By Kathy Horan
We recently celebrated the feast of Pentecost, 50 days after the Easter celebration of the Resurrection.
During those 50 days, our liturgies and experiences of the richness of the word of God have been more than food for thought. We have been challenged by the word of God, reminded of all that Jesus said and did while he was with his disciples. We have been comforted by Jesus’ words and we have pondered on what all of this might mean for us, followers of Jesus for today’s world.
In one sense, it is easy to be caught up in the euphoria of being known as disciples of Jesus, knowing that in his resurrection to new life Jesus overcame suffering and death, and promised that his followers would also share in the experience of life to the full, in so far as they remained close to him and focused on his message.
By Dr. Jenny O'Brien
In an address from St Peter’s Square on Easter Monday, 2019, Pope Francis named the resurrection of Christ as “the most shocking event in human history” – shocking, because it should not have been possible. Those who die do not return to life, and yet this was the reality that faced the women at the tomb. They had come to anoint Christ’s body only to find the tomb empty and be told by an angel, “Do not be afraid. He is not here, for he has risen.” (Mt 28:5-6). Fear turned to joy and the women ran to tell the other disciples. And this is the message that has been passed down to us from the very beginning of Christianity: because Jesus has been raised from the dead, we too have the promise of resurrection. At the very heart of all our hope is Christ’s death and resurrection.
Author: Kathy Horan
During our current extraordinary time of social distancing, health consciousness and concerns, and attempting to deal with many unknowns related to the present health pandemic, our most significant celebration of Easter has taken place.
Under normal circumstances, we would have celebrated together the ceremonies of the triduum, welcomed our RCIA candidates and renewed our own commitment in faith to the risen Lord. Those sacred days – Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday – have still been observed and we have participated, but differently, from our own homes.
Author: Dr Jenny O'Brien
Hot cross buns and chocolate eggs are enjoyed by many over the Easter period, but not everyone understands their true significance. Behind those simple ‘treats’ stand the most profound events of human history. The cross on the yeast buns represents the crucifixion when Jesus, the Son of God died out of love for us. The egg represents the resurrection, when Jesus was raised to new life and lives for ever as the resurrected Christ. On Easter morning we hear the proclamation, “Christ is risen!” and our response is, “He is risen indeed, Alleluia!”
Author: Jenny O'Brien
Every year on Good Friday large numbers of Catholics gather in groups to remember the Passion of Christ by praying the Stations of the Cross. In Adelaide many people attend the Monastery at Glen Osmond or Sacred Heart College, Somerton Park, where the Stations are held outdoors.
The concept of following the steps of our Lord to Calvary arose very early in the Church’s history. There is even a tradition claiming that Mary herself visited the various sites in Jerusalem connected with her Son’s passion.
There is written evidence that in the fourth century the most important sites were regularly visited by pilgrims, and as early as the fifth century St Petronius, the Bishop of Bologna in Italy, erected a complex of connected chapels in the Monastery of San Stefano representing these various sites in order to bring closer to home the shrines of Jerusalem.
Author: Jenny O'Brien
It was St Augustine who famously said, “We are an Easter people, and Alleluia is our song.” In more recent times, this statement was taken up by St Pope John Paul II who reminded his listeners that for Christians, Easter is not just an historical commemoration, but the most central reality in our faith. It affects our very identity and dictates the way we live our lives. Jesus, who died on the cross, an object of derision and failure, abandoned by almost all his followers, was raised to new life. Without the resurrection, the death of Jesus would have been pointless. With the resurrection, we can live secure in the knowledge that we have been set free from the slavery of sin and death, that the way to eternal life has been opened up for us.