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Easter Sunday, 2017. A realhomilie from Fr.Kevin Walsh, Sydney, Australia. Let your light shine!

 Let your light shine!

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Easter Sunday is with us again! Is it with a sigh of relief that we have a ‘break’ at this time of the year? Has the subtle autumn morning chill this week, reminded us that times and seasons are changing? The Easter Liturgy speaks in harmony with Spring in the Northern Hemisphere; here we are ‘Down Under’in Australia celebrating new life, while the Willow leaves are starting to die, and the Liquid Amber trees are showing signs of colour changes in their leaves, before they drop to the ground.

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Resurrection implies new life! This is the gift we receive every morning when we wake up! Today is a totally different day from yesterday. Part of something being a gift is that someone gives, someone else receives, and there is no price tag attached. If there is a snag, it is that God gives me nothing for myself! If God gives me the gift of life today, it is because I can be a life-giving person to someone else. The Easter Liturgy celebrates the Father re breathing ‘life’ into His Son, and that ‘new life’ is to be shared among all people, and by all people.

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Easter is about hope; it is unthinkable that a Christian should ever entertain the ideas of hopelessness, even when we live in a world, which thrives, and makes money on bad news! North Korea and the USA snapping at each other’s feet; Syria and its complications make it extremely difficult to fathom ‘fake news’ from real tragedy! Jesus triumphed over darkness, sin and death, and in the words of St. Paul, ‘having given us Christ Jesus, will the Father not surely give us everything else?’ There is a tremendous need for people of hope in today’s world, and in today’s Church, because the doomsday prophets have never had it so good! The ongoing threats of terrorism all over the world, puts everyone on ‘edge’! St. Peter wrote these words to the early Christian community:
‘Always have an explanation to give to those who ask you the reason for the hope that you have.’ Peter had experienced, witnessed, and lived through many a failure, so his point about hope is deeply relevant. I am sure that he is not alone in this regard… no doubt, we can identify with him.

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Easter time is a reminder of our Baptismal responsibilities. We have very real signs of that within our communities in the welcoming and admission of our Elect. We are therefore reminded strongly, that we must be a community of hospitality, a community of mission, and a community of thanksgiving and joy. Underpinning all that, we are as St Paul’s says, ‘planted on love and built on love, so that together with all the Saints we will have the strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depth; until knowing the love of Christ, which is beyond all knowledge, we are filled with the utter fullness of God.’ Ephesians 3:18.

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Easter time in not a ‘one off occasion’ to celebrate Christ Our Light! Easter time always offers us an enormous challenge to everyone. Do we personally believe in the community, which we call the Church, to that point of wanting to really know, and care about each other? Or are we sometimes tempted to see the Sacramental life of the Church as some kind of Spiritual Service Station, where we fill up every now and then, tap and go? The Sacramental Community nourishes us, and we are called to nourish it by our active participation and genuine outreach to newcomers! We must be passionate about belonging to the Body of Christ which is called the Church! We must be people who can inspire and be inspired; we must be motivated and urged along, because of the love of Christ which has been freely given to us….not just for ourselves, by a long shot; but to invite, and be Christ’s loving face, in a world that frowns so often. The Passion and Cross of Jesus, is the greatest Sign of God’s love for us, according to St. Paul of the Cross, Founder of the Passionists. In the Second Reading for the liturgy of the Lord’s Passion, we hear the author of the Letter to the Hebrews reminding us that Jesus learnt obedience through suffering and silent tears! That means that Jesus learnt to truly listen to His Father’s Will, and also to the woes and joys of God’s people. Easter is the greatest invitation to listen with our body mind and spirit to God’s Word, inviting us through Scripture, Sacramental experience and Christ’s living Body; His people; to be Christ our light! Our Liturgy must never be just cold rubrics, as though we are reading a Recipe to make a cake! Liturgy by its very nature speaks about everyone being involved in Sacramental experiences which can be understood, engaging and sustaining, so that we are then ‘sent out’ in Mission, and return next week for more nourishment with the community.

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We must be a living community which breathes Christ; and is energized by His Spirit-filled breath. We must never fall into the trap of just maintaining ‘the plant’ like that of a Corporation; we must never be smug enough to think that WE have all the answers, and are fearful of constructive conversations with all people, from all races and creeds on earth. We must never be people who think that they see God’s will only in Black and White and Mono sound! God’s will is manifested in living colour, surround sound, and in 3D.jesus-washing-feet-tht00nu9p6

Easter, invites us to be daring and confident, without being arrogant and pompous in Christ’s mission, entrusted to us as foot washers! How can anyone speak the truth in love, without listening to the truth in humility? The Easter message, by value of the very meaning of the word Easter, means that we all must be creative, innovative and spirit-filled as we grow in our Communities, and as the living body Christ, see new horizons and dream new dreams! No one can be left isolated, unwanted and devalued; we in Parish communities did not choose each other, we have been randomly placed within each other’s care, and pastoral concern, always respecting cultural norms.

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We pray that through this Easter Season, we will be stronger in our hope, lively in our love for one another, and sensitive to see, with the eyes of faith, the saving hand of God in our lives and within our community. God Bless you and your families.

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Fr Kevin Walsh
Sydney. New South Wales. Australia
Email: kevin.w3@bigpond.com Web:https://realhomilies.wordpress.com/

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Ascension Sunday, 2016. A realhomilie by Fr.Kevin Walsh, Sydney, Australia.

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In today’s gospel Jesus gives his final message, his final instructions, his final promise, and his final blessing to his disciples. It is obvious that they believed what he said because, after the Spirit came upon them at Pentecost, they went forth to do exactly as he had told them, and they discovered that all his promises were being fulfilled.

Let’s now look at the meaning of the Ascension. This Solemnity is a very important part of that unique jewel we call the Easter mystery. It is not an event in the life of the Risen Lord that is studied in isolation. Between Easter Sunday and Pentecost we celebrate that time of adjustment or change, during which the risen Jesus vanishes from the sight of his disciples, only to open up a new way of relating to them – a way so desirable that every person has the potential to be filled with his presence.

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As if by a bridge spanning a river, so the disciples had now to leave the familiar bank of the natural presence of Jesus and cross to the other side – as yet unknown territory – where they will be taken hold of by the Holy Spirit.

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The synoptic Gospels that is Matthew, Mark and Luke present Jesus to us from the angle of their particular purpose in writing the Good News, and from their own community background aimed at a specific audience. For example, the new Elijah has been removed from them (Luke’s Gospel), but Emmanuel, God with us, remains ever present to his Church (Matthew’s Gospel), enthroned by God in his kingdom in Mark’s Gospel.

Certainly, after his last appearance, Jesus seemed to depart from his disciples. But his invisible presence became more concentrated in depth and scope in a way that would have been impossible had his former bodily presence continued.

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Thanks to the Holy Spirit, this new presence promised by the Father is established forever. Jesus uses a very beautiful way of expressing the Spirit’s presence that will come to the disciples in today’s Gospel, “Stay in the city until you are clothed with the power from on high.” Therefore, the Ascension is not a question of ’looking into the sky’, but of being confirmed believers in the Risen Lord, because He is alive and well in the ‘Galilee’ of our lives, that is in the day to day events which call us to respond to the Christ in each other.

There is something which we can easily overlook at the time of the Ascension of the Lord; notice that the gathered group, were not crying, or upset; quite to the contrary, they were filled with joy! That strongly reminds us that His Disciples believed with their heart and soul that the promises of the Lord would be fulfilled in due time. There were no questions, like when? What’s the date when we will be clothed from on high? The Disciples are examples for all times and generations, that we must be patient and have an ‘Advent expectancy’ at all times, knowing that the promises of the Lord will always be fulfilled, in God’s time.

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The Ascension is that middle picture or image within a triptych, which one would see in an Art Gallery. It is a set of three associated pictures, hinged or tied together. The only way that one can understand the complete meaning is by looking and reading the pictures from left to right, thus seeing them as a whole containing three important parts. Let us pray:

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O God, we believe that Jesus, the Word made flesh,
Is with you, and in us.
Strengthen our faith, hope and love that your reign
Will be proclaimed in our lives,
And the presence of your Spirit
Be manifested in our thoughts,
Words and actions.
This we ask of you through Jesus and in the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Fr Kevin Walsh
‘The Hermitage’
Email: kevin.w3@bigpond.com

Web:https://realhomilies.wordpress.com/

100_2349 Rosie and Mum.JPGKevin Walsh in Car

Happy Mother’s Day, Mum, with Rosie our Tibetan Spaniel, and son.

My Mum entered eternal life on the 29/12/2014. Rosie, kissed Mum on her cheek at the moment of passing…..My sister, Genny RSC and me, give thanks to God this Mother’s Day, May 8, 2016, for our Mum, and all Mums, Grandmothers and all who supply the loving dimension of the generations ahead of us, who have loved us.

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Sydney Opera House

 

 

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2ND SUNDAY OF EASTER C. A Biblical Reflection on today’s Readings from Fr.Brian Gleeson, C.P. Melbourne, Australia.

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                                                                     BELIEVING IN JESUS:
When we come together for Mass every Sunday we come to remember Jesus. Our presence and participation in the Eucharist is an act of faith – an act of personal faith and an act of shared faith. In praying together we also help one another believe, hope and love more strongly. So we become a stronger Christian community. It might be said of us what was said in our First Reading today about the infant Church in Jerusalem: “… the numbers of men and women who came to believe in the Lord increased steadily”.
Our shared faith is above all faith in Jesus Christ. We believe that he has risen from the dead that he is alive in himself and alive in us, and that he is our Teacher, Lord and Leader. But nobody can do our believing for us. This is powerfully illustrated in our gospel story today.

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It’s Easter Sunday and the disciples are huddled together in a locked room. After what happened to Jesus just two days before, they dare not venture out because of fear for their lives. But Jesus himself does not hide away. Suddenly he comes among them. His greeting is peace. Their response is joy. For the story-teller John, Easter Sunday is Pentecost, and the gift of the Spirit is the breath of the Risen Christ. The disciples breathe in the Spirit and the Spirit becomes part of their lives. Soon they will leave the Upper Room changed persons – fearless and courageous, energetic and zealous people. In short they will leave as persons animated and fired up by the Holy Spirit to go and tell the good news that is Jesus.
But one of their group is missing. His name is Thomas. He’s one of the apostles, part of the group. But he’s also a distinct, independent self, a real individual. He cannot be both loyal to the group and disloyal to his own inner self. That would make his loyalty deceitful and worthless. For Thomas honesty and sincerity are, in fact, more important than loyalty and belonging. So when the others say, ‘We have seen the Lord’, he declares strongly and emphatically that before he is willing to believe that Jesus is really risen and alive he must see and test the evidence for himself. He won’t accept that claim just on their say-so. So it’s his honesty that makes him doubt and leads to him being called ever afterwards ‘Doubting Thomas’. We learn from the gospel story that Thomas comes to believe in the Risen Jesus in the same way as the other disciples, i.e. when he sees the Lord for himself. But in the way John tells the story Thomas stands for all those who have not yet seen the Lord in the flesh but who are called to believe in him just the same. That’s where we come into the story. We are among those many generations of believers ever afterwards of whom it may be said: ‘Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’
It’s understandable that Thomas was so slow to believe. One reason is that he was such a rugged individual, a real self-starter. The other is because he was not present when Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit into his fellow-disciples.

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But Jesus has given the Spirit to you and me, first at Baptism, then at Confirmation, and subsequently at every Eucharist we celebrate. The Spirit which Jesus gives is the Spirit of truth. It’s the same Spirit that empowers us to say to Jesus with Thomas: ‘My Lord and my God!’
Our faith is one of the main gifts the Spirit has given us. But it is not a one-off gift that we lock away in a safe like some precious jewel. As a form of life we must let our faith grow and mature. On the other hand, like other forms of life, our faith can wither and die from neglect and lack of exercise. We need to pray about our faith, think about our faith, and express it in works of love.

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This does not mean that we will never have any doubts. After all even the great Mother Teresa had to struggle with doubts her whole life long. But if like Thomas we care about what we believe, surely sooner or later our faith, revived by the Holy Spirit, will bring us into the presence of God.
The centre and focus of our revived faith will once again be on the great person of Jesus, whom our Second Reading today has called ‘the Living One’, the very one recognised by Believing Thomas as ‘My Lord and my God’.

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Easter Sunday, 2016. An Easter Reflection from Fr. Brian Gleeson, CP, Melbourne, Australia

RISING WITH JESUS TO A NEW LIFE:

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The story is told of a rabbi (a Jewish teacher) who gathered all his students together very early in the morning while it was still dark. He asked them: ‘How can you tell when the night has ended and the day has begun?’ One student answered: ‘Maybe it’s when you see an animal and you can tell whether it’s a sheep or a dog.’ ‘No,’ the rabbi said. A second student answered: ‘Maybe it’s when you are looking at a tree in the distance and you can tell whether it’s a fig tree or a peach tree.’ ‘No,’ said the rabbi. After a few more guesses the students demanded the answer. The rabbi replied: ‘It’s when you look on the face of any woman or man and see that she is your sister and he is your brother. If you cannot do this, no matter what time it is, it is still night.’

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For John, as we heard in his gospel today, Easter begins very early in the morning of the first day of the week while it is ‘still dark’. But the same writer has insisted that ‘the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining’. But this is strictly on one condition: ‘Whoever loves a brother or sister,’ he says, ‘lives in the light.’ On the other hand, ‘whoever hates . . . is in the darkness.’ (1 Jn 2:8-11).

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Just two days ago, when you and I were remembering the sufferings and death of the most marvellous human being the world has ever known, we came face to face with the dark side of human nature, the darkness that led the enemies of Jesus to torture, humiliate, and finally murder him on a cross. On that black day in Jerusalem, the capacity of human beings to hate, hurt and harm one another went completely out of control. It’s no wonder, then, that ‘darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon’, that ‘the sun’s light failed’’, and that ‘the curtain of the temple was torn in two’ (Lk 23:24).
Between light and darkness, between good and evil, one mighty struggle is still going on. It’s going on in the physical world, in human societies, and within our own personalities. Although the darkness often appears to be stronger than the light, it has not yet triumphed. The light is remarkably resilient. Often in danger of being extinguished, it manages to survive, and even to win many victories. The words of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of modern India, are as true as ever: ‘When I despair I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but, in the end, they always fall.’ The words of the Easter Vigil liturgy express the same truth in an equally appealing way: ‘The power of this holy night,’ it proclaims, ‘dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy. It casts out hatred, brings us peace, and humbles earthly pride.’

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Our celebration of Easter reminds us that the darkness of evil and hatred will never have the last say. For the resurrection of Jesus proclaims the ultimate triumph of light over darkness and of goodness over evil, both in us and in our world.

Jesus was buried at sunset, as darkness was once again creeping over the earth, to all appearances a victim and a failure. But on the third day afterwards the sun came up on him victorious and triumphant, alive, powerful and influential. Once again, ‘the true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world’’ (Jn 1:9)

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So we celebrate his resurrection today by rising from darkness and death ourselves. The Risen Lord, represented here by this beautiful Easter candle burning in our midst, is asking us to leave behind the works of darkness, to renounce and reject anything and everything in our lives which is dark, sinister and evil, and to ‘walk always as children of the light’, following in his footsteps.

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So I invite and urge you now to renew your baptismal promises. Reject darkness, evil and sin in every shape and form. And promise to follow Jesus Christ from this moment onwards in a life of light, goodness and love – a life shaped by his own powerful example, a life supported and guided by the Holy Spirit, whom he first gave us at baptism and whom he gives us again here and now on this Easter Day. So together, dear People of God, let us renew our baptismal promises, and renew them as loudly, clearly, joyfully and enthusiastically as we possibly can . . .

Brian Gleeson special photo

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Palm Sunday, 2016. A realhomilie from Fr.Kevin Walsh, Sydney Australia.

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PALM SUNDAY MARKS THE BEGINNING OF HOLY WEEK
Why Palm Branches?
In the ancient Middle East kings could enter a city in two ways. Horses were used for war, so if the king road on a horse, it usually meant trouble. If they came in peace, they would ride a donkey, a humble act. Jesus was sending two clear messages to the people of Jerusalem. The first was that he is a king, the second message is that his intentions were peaceful. The point was not lost on the religious leaders.

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Jesus came down the Mount of Olives into the Kedron valley, to the east of the temple. It is a very steep descent. The road was a dirt path. The spring rains made the passage slippery. The people hailing Jesus placed branches and clothing on the road so that the footing was safe. John is the only gospel that mentions that the branches were from palm trees. Matthew and Mark only refer to “branches”. Luke leaves out the branches entirely and simply says that the people put their clothes on the road.

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In medieval Europe, people used willow and other branches to celebrate this day, rather than palms which were rare. Some people braid three or more strips of palm to make crosses or crowns of thorns. Next year we will burn the palms to make ashes for Ash Wednesday.

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One week from today is Easter Sunday! We will celebrate the triumph of Jesus over the final enemy … death! It is only correct and just that if we wish to join in the victory, then we should enter into the struggle which precedes it. During Lent, we have been given the opportunity to reflect upon the quality of our lives in the face of the Lenten Invitation: Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel. Today, as we receive our Blessed Palm and give thanks and praise to God, we are given the chance to enter into the spirit of Holy Week. We can take this opportunity to walk with Jesus through this week in all its moods and complexities, to finally rejoice in the Father’s glory when ‘life’ was re breathed into Jesus His Son: that new life which is offered to everyone.

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When we speak about Jesus in the Mass, for example, we use the past tense. “Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life” … “By your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free”. In other words, Jesus has already completed his part of the formula for salvation; now the rest is up to us. Of course, we are not alone in this venture; the Holy Spirit is alive within God’s household. This week is a sacred time; it’s up to us whether we wish to enter deeply into the spirit of it or not. The secular world is well and truly geared up for huge Easter Egg sales and massive attendances at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney, let alone getaway holidays. Yesterday, I heard a man ask one of the staff at Baker’s Delight that they should bake Hot Cross Buns all year around, because it reminds him of Easter!!!! The beginning and end of these secular activities are $$$$ … but for us, the end of this week is New Life! When we enter into the Church’s Liturgy at the Easter Triduum … Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil/Sunday, this newness of life and attentiveness to God’s Mission for us, can be nourished and sustained in us. If we take ‘time out’ as family and individuals to make this journey, the results will be far more lasting for us than from a Chocolate Easter Bunny, or a giant Easter Egg filled with Mars Bars!

There is a time and place for celebration, but it becomes all the more worthwhile when it has been earned through solid attentiveness to Jesus, who invites us to be truly servants of each other; to be responsive to His constant invitation to be with Him in prayer; to walk the Way of the Cross; and to allow the Cross to speak to our hearts. By entering into this mystery, we can rejoice in our God who loves us into life, and gives us the responsibility through our Baptism, to share it with others.

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Now is the time to plan our week! Now is decision time! There will be many inviting alternatives which could take up our time and promise us rewards. But this is the week of all weeks in which we as a community can be renewed through prayerfully and seriously walking the road to Calvary together … and then into the light of Resurrection.
Our reward? A greater alertness to the suffering Christ in His people today, and the strength and quality to be ‘Easter People’ in a world where His Word is still to be proclaimed and heard.

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May this week be a source of blessing for all of us. God Bless you all and your families and may we never forget each other in Prayer. Fr Kevin Walsh

Kevin Walsh in Car

         Email: kevin.w3@bigpond.com                         Web:https://realhomilies.wordpress.com/

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Palm Sunday – Passion Sunday year A 2014. A Homiletic Reflection by Fr.Kevin Walsh – Sydney – Australia

COME, FOLLOW ME!

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One week from today is Easter Sunday! We will celebrate the triumph of Jesus over the final enemy … death! It is only correct and just that if we wish to join in the victory, then we should enter into the struggle, which precedes it. During Lent, we have been given the opportunity to reflect upon the quality of our lives in the face of the Lenten Invitation: Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel. Today, as we receive our Blessed Palm, and give thanks and praise to God, we are invited as a community to enter into the spirit of Holy Week. We can take this opportunity to walk with Jesus through this week in all its moods and complexities, and then to finally rejoice in the Father’s glory, when ‘life’ was re breathed into Jesus His Son: that new life is offered to everyone.

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When we speak about Jesus in the Mass, for example, we use the past tense. “Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life” … “By your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free”. In other words, Jesus has already completed his part of the blueprint for salvation; now the rest is up to us. We are not alone in this venture; the Holy Spirit is the driving force within God’s household-the Church. This week is a sacred time. The secular world is well and truly geared up for huge Easter egg sales and massive attendances at the Royal Easter Show, let alone getaway holidays. The beginning and end of these secular activities are $$$$ … but for us, the end of this week is New Life. When we enter into the Church’s Liturgy at the Easter Triduum … Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil/Sunday, this newness of life and attentiveness to God’s Mission for us, is nourished and energised. If we take ‘time out’ as family and individuals to make this journey, the results are far more lasting for us than from a Chocolate Easter Bunny, and an Easter Show Bag!

palmB_1 Passion Sunday

There is a time and place for celebration, but it becomes all the more worthwhile when it has been earned through unyielding attentiveness to Jesus, who invites us to be truly foot washers of each other; to be responsive in listening and speaking in prayer; to walk the Way of the Cross; and to embrace the Cross which speaks directly to our hearts. Now is the time to plan our week! Now is decision time! This is the week of all weeks in which we as a community can be renewed through prayerfully and seriously walking the road to Calvary together … and then into the light of Resurrection. Our reward? A greater alertness to the suffering Christ in His people today, and the strength and quality to be ‘Happy Easter People’ in a world where His Word still longs to be proclaimed.

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Posted by on April 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Easter, its meaning and origins posted by Fr Kevin Walsh Number 115

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Here in Rembrandt’s painting Christ stands behind the angel. But he is no longer a recognisable human being. Instead pure light and energy radiate out of the darkness of the tomb, a theological statement rather than a physical one. In the face of this light, the human beings in the painting tumble into a confused group.

Rembrandt, perhaps the most famous Dutch painter of the 17th century and one of the greatest in all Europe, was using the same technique that Caravaggio used with such success: a strong light highlighting the darkness around it.

The 1630’s was a particularly prosperous time for Rembrandt. He married Saskia van Uylenburgh, the wealthy niece of an art dealer, and they had four children, only one of whom survived. His firstborn son was born and died in the year ‘The Resurrection’ was painted. The idea of Christ’s conquest over Death may have seemed especially relevant to Rembrandt at this painful time, since he was deeply religious and a devoted family man.

Easter (Old English: Ēostre; Greek: Πάσχα, Paskha; Aramaic: פֶּסחא‎ Pasa; from Hebrew: פֶּסַח‎ Pesa) is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year.[1] According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday[2] (also Resurrection Day or Resurrection Sunday). The chronology of his death and resurrection is variously interpreted to have occurred between AD 26 and 36.

Easter marks the end of Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. The last week of the Lent is called Holy Week, and it contains Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Easter is followed by a fifty-day period called Eastertide or the Easter Season, ending with Pentecost Sunday.

Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the northern hemisphere’s vernal equinox.[3] Ecclesiastically, the equinox is reckoned to be on March 21 (even though the equinox occurs, astronomically speaking, on March 20 in most years), and the “Full Moon” is not necessarily the astronomically correct date. The date of Easter therefore varies between March 22 and April 25. Eastern Christianity bases its calculations on the Julian Calendar whose March 21 corresponds, during the 21st century, to April 3 in the Gregorian Calendar, in which calendar their celebration of Easter therefore varies between April 4 and May 8.

Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. In many languages, the words for “Easter” and “Passover” are etymologically related or homonymous.[4]

Easter customs vary across the Christian world, but decorating Easter eggs is a common motif. In the Western world, customs such as egg hunting and the Easter Bunny extend from the domain of church, and often have a secular character.

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The ancient Egyptians, Persians, Phoenicians, and Hindus all believed the world began with an enormous egg, thus the egg as a symbol of new life has been around for eons. The particulars may vary, but most cultures around the world use the egg as a symbol of new life and rebirth. A notation in the household accounts of Edward I of England showed an expenditure of eighteen pence for 450 eggs to be gold-leafed and coloured for Easter gifts. The first book to mention Easter eggs by name was written five hundred years ago. Yet, a North African tribe that had become Christian much earlier in time had a custom of coloring eggs at Easter. Long hard winters often meant little food, and a fresh egg for Easter was quite a prize. Later, Christians abstained from eating meat during the Lenten season prior to Easter. Easter was the first chance to enjoy eggs and meat after the long abstinence.

Some European children go from house to house begging for Easter eggs, much like Halloween trick-or-treaters. Called pace-egging, it comes from the old word for Easter, Pasch. Many old cultures also attributed the egg with great healing powers. It is interesting to note that eggs play almost no part in the Easter celebrations of Mexico, South America, and Native American Indian cultures. Egg-rolling contests are a symbolic re-enactment of the rolling away of the stone from Christ’s tomb. The decoration of small leaf-barren branches as Easter egg trees has become a popular custom in the United States since the 1990s. Here in Australia, Coles, Woolworths and Darrel Lea have been selling Easter Eggs, Rabbits and Hot Cross Buns since February. On Holy Thursday the Sydney Royal Easter Show opens its gates, and make sure that your credit is good!!!! For others Easter is just another Holiday time to perhaps get away to the Beach. The Lenten penance for lots of people ends up being the heavy traffic leading out of Sydney. And yet all the while the antiphon is there for the listening……Lord, by your Cross and Resurrection, you have set us free, you are the Saviour of the World.

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Posted by on March 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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