Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Sunday
Scene:  A man is preaching on the corner of a busy intersection on Easter.

Preacher: Jesus has risen from the dead!

Person from the Crowd: You mean that the spirit of Jesus is alive in our hearts.

Preacher: No, I am saying that Jesus rose from the dead.

Person from the Crowd: Oh, you mean that Jesus came back from the dead, just like the daughter of Jairus or the son of the widow of Nain or Lazarus, Jesus’ friend.

Preacher: No, I am saying that Jesus was raised from the dead to new life!

Person from the Crowd: Oh, you mean that Jesus was not resuscitated but resurrected to a new way of life, different than ours.

Preacher: Now you’ve got it right!  And, just so you know, you too can rise to that new life!

Lord Jesus, You who rose from the dead, open my heart and my mind to this new possibility of life that You have prepared from me and all those who believe in You.  Help to trust that what happened to You on this day of Easter may happen to me one day.  Amen

Fr. David Theroux, S.S.E. ’70, Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies

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

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website




Saturday, April 4, 2015

Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil)
Historically, a vigil was a period of nighttime watchfulness; sleep intentionally disrupted for a ritual or military purpose. One may imagine soldiers standing guard on the eve of a battle. The warfare we may encounter on this vigil night will be of a spiritual sort, but as we see in the readings, the drama and intensity of this moment reaches the same emotional apex as a clash of arms. The readings run the gamut of all of creation history, from the formation of the world to the Exodus from Egypt. The recurrent theme is that out of the elemental darkness and chaos, we travel through both time and our own weaknesses and failings to the rising sun of God’s redeeming gift, our eternal salvation. Spoken of by prophets, witnessed by Evangelists and memorialized by Paul, we are able during this vigil to ruminate on how all of creation and all of history points inexorably to the resurrection of our redeemer Jesus Christ from the dead, this moment reorienting once and for all the sweep of history, and the tenor of our own individual lives. For as we see in the Gospel for this night, the encounter with the resurrection need not resemble the big bang, or the parting of the Red Sea; it can be, and likely will be, a personal encounter, individual to individual, like poor women in a burial ground. We stand vigil tonight not only for the great miracle that will save us all, but for the personal connections we have that give it true context and meaning.

God our Redeemer, as we keep watch today for the resurrection of Your Son, let us remember that it is in the small things as much as the large that You are present, in the meek as much as the great, and that the silences of our hearts are as eloquent as the sounds. We ask for patience and faith through Christ Your son, and the intercession of Mary our mother. Amen.

Brother Michael Carter, S.S.E. ’12

First Reading: 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, 20, 22
Second Reading: Genesis 22:1-18 or 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18
Psalm 16:5, 8-11
Third Reading: Exodus 14:15—15:1
(Psalm) Exodus 15:1-6, 17-18
Fourth Reading: Isaiah 54:5-14
Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13
Fifth Reading: Isaiah 55:1-11
(Psalm) Isaiah 12:2-3, 4-6
Sixth Reading: Baruch 3:9-15, 32—4:4
Psalm 19:8-11
Seventh Reading: Ezekiel 36:16-17a, 18-28
Psalm 42:3, 5; 43:3-4
Eighth Reading: 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 3, 2015

Good Friday
“We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses” (Heb 4:15)

On December 18, 2014, many of us had the privilege to witness the ordination of Lino Oropeza to the priesthood for the Society of Saint Edmund.  This was a privilege granted to us not because of the generous space available in our Chapel.  Rather, it lay in the gift of being present to the beauty of the ceremony and to the power of Bishop Terry Lavalley’s message to the community gathered there that day.  Bishop Lavalley spoke of the priesthood as a total gift and sacrifice of the person to Christ.  Yet it was not without joy that he spoke of the wondrous service foreshadowed in Lino’s ministry. 

The Good Friday reading from St. John’s Gospel also makes transparent the noble—even glorious—sacrifice Jesus accomplished even in His Passion.  How ironic that the voices of the “high priests” and “chief priests”—which figure so prominently (at least eleven times) before Jesus dies—should go mute once the true priest, Jesus, delivers Himself up as God's ultimate gift of love for humankind! 

In St. Paul we read: [T]hough [Jesus] was in the form of God, [He] did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, He emptied Himself…and found human in appearance, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2: 6—8).  Meister Eckhart echoes Paul in stating: “To get at the core of God at His greatest, one must get into the core of Himself at his least.”  Indeed, in Him we have one who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses.

Gracious God, grant us the grace to know You more dearly in Jesus’ sacrifice of love.  May the Holy Spirit of our own baptismal priesthood unite us to His sacrifice.  We make our prayer in the name of the same Jesus, our Lord.  Amen.

Fr. Marcel Rainville, S.S.E. 67, Edmundite Campus Ministry

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 2, 2015

Holy Thursday
No celebration on our liturgical calendar reminds us more than Holy Thursday does that believing needs belonging.  That belonging is so dramatically expressed to us in the central symbols of this day: the sharing of the Body and the Blood, and the humble service of washing one another’s feet: “Do this in memory of me;” “as I have done, so you must do.”  It is impossible to be a follower of Jesus alone.  There never was or is a time when Christianity was or is churchless, believed in, and lived out simply in private.  Even in our deepest and most solitary moments of prayer, we are not alone in God’s presence, for we come as persons shaped by networks of relationships, joined to others by their reaching out to us and our reaching out to them, joined to others in faith and at the table of the Lord.  From start to finish, the Gospel of Jesus repeats the call to communion in community: You can't love God without loving your neighbor; when you pray, say our Father; forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; if you go to the altar with an offering to God, leave it there and go first to be reconciled with your sister or brother; where two or three of you are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of you.  Indeed even God is Communion: God is love; God is One in Three. 

So we pray today in the responsorial psalm: “To You will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving...My vows to the Lord I will pay in the presence of all His people.”

 Fr. Richard Berube, S.S.E. ’61, emeritus professor of Religious Studies

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 1, 2015

Wednesday of Holy Week
The tone of the readings from Isaiah and Matthew is not very uplifting but certainly reflects the tenor of the midway point of Holy Week. The theme suggests humility and acceptance with the knowledge that God is always there to support and love as stated in the responsorial: “Lord, in your great love, answer me.”  Our great example is God made man, Jesus Christ. He is accepting of his plight that He must suffer and die in order to fulfill the word and redeem all of mankind.

As we reflect on the words of the readings and pause to meditate, let us consider the questions that Bishop Christopher Coyne asked recently, “What are we doing well? What are we not doing well?”  He was referring to the Church as a whole but let us apply the questions to us as individuals. Do our actions support our words? How do we support our fellow world citizens both spiritually and materially? Perhaps we are more like Judas at times when our actions do not back up what we say; we betray ourselves. As we proceed through the remainder of Holy Week and culminate the week with the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, let us all celebrate what we are doing well and go forward with the resolve to make better the things that we are not doing well, staying positive with the reminder that God is our help.

Please help me to accept my imperfections and rejoice in my strengths. “Lord, in your great love, answer me.”

Barbara J. Gaida, M’01, Member of the Worshipping Community

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

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tuesday of Holy Week
Today’s readings encourage a bold and confident faith in God in all life circumstances.  Isaiah’s remarkable declaration of “God having raised up a servant who will be an instrument of God’s glory” comes amidst the destruction of the temple, and God’s people being taken to Babylon in chains. Our Scriptures are filled with unlikely servants (Rahab, David, Mary, etc.), but the servant Isaiah announces that God will not only “restore Israel,” but will serve as “a light to the nations…with salvation reaching the ends of the earth.” This is a bold and prophetic faith, indeed, in a time of ruin and defeat.

Psalm 71, sometimes called the “prayer of the aged believer” was likely authored by King David near the end of a long and remarkable life experience and relationship with God. Psalm 71 asserts that God deserves our confidence in all circumstances and “we should sing of God’s salvation.”

The double betrayal revealed at the Last Supper that John’s Gospel describes, is an all too familiar story. Jesus tells Peter that Judas will betray him, causing Peter to assert he would lay down his life, if he could only go where Jesus is going. Jesus quickly predicts Peter’s betrayal and denial of his Lord.

Grace assures us of God’s presence and love.  We don’t need to earn God’s love. A bold and confident faith in God in all life circumstances, however, can be a challenge. May God be with us as we work to have a greater trust in God.

Gracious and loving God, help us to examine what we are called to do in order that we may be in a more reciprocal and trusting relationship with You.  Amen.

Michael Samara, Academic Support Staff and Campus Minister

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

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website


Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday of Holy Week
How many can truly claim they have faith? Not the appearance of faith that is seen certain times of the year when going to Mass is fashionable. Not the showy faith of those who claim time and again to be doing God’s will and serving God’s people when they in reality are only taking advantage of the less fortunate as Judas does for a quick buck. Not the faith that needs words. How many can claim that they have the type of faith that rests in the quiet heart, the heart that bleeds for wounds it does not receive? The faith that asks us to leave the comforts of our homes without the promise of return. The faith that asks us to be just, even when injustice is piled against us. The faith that would motivate us to spend a year’s worth of pay just to wash the feet of a dying man.

Faith is a calling. A calling out of our homes. A calling away from all comforts. A calling to be cold. Alone. Scared. Hungry. Hated. Loved. Faith is not simple. It is not enough to say that you believe in this and not that, but to put your trust in the things which you believe in. It does not require perfection. One need not be perfect to have faith, but by faith are we made perfect.

Lord, let the light of Your love shine through us, that evil may find no resting place in our souls, and that we may find no hiding place from true faith in You. Amen.

Shawn Ward, ’15

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