Topic: Resurrection

Br. Michael James Rivera, O.P.'s picture

Christ is risen!

Filed under: 

The feast of Easter has begun, and what a glorious feast it is! Although secular society may choose to mark the occasion for one day, with chocolate bunnies and marshmallow chicks, we Christians know that the reason for our celebration is something much more than that.

 

It began 40 days ago, when we were marked with the sign of the cross in ashes. Lent, that solemn season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving followed. We gave up our favorite foods. We did works of charity. We turned back to the Lord in prayer and through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Our sins confessed and our consciences clean, we came to church on Palm Sunday and sang “Hosanna” to our king. Sadly, the allure of sin was to still too great, for after Jesus washed our feet on Holy Thursday, we betrayed him, deserted him, and denied knowing him.

 

Perhaps it was this thought in my mind that made Good Friday so especially moving for me this year. Although I sang the part of Jesus in the Passion according to John-- composed by one of our former Nemwan Center interns, Tyler Ross Boegler--I actually identified with all the other characters. I could picture myself as Judas, betraying Christ with a kiss; for this is what happens every time words of gossip or insult leave my lips, those same lips which receive the Body of Christ in Holy Communion. I could see myself in Peter’s shoes, saying, “I do not know him.” Every time I turn away from a brother or sister in need, and ignore my Christian duty, I echo these words. Every time fear and shame impede my ability to profess our faith, it is as if I am saying, “I do not know Christ.”

 

All the experiences of Good Friday: the pain, sorrow, anguish and confusion; they leave us in a place of desolation. After walking the Via Crucis, praying through the Passion, and venerating the wood of the cross, we are left wondering if anything good can come out of this suffering. We find ourselves in darkness and misery.

 

After many hours, suddenly, a light shines in the gloom. It is the light of Christ, risen from the grave, that dispels the darkness and casts out all shadows of fear and doubt. Bells ring, people sing with joy, “Alleluia” and “Resurrexit” are the words upon our lips. This is the reason for our celebration. Christ’s death has conquered sin, and his resurrection has conquered death. The gates of the netherworld are smashed to pieces, and the gates of heaven are open wide to those who believe.

 

Now is the time to rejoice with the holy women who came to pay their last respects, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. Now is the time to sing God’s praises with the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints. And not just for one day, but for 50 days. The season of Easter has begun, and what a glorious season it is!

Categories: 
Br. Dominic David Maichrowicz, O.P.'s picture

Vespers Preaching, 5th Sunday of Lent

Filed under: 

Homily for First Vespers of the 5th Sunday of Lent

 Ez 37:12-14:

Thus says the Lord GOD: O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them, and bring you back to the

land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and have you rise from them, O my people! I will put my spirit in you that you may live, and I will settle you upon your land; thus you shall know that I am the LORD. I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.

We were not meant to die. We were not meant to have our soul separated from our body. They were made for each other, radically incomplete without each other. But with the fall, sin entered the world and because of sin, death.

 

Unfortunately, when we consider death, we often only consider it in its finality: that cessation of vital functions, the decay of that which is no longer properly called a body, the mystery of what happens to the immaterial soul.

 

But death is something much more pervasive in our lives: there are many terrible ways we can die while we still live. We may find ourselves dead at any point in this Dominican life – dead to our vocation of study, dead to the work and the joy of prayer. Dead to the community, dead in our ministry. We can find ourselves in coffins of addiction, of acedia and envy, of anger, self-importance, or worst of all despair.

 

But, Thus says the Lord, O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them. The promise is not only to the resurrection in the age to come – but to the resurrection of our lives here and now. It is not only in the graves of Benicia [where all Dominicans of the Western Province are buried] that we hear this promise, it is in the graves of our choir stalls, the graves of our cell, of our communities – wherever it is we find ourselves, (or more likely) wherever we have made ourselves bound and dead, he stands and weeps, he cries out to us, he begs and promises, I will put my spirit in you that you may live.

 

He has promised, and he will do it. Yet he will do it through the mystery of the cross. Christ has taken the wood of his execution and made it the means of salvation. He has taken that which was the symbol of death and turned it into a symbol of life and resurrection. And as he has done with his own death and will do with ours on the last day, so also will he do in our lives now. The very crosses I bear will be turned into the means of my salvation. Those places I find myself bound will be the places in which I am given new life.

 

And thus I shall know that he is the Lord.

Categories: 
Br. Boniface Willard, O.P.'s picture

Fr. Bryan Kromholtz, OP, on EWTN

Filed under: 

Recently, Fr. Bryan Kromholtz, OP, Regent of Studies for our province and a professor at the DSPT, was interviewed by Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR, for his EWTN program “Sunday Night Prime” (still listed by its old name, “Sunday Night Live,” in some DVRs). Their topic of conversation is Fr. Bryan’s recently published book, On the Last Day: The Time of the Resurrection of the Dead according to Thomas Aquinas, as well as the “Last Things,” including heaven, hell, and purgatory, resurrection, the return of Christ in glory, the last judgment, the new heavens and the new earth. The program will be aired on EWTN on Sunday, 3 April at 4pm Pacific time, with repeats at 11pm, then again on Monday 4 April at 6am, and on Saturday 9 April at 2pm.