Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

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Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Easter Homilies

Easter Vigil 2010

Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen! Alleluia!

On this most sacred of all nights

the heavenly powers sing in jubilation

all the earth exults in the shining splendor of the conquering king

Mother Church rejoices in the glory of her risen Savior.

This sacred place resounds with joy

echoing the mighty praise of God’s people, redeemed by the risen Christ!

Tonight we bask in the glory of the Light of Christ

listen with reverence to the great stories of salvation history

bathe in the saving waters of Baptism

and rejoice that Christ has returned to us

and is alive in the Eucharist we celebrate once again on the third day.

With excitement the Apostles and the women who cared for Jesus

proclaimed to one another in the brightness of Easter morning:

He is alive and has appeared to us!

For over two thousand years hence the Church has proclaimed the same message:

Christ is a alive and has appeared to us

in Word and in Sacraments

in Scripture and Tradition

in the ministry of priests and the love and service of all God’s people.

Tonight our world-wide, trans-cultural, and centuries-old family of faith

welcomes nineteen of its newest members

through the waters of Baptism and the anointing of Confirmation.

You have been preparing through the RCIA process for this most special night

when your souls are joined to Christ permanently and indelibly

as members of His Mystical Body.

We welcome you into our local parish under the patronage of St. Michael –

a community of faith with a rich history and a legacy of service.

More significantly we welcome you into the universal Church,

which has for two millennia transcended all human boundaries

holding fast and proclaiming the fullness of Christ's love and truth.

This great family includes people of every race.

We are young and old, rich and poor, men and women.

We are sinners and saints.

We have spanned the centuries and the globe.

With God’s grace, we have established hospitals to care for the sick.

We have built orphanages to rescue God’s precious children.

We have served the needs of the poor and brought comfort to the afflicted.

Our religious and lay teachers educate more children

than any other academic institution.

Our scholars and monks developed the scientific method and the college system.'

We defend the dignity of all human life

and uphold the sacred realities of Marriage and family.

At 1.2 billion, we are the largest religious community in the world.

Many of the world’s greatest cities are named after our revered saints.

Guided by the Holy Spirit, the Fathers of the Church compiled the Bible.

We are guided in the ways of faith by Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition

which together reveal the Word of God to us.

Jesus Christ is the foundation and center of our faith

and encountering Him more deeply is the goal of our lives.

Our Church is grounded in an unbroken succession of shepherds –

from Jesus’ chosen Apostles under the leadership of Saint Peter

to the pope and bishops of our own day

who proclaim God’s love and truth in a confused and hurting world.

In a world of chaos and hardship,

we take comfort in knowing that some things are consistent, true and safe:

the teachings of our Catholic Faith and the eternal love of our God.

We rejoice in the precious gift of the seven Sacraments,

outward signs of God’s hidden grace.

and especially for the Eucharist, the living and abiding presence of Jesus Christ

in the Mass and in the tabernacles of our churches throughout the world.

We have prayed for the world for centuries as we offer the Mass

and our priests have been instruments of mercy in every age and land.

Tonight we welcome nineteen men and women

into this extraordinary community of faith.

Tonight the waters of the font give birth to the newest Christians

as they are reborn in Baptism.

Tonight we who have been Catholic for many years

consider for ourselves how we might renew and deepen our faith

and more deeply experience the fullness of what Christ desires to give us

in the teaching, sacraments, and traditions of our Church.

We are one family, united in Jesus Christ, who is alive and revealing Himself to us!

My dear friends about to be baptized and confirmed…

we are the Catholic Church…

welcome home!

Easter Sunday 2010

Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen! Alleluia!

On this most sacred of all days

the heavenly powers sing in jubilation

all the earth exults in the shining splendor of the conquering king

Mother Church rejoices in the glory of her risen Savior.

This sacred place resounds with joy

echoing the mighty praise of God’s people, redeemed by the risen Christ!

This morning we bask in the glory of the Light of Christ

are sprinkled with the saving waters of Baptism

as we renew our commitment to Christ

and rejoice that He has returned to us

and is alive in the Eucharist we celebrate once again on the third day.

On Easter morning the women travel to the tomb where Christ was buried

expecting to find His body

and to anoint Him with the spices they had prepared.

Yet when they arrive they find the stone rolled back,

the tomb empty

and the body of Jesus gone.

Mary Magdalene is stricken with sadness and panic:

“They have taken the Lord

and I do not know where they have laid Him.”

The women and the Apostles are confused and in fear,

having experienced the cruel and burial

of their trusted friend and teacher

and now unable to find His body.

Peace returns to their lives and hearts only when they can see Jesus again.

He appears to Mary, who is weeping outside the tomb,

then to a few disciples on the road to Emmaus

and finally on Easter evening to all of them gathered in the upper room.

He speaks to them, allows them to touch Him, and embraces them.

They have seen Him once again, have touched His body,

and rejoice that their beloved Jesus has returned to them.

They had seen for themselves the lifeless Jesus and sealed the stone-cold tomb.

And now…oh what wonder and amazement…He is alive!

With excitement the Apostles and the women who cared for Jesus

proclaimed to one another:

He is alive and has appeared to us!

For over two thousand years hence the Church has proclaimed the same message:

Christ is alive and has appeared to us!

And we have seen His body…His Mystical Body, the Church…

and His Mystical Body is alive!

The universal Church has for two millennia transcended all human boundaries

holding fast and proclaiming the fullness of Christ's love and truth.

Our great family includes people of every race.

We are young and old, rich and poor, men and women.

We are sinners and saints.

We have spanned the centuries and the globe.

With God’s grace, we have established hospitals to care for the sick.

We have built orphanages to rescue God’s precious children.

We have served the needs of the poor and brought comfort to the afflicted.

Our religious and lay teachers educate more children

than any other academic institution.

We defend the dignity of all human life

and uphold the sacred realities of Marriage and family.

We are guided in the ways of faith by Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition

which together reveal the Word of God to us.

Jesus Christ is the foundation and center of our faith

and encountering Him more deeply is the goal of our lives.

Our Church is grounded in an unbroken succession of shepherds –

from Jesus’ chosen Apostles under the leadership of Saint Peter

to the pope and bishops of our own day.

In a world of chaos, hardship, and heartache,

we take comfort in knowing that some things are consistent, true and safe:

the teachings of our Catholic Faith and the eternal love of our God.

We rejoice in the precious gift of the seven Sacraments,

outward signs of God’s hidden grace.

and especially for the Eucharist, the living and abiding presence of Jesus Christ

in the Mass and in the tabernacles of our churches throughout the world.

We have prayed for the world for centuries as we offer the Mass

and have been an instrument of mercy in every age and land.

Christ is alive as well in our local parish under the patronage of Saint Michael.

Last night at the Easter Vigil we welcomed eighteen men and women into the Church

through the waters of Baptism and the anointing of Confirmation.

We have at least 6 young men in our parish considering a vocation to the priesthood

and a strong committee of parishioners supporting them

and working and praying for vocations.

We have a vibrant respect life committee

which brings to our minds knowledge and opportunities

to help form us as a community that loves all human life.

We have a dedicated and talented music ministry,

which gives life to our celebration of the liturgy

and increases the richness of our prayer.

We have an active social concerns committee and extensive outreach to those in need.

We have a strong Catholic school, the Parish School of Religion,

and vibrant Life Teen program.

We adore the Blessed Sacrament every Thursday during the day.

Our ministries reach out to the grieving, the sick, hospitalized and homebound.

Our volunteers and staff serve the community with love and faith.

In these and other ways we are confident that Christ is alive and has appeared to us

in the life and ministry of the universal Church

and in our own parish of Saint Michael.

What is more, His Body, the Church, is alive!

Today we consider for ourselves how we might renew and deepen our faith

as we renew our commitment to Christ.

We consider how we might more deeply experience

the fullness of what Christ desires to give us

in the teaching, sacraments, and traditions of our Church.

If you have been away from the Church, please see the bulletin

for information about Catholics Returning Home.

We are one family, united in Jesus Christ. We are the Catholic Church.

Christ is alive and is revealing Himself to us.

May we answer the call to join him in His redeeming work.

1 comment:

Mark Moorhead said...

I'd love to hear homilies like these in my parish. They remind me of the Catholics Come Home (I think that's what it's called) commercials. Words like these make me feel good about being Catholic. We certainly need a boost in our Catholic morale these days (a resurrection of sorts), with the Church and her leaders under attack. If we aren't getting it from within, from our pastors... from where will it come? Thanks for your boldness, Father.