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04/20/19 Easter Vigil - Fr. Reggie

Much has happened in the last few days. The Sabbath dawns serenely, quietly. Today is a day to wait quietly with Mary, to meditate slowly with her, to go to a lonely place and contemplate the Lord’s death while holding her hand. Holy Saturday is a day to take it all in. It is a day of sorrow and of hope. We must not let Holy Saturday pass by as just another day, as just the day in between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It is a day of quiet contemplation with the Mother of God.

From our vantage point, it’s easy to forget that for the apostles and the disciples of the Lord, all seemed over. Jesus was dead. There was something powerfully definitive about that “It is finished” Jesus had pronounced from the cross. They would no more hear his voice, feel the power of his preaching, or see the marvels of his works. For them there was no resurrection, only passion and death. The women were preparing everything to finish the task of anointing Jesus’ dead body. We must contemplate this day from the other side of the Resurrection.

Only in this silent contemplation will the apostles be able to see how it all fits together. Jesus had told them all that would happen to him, including his resurrection. Jesus had spoken plainly to them, yet their minds were not prepared to understand. It is only in the silence of this day, accompanied by Mary, that they could hope to understand what Jesus had told them. It is the same for us; we must remember Christ’s words with Mary because oftentimes our minds too are closed. Many times we think we know who Jesus is and what he is teaching us, but really it doesn’t enter our heart. We must listen carefully to what he tells us in the Gospels so as to comprehend the deeper meaning of his words. We must do this with Mary and allow her to help us.

And then all to suddenly just as in this liturgy this evening, the lights are on and the bells are ringing. It is a wake up call for us. WAKE UP MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS WAKE UP!!! To the goodness that Christ has done for us. 

Lent is the Church’s spiritual wake up call to us to prepare for Easter and to remind us that we need to die to ourselves. Dying to yourself means dying to your own selfish wants, pleasures, desires, etc., in order to better focus on what God wants for you in your life. Lent is a great time to re-prioritize.

‘Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.’ … Hebrews 13:16

Many of us are not morning persons: the snooze button is almost our very best friend. Our brain can’t function until the caffeine seeps through our blood stream and we feel any text messages that we receive before 7 A.M. are just plain rude.

So, even though our alarm sound is the theme song from something we like, it’s still hard to get out of our nice, warm, comfortable bed. The reality is we do get out of bed and because we do, this makes all the difference. But what we do is even more important.

For a friend of mine. Daily Mass became part of their routine when they were in college, and because of Mass, they became am a changed person.

They were reminded each day that Jesus loves us and is a very real part of who we are. Through His holy sacrifice — and our human one in getting up early for daily Mass, His grace and goodness transform us. Maybe you’re thinking, “but I just don’t feel anything at Mass,” or that,“Mass is boring.” These are common feelings, but we shouldn’t let these feelings or thoughts come between us and Jesus. We should realize that it’s how we respond to Christ’s call to be with Him daily that makes the difference in how we are receptive to Him.

Saint John Vianney said, “If we really understood the Mass, we would die of joy.”

Do you know what we do at Mass? The Mass is first of all a sacrifice – the perfect sacrifice of Jesus. Through the priest we offer Jesus, Body and Blood, to the Father, just as Jesus offered Himself to the Father on the Cross. We repeat – make present – Christ’s death and Resurrection. Through this memorial of Jesus, we offer God our praise, sorrow for our sins, and deepest thanks. Total awesomeness!

In case that doesn’t have you convinced, here are three more reasons to get out of bed for daily Mass:

  1. Daily Mass gives us the armor we need to fight this earthy battle. Let’s face it: life is not full of roses. It’s hard! By receiving the Eucharist, we are strengthened.
  2. Christ is our foundation for life. In the words of St. Pio, “It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do without Holy Mass.”
  3. The more we attend Mass, the more we grow in holiness. The Lord constantly loves us, heals us, and desires to make us whole. Scripture reminds us, if we do not eat His Flesh and drink His Blood, we have no life in us. Only by the grace of God do we have life.

When your alarm goes off, don’t hit snooze. Jump out of bed, jump for Jesus: Go to daily Mass!

And I wonder what else we need to wake up to?

There is so much that we need to give attention to no matter the issue, it will only change if we wake up get out of bed and do something.  Our Lord and Savior did that, He got up and gave us salvation. He asked his disciples to keep watch with him and they slept. It is time for us to wake up and keep watch and do our part as Christian Ambassador. Happy Easter. He is Arisen. Wake up and spread the words not with your mouth but by your actions. 

 

 

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