LITURGY for EASTER SUNDAY and MONDAY and TUESDAY IN EASTER WEEK - April 23, 24 and 25, 2000
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
SOLEMNITY OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD
"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.
FEAST OF SAINT GEORGE, MARTYR
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.
FEAST OF SAINT ADALBERT, BISHOP AND MARTYR
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.
Monday, April 24, 2000
First Reading: Acts 2: 14-22
Psalms: Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11
Gospel Reading: Matthew 28: 8-15
Because it is Eastertide, we do not celebrate the Feast of Saint Fidelis of Sigmaren but it is normally his feast day and therefore we share that with you today.
SAINT FIDELIS OF SIGMAREN, PRIEST & RELIGIOUS MARTYR
This saint was one of many who God rose up during the "Century of Saints" to counter the Protestant Revolt of the 16th Century. Saint Fidelis was born in Sigmaringen, France in 1577 of noble parents. Always devout to the sacraments, Fidelis became a Capuchin monk, embracing a life of austerity and prayer. The Congregation of Propaganda appointed him to go to Switzerland to save as many souls as possible from the growing heresy of Calvinism. While preaching in Sevis, Switzerland a Calvinist fanatic shot at him, but he would not be deterred. After his sermon, a mob of Protestants confronted him, headed by a Calvinist minister who ordered him to renounce his faith. Fidelis replied, "I came to refute your errors, not to embrace them. I will never renounce Catholic doctrine, which is the truth of all ages, and I fear not death." Incensed, the Calvinists pierced him through with their scabbards. He died for the true faith and Jesus Christ.
Tuesday, April 25, 2000
First Reading: Acts 2: 36-41
Psalms: Psalm 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22
Gospel Reading: John 20: 11-18
This year Eastertide supersedes the feast of SAINT MARK, Evangelist which is normally observed on April 25th.
FEAST OF SAINT MARK, EVANGELIST
Converted by Saint Peter after Jesus ascended into Heaven, Saint Mark accompanied Peter to Rome, becoming Peter's secretary as Peter recounted the life of Christ for Mark to record in Greek for the Gentiles. Mark is noted for the vivid images he portrayed of Christ's personality to give us a better insight into the Son of God, such as "He embraced...the little children." After Peter's death, Mark was dispatched to Egypt where he found the Church of Alexandria and was responsible for large numbers of converts. He was the father of the anchorites, the early hermits, and he set up a great Christian school to educate the populace. Upset with his influence, heathens captured him, dragging him over rough hewn stones and flinging him into a dark prison cell. There, consoled by Angels through a magnificent vision of Jesus, Mark lovingly embraced his death in true love for Christ and His followers. Mark is represented as a lion since his gospel begins with Saint John the Baptist as the "voice of one crying in the wilderness."