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5 parts of Celebration of Sunday. Part I – Resurrection of Christ
23 M01 2020 г.
23 M01 2020 г.
The Resurrection of Christ a) Reflection on God’s Word Turn your eyes towards the sky of stars. Millions of stars. They all move according to laws established by God. And how big they are! The Sun is 1.300.000 times as large as our Earth. Sirius is 8 times larger than the Sun and there are even bigger celestial bodies! The Milky Way is 20.000 light years away. Many other constellations are millions of light years away. One can observe wonderful laws on our little Earth too: conditions for life, the mystery of life and its transmission, the wonders of animal instincts. The mystery of human life: immune system, activity of the brain or heart or lungs, nervous system, sight. Moreover, the mystery of mental and spiritual life, desire for happiness, conscience… A series of wonders! Belief in Darwin’s atheistic ideology is contrary to critical science and reason. By our reason we come to a knowledge of the invisible Creator, the Author of the creation. There are miracles all around us. Let us open our eyes! God works miracles in our lives as well. Another miracle is the Resurrection of Christ! Divine mysteries are not contrary to reason but rather beyond the range of reason. In spirit we can see the stone tomb at Calvary. During Saturday night it is guarded by the Roman soldiers. The chief priests and Pharisees said to Pilate about the dead Jesus: “While He was still alive, He said: ‘After three days I will rise!’ Therefore command that the tomb be made secure.” (Mt 27:63-65) The night is silent. At one moment His body, which thus far had been lying in the tomb, was raised and changed. This changed body passed through the stone tomb because it was no longer subject to physical laws. The moment of the Resurrection confirmed that the Gospel of Christ is true and that Christ is true God. It took place in absolute silence and secrecy. Not even the guards knew when Christ had come out of the tomb. Jesus Christ died and rose again. Each of us encounters the reality of death. Even your relatives will once stand at your graveside and mourn. Dark graves give us a fright. Jesus, however, assures us that we shall be raised. Our body of Christ. This promise is for everyone who has received Christ and belongs to Him. What immense joy for us! Jesus is risen indeed! And we too shall be raised and partake of the infinite happiness and joy in heaven. b) Recitation of God’s Word (5 min): We all repeat: “Christ is risen from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1Cor 15:20) c) Prayer according to God’s Word (5 min): We all say together: “Christ is risen!”, and one of us adds: “He is risen indeed!” d) Song (5 min): During the song, I rejoice by faith in the Resurrection of Christ. Song: “Jesus our Lord is Alive” The Risen Christ appears to His Mother a) Reflection on God’s Word The Scripture is silent about the encounter of the risen Christ with His Mother. In the hour of His death, she stood by the cross and, being both His and our Mother, she died spiritually together with Him. When the dead body of Jesus was taken down from the cross, she touched His wounds not only with her hand but with her heart too. The tortured body was then laid in a tomb of stone. Friday is drawing to a close and night is falling. What are the feelings of a mother during the night after the burial of her only beloved son? She feels deep grief in her heart. The Mother of God keeps all Jesus’ words in her heart, and now she abides in His redemptive statement: “The Son of Man will be rejected and killed, but on the third day He will be raised from the dead.” In deep grief but with great faith and in anxious expectation, she recalls His words: “…but on the third day He will be raised from the dead.” Saturday, a day of grief and expectation in great hope! She fully believes in these words of God in the face of the most severe trial when all are plunged in grief and hopelessness! She is a model for us, her second-born sons and daughters – a model of faith and trust in the promise of God. Saturday is drawing to a close; the dawn of the third day is approaching. At which moment exactly it happened is not important. The room where she is fills with light and in this light there stands her Son, Jesus. It is a moment of unspeakable joy, happiness and peace. Jesus is standing here and penetrates her whole being by His supernatural light. In the depths of her soul and spirit, she experiences the presence of her Risen Son, the mystery of her resurrection with Him. She is a living tabernacle. At the moment of the Incarnation of the Word of God, the fullness of grace descended on her (Lk 1:28) and she received all spiritual gifts both for herself and for us! Now she is the new spiritual Jerusalem again, the place of encounter with God and God’s dwelling place among men (cf. Rev 21:1-3). At this moment, she not only realizes her deep unity with her Son but she is also looking into His eyes – He is standing here and looking at her with great love. The presence of Jesus radiates unutterable peace. She utters quietly from the bottom of her heart: “Ye-ho-shu-a…”. When the women went to the tomb early in the morning, the Mother of Jesus was not with them. The women saw an angel, met two young men and finally encountered Jesus Himself. The silence of the Scripture does not deny the fact that the Mother of Jesus was the first to whom Jesus appeared. On the contrary, it takes it for granted, and the Tradition of the Church has acknowledged it. The Scripture testifies that through baptism we participate in the death and Resurrection of Christ (cf. Rom 3-5). Try to live the following truth at least for a few seconds: “Jesus, You are now in me, and I in You.” (cf. Jn 14:20-23; Jn 15:4-5) b) Recitation of God’s Word (5 min): We all repeat: “O Pure Mother of God, glory in the Resurrection of Him whom You bore!” c) Prayer according to God’s Word (5 min): We all say together: “Ye-ho-shu-aa-aa-aa*”, and one of us adds: “You are in me through Your Mother!” d) Song (5 min): In spirit, together with Mary, I experience the mystery of her resurrection and encounter with Jesus. Song: “Shine forth, O New Jerusalem” Our resurrection with Christ a) Reflection on God’s Word Our participation in the Resurrection of Christ through faith is now spiritual one. At the Second Coming, our body too will be raised in glory. As for the resurrection of the body, it is said: “For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” (1Cor 15:21-22) We were buried through baptism into the death of Christ (Rom 6:3). To enter into the death of Christ means to seek and do the will of God (cf. 2Cor 4:10f; Rom 12:1-2). The powers of the human soul are memory, reason and will. Sin infects and paralyzes the soul. How? Memory fails to remember the essential things and ignores the reality of death, God’s judgment and eternal punishment! Neither does it remind us of eternal happiness in heaven which Jesus Christ has opened for us by His death! Reason and its intellectual pride loves lies and pseudo philosophies or psychologies. It tries to avoid the reality of a fight with lies and evil, and refuses to bow before God’s laws and mysteries which God reveals to those who seek the truth! Proud reason rejects its salvation in Christ but uncritically accepts pagan religions and their demons, and promotes heresies of an antigospel. Will tainted by sin, by lusts of the flesh and pride of the soul does not want to do good but does evil under the guise of good and truth. Be aware of the reality: You will die! Where? When? Only God knows! Look at the clock, there are 12 numbers there, and one hour will be your last. Be ready! Death will come as a thief. Will you die of cancer? Of heart failure? Or thrombosis? Or in a car accident? After that, God’s judgment awaits you! And then you will either be condemned to hell with all demons or enter into eternal happiness in heaven with Christ, saints and angels. Salvation depends on one condition which is called repentance! It means to admit your sin and to receive Christ as your Saviour and Lord! The Apostle also reminds: “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” (Rom 8:11) Christ – both crucified and risen – dwells in us too! Be mindful of it! b) Recitation of God’s Word (5 min): We all repeat: “Christ was raised from the dead! And we were raised together with Him.” (cf. Eph 2:6) c) Prayer according to God’s Word (5 min): We all say together: “Ye-ho-shu-aa-aa-aa”, and one of us adds: “I was raised together with You!” d) Song (5 min): Jesus is in me (in you), and I am in Him. He is the resurrection and the life. He is here. During the song “This is the day” (or “This is the night”), I experience the mystery of my resurrection with Christ.