain, editor

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    Holy Father shares the joy of Jerusalem's Hosannas - "Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord" in his Palm Sunday Homily

       Today we bring you the Holy Father's Palm Sunday Homily from this past Palm Sunday where over 100,000 packed St. Peter's Square to hear the Vicar of Christ by loudspeakers for those who could not get into St. Peter's Basilica. He shared with all that this feast is special for young people the world over and reiterated his invitation for youth to come to Rome this Jubilee Year and especially during Holy Week in which the Holy See is expecting over half a million pilgrims. He began the traditional Palm Sunday Mass in the center of the Square and processed into the Basilica, concluding the three-hour services with the Angelus. See THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS

    Holy Father's Palm Sunday Homily for April 16, 2000 from Saint Peter's Square

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    Appreciation of the Price of our redemption through the Price of Calvary

        Today we continue with our new series in the search to uncover the wonderful treasures of the Church contained in the great Deposit of Faith. Today we present the first part of the catechesis on apex of the Passion Calvary in which the torch was passed, so to speak, from the Old to the New Covenant when the veil of the Temple was rent asunder at the moment of Christ's death as explained in My Catholic Faith as we prepare for the Paschal Triduum on Holy Thursday and Good Friday climaxing on Holy Saturday with the Easter Vigil. For part one in the 155th installment, see APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

    installment 155: Calvary part one

          During Holy Week the Church lives again the passion and death of Christ. On the first day, Palm Sunday, the solemn entry of Jesus into Jerusalem is celebrated by the blessing of palms , followed by a solemn procession. As the Mass of this day, as on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, the story of the Passion from each Evangelist is read.

          On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of Holy Week the Tenebrae are celebrated: the fifteen candles are put out one by one, to symbolize the flight of the disciples, and the death of Our Lord.

          On Holy Thursday morning a pontifical Mass is celebrated, in cathedrals only; at this the holy oils are blessed. Commemorating the Last Supper at which the Holy Eucharist and the Priesthood were instituted, Holy Thursday Mass takes place in the evening, with the washing of feet , to commemorate Christ's washing of the Apostles' feet.

          At the Good Friday service, emphasis is given to the veneration of the cross. Holy Saturday services are held at night, beginning with the blessing of the new fire ; from this the Paschal candle is lighted , a reminder of Christ, Light of the world. The five grains of incense imbedded in the candle remind us of His wounds. Four Lessons are read; the baptismal water is blessed and taken to the font. The Mass commemorates Our Lord's glorious Resurrection.

          Christ died on Good Friday. During the three hours that Christ suffered on the cross, He spoke seven times. We call these the seven words:

      1. "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34).
      2. "Amen, I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with Me in paradise" (Luke 23:43).
      3. "Woman, behold thy son - son, Behold thy mother" (John 19:26-26).
      4. "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46).
      5. "I thirst" (John 19:28).
      6. "It is consummated!" (John 19:30).
      7. "Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit" (Luke 23:46).

          Christ died on Golgotha, a hill also called Calvary, outside the city of Jerusalem. Saint Augustine says that on the cross Our Lord bent His head to kiss us, extended His arms to embrace us, and opened His heart to love us. How thankful we should be to Christ for His love! "He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death, even to death on a cross" (Philippians 2:8).

          At the death of Christ the sun was darkened, the earth quaked, the veil of the Temple was rent, the rocks split, and many of the dead arose and appeared in Jerusalem. The tearing of the veil of the Temple at the death of Christ marked the end of the Jewish religion as the true religion. This Jewish religion had been a figure of the True Church and, when the Church was established, was no longer needed; types and figures had to give way to reality. The veil of the Temple concealed the Holy of Holies, the most sacred part of the Temple.

          We must not, however, make the mistake of thinking that Christianity ended the moral laws-laws regarding good and evil-that were taught by the Jewish religion. Christ came not to destroy, but to perfect, the Old Law. The authority of the Temple and its officers was now placed in the Church established by Christ, in the hands of His Apostles. The ceremonial laws of the Jews relating to worship were abolished.

      Tomorrow: The Calvary part two

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    April 18, 2000     volume 11, no. 77
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