EASTER SUNDAY-MONDAY     April 23-24, 2000    vol. 11, no. 80    SECTION ONE

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SECTION ONE Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • CATHOLIC PewPOINT editorial on the Elian Gonzalez crisis
  • Sister Mary Lucy's Easter column on the Risen Lord
  • APPRECIATION OF THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH: Installment 157 - The Resurrection part one

  • Like the Cuban-Americans standing watch in Miami, we need to arm ourselves with God's special weapon this Easter!

        In our editorial for this special Easter issue, we had hoped to bring you a Paschal message of joy, but there is little joy in Miami and the hearts of many. But there is hope. And that is the greatest joy we can bring you for our commentary centers around the events that transpired early Saturday morning while Our Lord's body lay in the tomb. This is a time of tension but we pray it will turn to true justice for the sake of family - whether that family is his own father or his extended family - the courts will decide. But ultimately God will decide as the oppression continues until Mary's Immaculate Heart triumphs, and her Divine Son Jesus wins out. This can only happen if we take up the most powerful weapon we have at our disposal - the one given to us by Our Lady - and use it to its fullest potential as we explain in our editorial today, Reno was right! The Cuban-Americans did have weapons! More power to them!. See, CATHOLIC PewPOINT

    Reno was right! The Cuban-Americans did have weapons! More power to them!

    Michael Cain, editor

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    "For the Son of Man came to seek
    and to save what was lost."

       In her Easter column this week, Sister Mary Lucy Astuto shares a special prayer from her own heart to the Risen Lord and reminds all that there can be no celebration of the Resurrection without the Triumph of the Cross and that victory we can only share in when we willingly take up our own crosses and follow Him as He asks. Her heartfelt prayer is a capsule of all we as Catholics should believe and a celebration of our Faith as she exudes in her prayerful leadin for this week during the Novena of Divine Mercy which is the lasting benefits of God's Love For her column, He is truly Risen! see GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

          It is true! Jesus is risen as He said! Alleluia, alleluia!

          Our sins have been washed by the Blood of the Lamb of God. The Supreme Sacrifice of the Cross has reopened the gates of Heaven for us. The Savior has saved us from ourselves and our sins.

          O Glorious Lord, Redeemer of mankind, Lily of all lilies, sweet Master of the Universe, I praise, bless, and glorify You in Your Divinity and in Your Humanity. For it is in this powerful act of Your Resurrection, that You prove that You are truly God, that You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Had You not risen, as You had promised, our religion would be in vain. Yet now we see that You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!

          Thank you, Lord, for Your Life, Your Death, and Your Resurrection. Envelope each one of us into the wound of Your side, for it leads to Your Sacred Heart. Allow us to be so wrapped up in You that we become lost in the ocean of Your love and mercy. We are nothing and You are Everything.

          How sweet to be nothing when You are All! Let the rocks and the hills cry out that You are God! Let the thunder and the roaring of the seas call out Your Name as Lord! Let all the earth and what fills it resound: "He is risen as He said! Hosanna to the Highest!"

          Permit my voice, Lord, to be one with the angels and saints of heaven in song of joy! Allow my life, my death and my rising on the last day to glorify You, my Maker! Thank you, God, for Your Love which endures. Thank you for Your faithfulness!

          Dear reader, there can never be a resurrection without a cross. There cannot be eternal joy without walking in the valley of tears of this life.

          Let's not lose heart. Our Lord and Master has gone before us. He has merited heaven for us. He has shown us the Way.

          Raise your eyes to the Lord, O earthlings! Have hope because of God! Keep climbing and don't count the cost. We will one day see the Face of Our Risen Jesus!

          A Blessed and Happy Easter to each of you!

    Sister Mary Lucy Astuto

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    Appreciation of the Resurrection of Our Lord

        Today we resume our series in the search to uncover the wonderful treasures of the Church contained in the great Deposit of Faith. In this Easter issue we present the first part of the catechesis on The Resurrection as explained in My Catholic Faith and this fulfillment was the apex of all that Jesus had foretold and proof to all believers that He truly is the Son of God though there were still doubters such as Thomas and even today many still doubt, but our Faith proves without a shadow of a doubt the glorious fruits of His Resurrection. For part one in the 157th installment, see APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

    installment 157: The Resurrection part one

          "Now late in the night of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the sepulchre. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord came down from Heaven, and drawing near rooled back the stone, and sat upon it. His countenance as like lightning, and his raiment like snow. And for fear of him the guards were terrified, and became like dead men. But the angel spoke and said to the women, 'Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus, Who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen even as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord was laid' " (Matthew 28:1-7).

          When we say that Christ descended into hell, we mean that, after He died, the soul of Christ descended into a place or state of rest, called Limbo, where the souls of the just were waiting for Him. Christ did not go to the hell of the damned, but to the "hell" of the just. In Holy Scripture, it was called "Abraham's bosom" Saint Peter called it "a prison." We call it Limbo.

          Among the souls in limbo were Adam, Eve, Abel, Noe, Abraham, Issac,Jacob, Joseph, David, Isaias, Daniel, Job, Tobias, Saint Joseph, and Saint John the Baptist. They went to Heaven at Our Lord's entrance upon His Ascension.

          Christ went to Limbo to announce to the souls waiting there the joyful news that He had reopened Heaven to mankind. "He was brought to life in the spirit, in which also He went and preached to those spirits that were in prison" (1 Peter 3:19). The souls in Limbo could not go to Heaven, which had been closed by Adam's sin. It was only reopened to man by the death of Our Lord, by the Redemption. The souls in Limbo did not suffer pain, but they longed for Heaven. After the release of these souls from Limbo, and their entrance into Heaven, this Limbo for the just souls ceased to exist.

          While His soul was in Limbo, Christ's body was in the holy sepulchre. When man dies, his soul is separated from the body. When Jesus died, His body and soul were separated, but His divinity remained united to both body and soul.

          Christ's body did not corrupt in the tomb. It was in the holy sepulchre from Friday evening when He was buried, to Sunday morning, when He arose from the grave. This is why we say Christ rose on the third day, although He was in the grave for only three incomplete days.

          Christ rose from the dead, glorious and immortal, on Easter Sunday, the third day after His death. Our Lord had often foretold His resurrection. He said of His own body: "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up" (John 2:19). Before entering Jerusalem He said to His Apostles that He would be put to death and "rise again on the third day" (Matthew 20:19). On the night of the Last Supper He said: "But after I have risen, I will go before you into Galilee" (Matthew 26:32).

          Even His enemies knew that He had predicted His resurrection. This is why they obtained Pilate's permission to seal the sepulchre and set guards to watch it. They said to Pilate: "Sir, we have remembered how that deceiver said, while He was yet alive. 'After three days I will rise again'" (Matthew 27:63).

          Christ really arose from the dead. For forty days He appeared to many. He conversed, walked, and even ate with them. He spent much time instructing the Apostles. One of His most important appearances was to five hundred disciples on a mountain in Galilee, when He gave the Apostles the command to go forth into the world and teach. The Evangelists have recorded nine apparitions; but it is evident from their writings (for example, Acts 1:3) that there were other and unrecorded occasions when Christ appeared. Countless of Christ's followers laid down their lives in testimony of the truth of the resurrection. "During forty days appearing to them, and speaking of the kingdom of God" (Acts 1:3).

          Today the entire Christendom celebrates Easter Sunday in memory of the Resurrection. It is the Feast of feasts, commemorating the completion of our redemption by Christ.

      Tuesday: The Resurrection part two

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       We present the Easter Sunday Liturgy and Easter Monday which encompasses other feasts that are superceded this year because of Eastertide. This includes the feasts of Saint George, Martyr and Saint Adalbert, Bishop and Martyr, who is credited with the conversion of Russia in the first millennium. On Monday, Eastertide takes precedence over another martyr, Saint Fidelis of Sigmaren and Tuesday would be the traditional feast of yet another martyr, the Evangelist Saint Mark. For all of the readings, liturgies, and vignettes on these feasts, see DAILY LITURGY.

    EASTER SUNDAY, April 23, 2000

        First Reading: Acts 10: 34, 37-43
        Responsorial: Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
        Second Reading: Colssians 3: 1-4 or 1 Corinthians 5: 6-8
        Gospel Reading: John 20: 1-9 or Mark 16: 1-7
        AFTERNOON MASS GOSPEL: Luke 24: 13-35


      "He is Risen as He said. Alleluia!"

            What is there left to say that hasn't been said? The mourning is over. It is time to celebrate the triumph over death. Today we need to proclaim from the rooftops the culture of Life and the teachings of Jesus Christ over the pagan culture of death and satan's lies. We need to join his holiness Pope John Paul II in speaking out for what is right, what is truth in the hearts and consciences of all God's children. He is risen. It is time for us to rise, just as the flowers of spring blossom, so also must our faith, courage and conviction bloom so that we may beautify this world with the love of Jesus and His Blessed Mother Mary as They have asked us, Their loyal remnant.

            A flower that remains dormant in the spring will wither and die. So also, if we do not use the talents God has given us and preach to all as Jesus asks in Matthew 28: 18-20 for all we need do is remember His words "Do not be afraid." (Matthew 28:10).

              As we come to the end of Lent and embrace with joy the Glorious Resurrection, let us remember that we cannot achieve the Resurrection unless we have first embraced and borne the Cross, suffered with Jesus, and died to ourselves in and for Him. Leave the rest to God. Let Him decide what is best, and how and when to use us in His Plan of Salvation. This is Mary's call to all of us. This is her plea to all her little ones gathered beneath her mantle. The cross each carries will be different. But they all come from the One True Cross of Christ, Who alone is the Savior of the world. If we look only to Him, then we'll stop looking at one another, making comparisons, allowing our human weakness to get the better of us, and allowing satan to keep us divided. If we look only at Jesus on the Cross and then see Him gloriously risen from the dead, how can we be divided? He died for all mankind, even though He knew there would be many who would not accept Him. He did not compare or grumble or complain. He was obedient to the Divine Will, even unto death. And so, too, we must be.

            We must decrease that He may increase in us. Let this be for us the motto of every day henceforth, that with Mary, we may stand fearlessly at the foot of the Cross, and with her offer our lives for the salvation of our own soul and the souls of others. This way the Resurrection takes on a new meaning - the flowering of fulfillment - the evangelization of God's Love. We offer Jesus' Own words in John 11: 25-26 as proof that if we trust in Him we will conquer every obstacle and be united with Him forever. "I am the Resurrection and the Life; he who believes in Me, even if he die, shall live; and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die."

    Because it is Easter Sunday, we do not celebrate the Feasts of Saint George and Saint Adalbert. Yet these are normally their feast days and therefore we share these with you today.


          Born near the end of the third century, Saint George became a great Roman soldier, being elevated to tribune for his bravery by the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Though he had been born of Christian parents, George did not become a Christian until he realized the atrocities being done to the Christians by his emperor. George openly rebuked Diocletian and begged the emperor to follow Jesus. For his efforts George was thrown into prison and eventually beheaded by the evil emperor around 303 AD. He became the icon for the Christian cause as his courage reinforced fortitude in every Christian. He has always been depicted as the great dragon-slayer - defeating the devil in the same vein as Saint Michael except George was upon a horse, garbed in Roman armor. Legend of his exploits spread throughout Europe and many miracles were attributed to his intercession after his death by those pilgrims who visited his tomb. Devotion to St. George was one of the most ancient and wide spread in the early Church. His fame prompted England to choose him as her patron saint and his feast was declared a national holiday there in the 13th Century. He is the patron saint of soldiers and Boy Scouts.


          Born during the dark ages and the great turmoil in Rome, Saint Adalbert of Magdeburg became a monk in the St. Maximin Monastery in Treves, Italy. With the demise of the Theophylact family influence, the Holy Roman Empire was resurrected with the election of Otto I who dispatched Adalbert to Russia to convert the Russian subjects of the newly-converted Russian princess Olga who had been baptized in Constantinople. However her pagan son Svyatoslav rejected his mother's faith and wrestled the crown from her in 961. He tried to kill the missionaries but most escaped including Adalbert who fled west toward Kiev where some were captured and killed, but Adalbert managed to elude his captors and returend to Mainz where he spent four years in Otto's court. In 962 the Emperor appointed him the first archbishop of Magdeburg in Saxony where Adalbert would have jurisdiction over the Slavs. For the next nineteen years Adalbert evangelized and baptized the Slavic people as well as reforming religious congregations in his diocese. While visiting Merseburg in 981, a group of pagans ganged up on the bishop and killed him, making Adalbert a martyr of the Church.

    Note: For Monday's Liturgy, see SECTION TWO

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    April 23-24, 2000     volume 11, no. 80
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