Archive for March 27, 2016

Alive In Christ

Posted: March 27, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

How do I live more fully alive in Christ? How do I bring across the joy of the resurrected Jesus to others? These were the questions I was pondering over at the start of Holy Saturday.

Then the Holy Spirit spoke to me, that I should not dwell in my sins but live and love more fully in Christ’s resurrection; by deeply reflecting on how His love had transformed me. The graces I had received both at my baptism and confirmation. And by the fact that His Resurrection proves that I have hope of life in Him. And that I should share this knowledge with all!

The affirmation of this message was received at the Easter Vigil when I heard these words from Psalm 41.

“These things will I remember
  as I pour out my soul:
how I would lead the rejoicing crowd into the house of God, amid cries of gladness and thanksgiving, the throng wild with joy.”

Easter Sunday’s Eucharistic Celebration filled my heart with joy. The Word that was spoken to me was “He saw and believed.”

I thought to myself how many of us see the many miracles in our lives, and in the lives of others and yet still do not truly believe.

With that still in the back of my mind, my family and I attended the Easter Octave celebration hosted by the youths. Not too long into the celebration, an altar server came up to me informing me that one of the parishioners whose mother is gravely ill at the hospital had requested for Holy Communion. I clarified if she was actually requesting for anointing of the sick but turns out that she had already received that and was indeed requesting for Holy Communion. I said ok but I didn’t have my communion kit with me and all the kits kept by the Church were out. The server went to inform the family of the situation. Five minutes later the family came to me requesting for help, I told them that I would get my kit and go over to the hospital at 5pm however I wanted to know if the mum was lucid afraid that she might choke if she was too weak. They assured me that while she had taken a turn for the worse, she still willed that she should receive communion. I was amazed with the faith of the old lady.

The Octave celebration continued with the youths and the adults present. We formed an equal mix of four groups, quickly preparing and then dancing out the lyrics of our respective praise and worship song. It was indeed a treat to just let loose and praise Him with actions. Another sign of the Holy Spirit showing me that faith must be accompanied by action.

After the Octave celebration, I rushed home to get my kit before rushing back to Church to get the consecrated host. Then took a cab to the hospital.

When I got there the family members were gathered round her. She needed an oxygen mask and so I was wondering if she could indeed consume the host. It was a tremendous struggle but she eventually manage to. Praise the Lord. The family was thankful but I told them I was grateful for the opportunity to bring Jesus to her. Especially today of all days! Easter Sunday…. What a Blessing… I will continue to pray for her.

Rejoice indeed rejoice, for our Saviour lives! And so let us choose to be alive in Christ!

Easter Sunday

Posted: March 27, 2016 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

See and Believe: Scott Hahn Reflects on Easter Sunday

Readings:
Acts 10:34, 37-43
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Colossians 3:1-4
John 20:1-9

Jesus is nowhere visible. Yet today’s Gospel tells us that Peter and John “saw and believed.”

What did they see? Burial shrouds lying on the floor of an empty tomb. Maybe that convinced them that He hadn’t been carted off by grave robbers, who usually stole the expensive burial linens and left the corpses behind.

But notice the repetition of the word “tomb” – seven times in nine verses. They saw the empty tomb and they believed what He had promised: that God would raise Him on the third day.

Chosen to be His “witnesses,” today’s First Reading tells us, the Apostles were “commissioned…to preach…and testify” to all that they had seen – from His anointing with the Holy Spirit at the Jordan to the empty tomb.

More than their own experience, they were instructed in the mysteries of the divine economy, God’s saving plan – to know how “all the prophets bear witness” to Him (see Luke 24:27,44).

Now they could “understand the Scripture,” could teach us what He had told them – that He was “the Stone which the builders rejected,” that today’s Psalm prophesies His Resurrection and exaltation (see Luke 20:17; Matthew 21:42; Acts 4:11).

We are the children of the apostolic witnesses. That is why we still gather early in the morning on the first day of every week to celebrate this feast of the empty tomb, give thanks for “Christ our life,” as today’s Epistle calls Him.

Baptized into His death and Resurrection, we live the heavenly life of the risen Christ, our lives “hidden with Christ in God.” We are now His witnesses, too. But we testify to things we cannot see but only believe; we seek in earthly things what is above.

We live in memory of the Apostles’ witness, like them eating and drinking with the risen Lord at the altar. And we wait in hope for what the Apostles told us would come – the day when we too “will appear with Him in glory.”