April 20th, 2014 – EASTER SUNDAY

Easter is the greatest and most important feast in the Church for three reasons: 1) The resurrection of Christ is the basis of our Christian faith. It is the greatest of the miracles, for it proves that Jesus is God. St. Paul writes, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain; and your faith is in vain.” (1 Cor. 15:14) There is no founder of other religion that has an empty tomb as Jesus has. 2) Easter is the guarantee of our own resurrection. Jesus assured Martha at the tomb of Lazarus: “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me will live even though he dies.” (John 11:25-26)  3) Easter is the feast which gives us hope and encouragement in the world of pains, sorrows and tears. It reminds us that life is worth living. It is our belief in the real presence of the Risen Jesus in our souls, in His Church, in the Blessed Sacrament and in heaven that gives us strength to fight against temptations and freedom from unnecessary fears and worries.

April 13th, 2014 – PALM/PASSION SUNDAY

The Church celebrates the 6th Sunday of Lent as both Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday. This is the time of the year we stop to remember and relive the events which brought about our redemption and salvation, not just Jesus’ dying and rising but our own dying to sin and rising in Him, which will result in our healing, reconciliation and redemption. Proper participation  in the Holy Week liturgy will deepen our relationship with God, increase our faith and strengthen our lives as disciples of Jesus. Today’s liturgy combines contrasting moments - one of glory and one of suffering - the royal welcome of Jesus in Jerusalem and drama of His trial culminating in His crucifixion, death and burial. Today’s first reading foreshadows Jesus’ life and mission. The second reading is an ancient Christian hymn representing a very early Christian understanding of Who Jesus is and how His mission saves us from sin and death. In today’s gospel we listen to the Passion of Christ according to Matthew. We are challenged to examine our own lives in the light of some of the characters in the passion story - Peter who denied Jesus, Judas who betrayed Him, Pilate who acted against his conscience as he condemned Jesus to death on the cross, Herod who ridiculed Jesus, and leaders of the people who preserved their position by getting rid of Jesus.