Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Sunday
Returning to Alleluias.  As I write this, Easter Sunday is still over two months away!  Liturgically, Jesus has only just been baptized and begun His work, “The Kingdom of God is at hand,” and already I must think ahead to Easter?  So much could happen between now and then, so much contingency:  dismal news in the economy, contentious politics, a stray asteroid, pick your own catastrophe.  But I must think about Easter and the return of Alleluias.

And so I open the Lectionary to Easter Sunday and read, “Since you have been raised up in company with Christ, set your heart on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.”  The Resurrection of Jesus includes us all.  It is even now happening to us.  The Resurrection uproots us, and roots us anew “above, where Christ is seated at God’s right hand.”  Now we look upon the world with new sight, and go to work in the world with new hope, and do not fear all the world’s contingencies.

For despite economics and politics and stray asteroids, there is always reason to return to Alleluias, if we make our own the words of the Easter Sequence: Mors et Vita duello/ Conflixere mirando/ Dux vitae mortuus/ Regnat vivus.  Death and Life - O wonder! - fought/  Life’s Champion died, the vict’ry wrought/ Alive He reigns. Alleluia!” 
Prayer from the Easter Sequence:  “Truly from the grave arisen, / O Christ, new life in us be given/ Victor King, forever reign!  Alleluia, amen!”

From the Edmundite Community, a blessed Easter to everyone!

Fr. Richard Berube, S.S.E. ‘66, Superior, Saint Michael’s College Edmundite Community

First Reading: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Psalm 118:1-2, 16ab-17, 22-23
Second Reading: Colossians 3:1-4 or 1 Corinthians 5:6b-8
Gospel: John 20:1-9 or Mark 16:1-7 or Luke 24:13-35

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil)
When you or I create something, we do not aspire to mediocrity, never mind something bad or useless. We create because we have something fundamentally good to share with others. God, being no exception to this rule but, indeed, the very rule itself, invites us to this realization. He proclaims that we were created as goodness, live in goodness, and then, die in goodness.

Our readings this Easter Vigil are about our human story and God's covenant with us. They focus on our universal call to holiness and love, and so often, our failure at this. The Old Testament passages present major themes of trust and sacrifice, where each story provides for us an example where something is given up out of trust in and love for God.

This reaches its pinnacle when we are asked to take the final step of trust and sacrifice: to lay down our own lives. We are asked to die with Christ. This is horrifying. I am not particularly thrilled by the prospect of dying at 23. But what is the real point? Christ asks me to sacrifice my own goals, desires, and what I love — in essence, my entire life — in awareness of His fidelity and love for me, trusting that He knows better than I.

Daily, we Christians head into the darkness of our own Good Friday, sometimes not even sure if we will have a Resurrection Sunday. But we are the people of hope, proclaiming Christ risen. For surely, we, the body of Christ, will “be united with Christ in resurrection” and “live in the newness of life.”
Christ Jesus, raise us up with You to our true goodness as we place our trust in You.

Jonathan Wheeler, ‘10, Edmundite Novice

Readings: (1) Genesis 1:1-2:2 or 1:1, 26-31a, Psalm 104: 1-2, 5-6, 10, 12-14, 24, 35 or Psalm 33:4-7, 12-13, 2-, 22,
(2) Genesis 22:1-18 or 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18, Psalm 16:5, 8-11,
(3) Exodus 14:15-15:1, Psalm: Exodus 15:1-6, 17-18,
(4) Isaiah 54:5-14, Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13,
(5) Isaiah 55:1-11, Psalm: Isaiah 12:2-3, 4-6,
(6) Baruch 3:9-15, 32-4:4, Psalm 19:8-11,
(7) Ezekiel 36:16-17a, 18-28, Psalm 42:3,5; 43:3-4
Epistle: Romans 6:3-11, Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Gospel: Mark 16:1-7

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday
Several years ago there was much commentary and controversy about the then recently produced Mel Gibson film The Passion of the Christ. Perhaps because of all the hoopla surrounding this film, I neither desired nor intended to see it.

However, The Passion of the Christ eventually appeared on our campus movie channel and I did view it there. I will admit that I was powerfully moved by the film’s graphic portrayal of the excessively cruel treatment heaped upon Jesus. I had never previously come to such a realization of just how great must have been the sufferings of the Lord: vicious bloody beatings on His body, utter rejection and humiliation and, finally, the monstrous agonizing death by crucifixion. What a marvelous and mysterious paradox, that this instrument of torture and means of punishing hardened criminals – the Cross – should become a most important Christian symbol of God’s love and mercy and forgiveness: the Cross upon whom was hung our Salvation!

The ways of God, that can take what is regarded by our world to be disgraceful and utter defeat – the Cross – and turn it into glorious victory over sin and death, are mysterious indeed! In a homily he preached at the start of Holy Week a few years ago, Pope Benedict XVI stressed that, “Love is the giving of ourselves and, for this reason, it is the path of authentic life symbolized by the Cross.”

“The Cross of horror became the Cross of hope, the tortured body became the body that gives new life, the gaping wounds became the source of forgiveness, healing and reconciliation” (Henri Nouwen).
We praise You and we thank You, O Lord, because by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world!

Fr. Raymond Doherty, S.S.E. ‘51, Campus Minister

First Reading: Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Psalm 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-17, 25
Second Reading: Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel: John 18:1-19:42

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Holy Thursday
Jesus shows us what it means to love — to wash each other’s feet.  I remember having my feet washed at Saint Lawrence Church by Fr. Charlie Ranges.  After washing and drying my feet, he kissed my left foot.  It was a humbling experience for me.  I was reminded that the words, the actions, the lifestyle choices, the ministry and the words of Jesus make it clear where the Gospel is learned — on our knees in prayer and in service to one another.   The special appreciation of the kingdom of God is from the bottom of society.  The founders of religious life were always women and men who either have never lost or somehow rediscovered that perspective.  On their knees, they knew what questions to ask, what issues to ignore, and where true power, security and holiness were to be found. 
Almighty God, on this holy night, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples.   Help us always to follow His example of love and service.  We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Very Rev. Michael Cronogue, S.S.E., Superior General of the Society of St. Edmund

First Reading: Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14
Psalm 116:12-13, 15-16bc, 17-18
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Gospel: John 13:1-15

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wednesday of Holy Week
The two readings from today are opposites. The first reading from Isaiah shows exactly what Judas was not thinking, which is what I think all Christians should be thinking — that God is our help and always at our side. Then the Gospel recounts the infamous story of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus. These two readings are grouped together to show the two ends of the spectrum of relationship with God. The reading from Isaiah illustrates the close relationship, while the story of Judas includes the betrayal, denunciation, and separation from God.

Christians are called to live at Isaiah’s end of the spectrum, where they acknowledge the gifts that the Lord has given them and they live with the Lord at their side. I am sure Judas, a disciple of Jesus, knew this passage and was at this end of the spectrum at one point, however, he became corrupted by the desire for money, and that clouded his mind into thinking that he did not need Jesus. Christians need to be aware and to have God on their minds so that they are not susceptible to these types of temptations.
Lord, help me to realize that You are my help, and that You are always at my side. Do not let me stray from Your flock as Judas did, and protect me from the temptations of the world. Amen.

Lead me, guide me along the way,
For if You lead me I cannot stray.
Lord, let me walk each day with Thee,
Lead me, oh Lord, lead me.
Traditional Ignatian Hymn

Tim Nagy, ‘15

First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 69:8-10, 21bcd-22, 31, 33-34
Gospel: Matthew 26:14-25

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tuesday of Holy Week
The Judas story is frightening. We wonder how someone could be so cold, so cruel, so callous to someone they claimed to love and promised to follow. I think the story is so challenging for us because we know how hard it is to be in relationships with others, to keep our promises, to remain positive and supportive during difficult times. It forces us to recognize the times that we fail to be a faithful friend to others.

The first reading offers us comfort. It reminds us that God has chosen us to be in a special relationship with Him. “The Lord called me from birth, ‘You are my servant, He said to me, Israel, through whom I show My glory.’”  God has a special purpose for each one of us and wants us to do His work, that is, show His love to those around us. This is the way Jesus called His disciples, each one of them to be His friends, to do His important work. Each had a special purpose and a relationship with Jesus.

The Gospel reminds us that sometimes the closest relationships can be complicated and hard. We sometimes hurt one another and cause suffering. John writes, “Jesus was deeply troubled,” knowing that His friend Judas was going to betray Him and that Peter was going to deny Him.  Jesus must have cared very much for Judas for his betrayal to cause Him such deep sorrow.

During Holy Week, let us reflect on the relationships in our lives that we may be neglecting. We are called by God to be His loving servants. Let us serve God this Lenten season by seeking forgiveness from those we have hurt, by showing patience to those who need special care and by spending time with those who need our love the most.
Lord, be with me when I struggle in my relationships. Help me to recognize You in the people in my life. 

Becky Fontana, ‘99, Member of the Worshipping Community

First Reading: Isaiah 49:1-6
Psalm 71:1-4a, 5-6ab, 15, 17
Gospel: John 13:21-33, 36-38

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday of Holy Week
St. Ignatius once said: “go forth and set the world on fire.” I am by no means a perfect person and I wish I could go out every day and do just what St. Ignatius asks us. In today’s Scripture reading, God is asking us to go forth and help those who may not see the light or are in trouble. God has put each one of us here, has “formed [us],” to be light for others and show His goodness to all. I think we all forget that God is calling us all to be teachers. We all lead by example and we are all here to teach one another. In the Scripture reading, I believe that is exactly what God wants us to do. He knows that we are by no means perfect, that some of us may struggle in doing that, but ultimately if we touch one person, if ultimately we help one person, if ultimately we teach one person, then maybe we will teach ourselves something. That we all matter. We are all God’s children.
God, we pray that we will remember that we are all God’s children and that we are all here to make a difference no matter how big or small. 

Eric Jaukkuri, ‘13

First Reading: Isaiah 42:1-7
Psalm 27:1-3, 13-14
Gospel: John 12:1-11

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Passion Sunday
I remember feeling confused about Palm Sunday as a child.  We received palm branches as we entered the church, and much to my delight, we waved them enthusiastically during the procession and while the Gospel was proclaimed.  I felt joy in this moment.  I enjoyed the pageantry of it, and appreciated seeing my congregation display a spark of passion and life that I didn’t see every Sunday.  Mostly, I recall feeling a deep sense of community as we collectively welcomed Christ and expressed our devotion to Him.

Moments later, however, when the Passion was proclaimed, I found myself, along with the rest of the congregation, calling for Jesus to be crucified.  As a child, I couldn’t make sense of this.  Why does the Church, the people of God, have such a tragic change of heart within the course of the Palm Sunday liturgy?

Now that I’m a little further along on my journey, I see the inherent wisdom in this liturgy because as disciples of Christ, we both embrace and turn away from Christ’s transformative power in our lives.  The Scripture scholar, N.T. Wright, reminds us that as Christians, “We cannot worship the suffering God today and ignore Him tomorrow. We cannot eat and drink the body and blood of the passionate and compassionate God today, and then refuse to live passionately and compassionately tomorrow.”  But, all too often, this is exactly what we do.  We, individual disciples and the Christian community, in our weakness, fail to be faithful to Jesus and His Way even as we claim to follow Him.  Today’s liturgy reminds us that if we proclaim Jesus as the Messiah, we must be willing to give our lives to Him and His way.  We must be open to the Spirit, take up our crosses, and be for the world what Jesus was for the world — announcing the Reign of God, challenging oppressive structures, and bringing healing and peace to a world in pain.
Lord, send Your Spirit upon us so that we may embrace Christ’s transformative power in our lives, and in Your merciful love, help us and strengthen us when we miss the mark.  Amen.

Jason Moore, ‘01, Assistant Director of Edmundite Campus Ministry

Procession Gospel: Mark 11:1-10 or John 12:12-16
First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-7
Psalm 22:8-9, 17-18a, 19-20, 23-24
Second Reading: Philippians 2:6-11
Gospel: Mark 14:1-15:47:66 or 15:1-39

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website