Call to Prayer, a Call to Action

I know we are connected,
As nerve to muscle,
Sinew to bone,
Cell to cell,
Form and function
In call to action.

One holy Body,
Unique and alive,
Spirit pervading,
Each beloved member
All in humble subjugation,
Saintly suffusion,
As wills unite
In sanctified perfusion.

All unknowing, know by faith
The Father loving the Son.
Jesus, You are my prayer.
Held aloft in priestly hands,
You are we
A chorus of hearts,
Raised on the altar of the Cross.

copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

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This Day for God

John the Baptist baptizing Christ

Image via Wikipedia

Father, I thank you for this day, this holy day.

As I rise from sleep, may my soul arise, leaving sin to seek Your face.

As I wash in preparation for new day, I recall my Baptism

and the cleansing River of Life that flowed from the side of my Redeemer.

As I clothe my body, I remember the dignity of Christ and the Name by which He calls me.

I am clothed in the robes of a priest to sacrifice with Jesus in my day.

The words of a prophet live on my lips ready to give an account of my hope and joy.

The Kings of Kings proclaims me a king,

and by the power of His throne in heaven,

He rules in my life

and the lives my life touches through all generations.

Through my prayer of faith, covered in humility as the Blood of Christ, angels minister to the people of God,

bringing peace, protection, strength and provision

as I proclaim my “Amen” to His Will and His prayer “Father, forgive them.”

Go before me,Lord. Walk with me, Lord. Be my rearguard, Precious Savior, Warrior King!

You, Who live in me, suffer in my flesh that which is to be in this hour on Your Cross.

You are “more than a conqueror” as You bring about Your kingdom in this day.

O, Love sublime, my life is Thine.

HOLY SATURDAY – The body of Jesus is in the tomb


Luke23_50_TheBurial_Bloch

Luke23_50_TheBurial_Bloch
HOLY SATURDAY – The body of Jesus is in the tomb but His soul is among the dead to announce the kingdom. The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear it will Live (John 5:25). Consider what it must have been like for the dead in Limbo ( the "hell" of the Apostles’ Creed) to awaken to the voice of Jesus! Meanwhile The Disciples, heartbroken at the death of Jesus, observed the Jewish Sabbath in sorrow. They had forgotten the promise of Jesus that He would rise. We cannot forget His promise. We cannot forget.

We spend this day in quite reflection, weeping at the tomb of our Lord. Fasting and abstinence are recommended, but are not of obligation.

This night in our parish after sundown, at 8:30 pm, we gather for the Great Easter Vigil where we will experience Jesus rising from the dead. (Our Lord rose from the dead during this most blessed of nights, for the Gospels tell us that the faithful women went to the tomb very early in the morning, while it was still dark, and the tomb was already empty. That is why the Great Mass of Easter takes place at night.) We gather in darkness and light the Easter fire which reminds us that Jesus is light in the darkness. He is the light of the world. We attentively listen to Bible stories describing God’s saving work of the past. Suddenly, the church lights are lit and the Gloria is sung as we celebrate the moment of Christ’s resurrection. He Lives! As a Church we sing Alleluia for the first time in forty days. In the joy of the resurrection we then celebrate the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist for our Catechumens who have prepared many months for this night. Do everything you can to be present on this evening and invite friends and family to join. Our Vigil ushers in an Easter joy that never ends!

Of course the Easter Vigil fulfills the Sunday obligation – it is THE Great Mass of Easter (in fact, until the 5th century, it was the only Mass of Easter.)

Yes, the Easter Vigil is long (in our parish, about two and a half hours), but it is very beautiful. We keep it "moving right along", and it has beautiful music.
A blessed and joyful celebration of Easter to you all!
Msgr. Douglas A. Raun
Pastor
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish
1502 Sara, Rio Rancho, NM

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Who really died?

Who really died?
I never saw
The light of day.
Black descended,
Of a kind
I knew not,
And then no more….

How did I know you?
All I knew was you.
You flavored my becoming,
Your genes, my genes,
Your feelings,
Emotional rhythms,
Touching me
By blood connection.
All this,
And then no more…..

How did I feel you?
Warmth, gentle rocking
To and fro.
I felt you,
Heart-sounds
Surrounding me,
Pressing me,
Impressing me.
You whooshed at times
And hummed.
And then no more…..

How did I leave you?
I knew anguish
As once I knew you,
Your blood feeding mine,
I knew as parting,
Leaving behind mother
As gift withdrawn,
And bid goodbye.
Too young for endings,
Too soon to die,
And then no more…..

How now and by and by?
Sorrow and black
And then the Light.
New Day, as womb,
Enfolding me.
Life ending
Beginning yet again.
And I behold
The Face of God.
I live,
Knowing Love,
Yet still,
I wait for you.

Eternity has a door,
God knocks from His side,
I listen for you.
Pray but open the latch.
That you might die no more,
And free from sin,
Enter in.

There is yet more.
Who really died that day?

©2013 Joann Nelander

From Jewish Passover to Christian Eucharist: The Story of the Todah

From Jewish Passover to Christian Eucharist: The Story of the Todah

TIM GRAY

Scholars have often wondered how the practice of Christian Eucharist could have arisen from the Lord’s Supper, which occurred in the context of the Jewish Passover. Since Passover occurs only once a year, how is it that the Christians got the notion that they could celebrate Jesus’ sacrificial meal weekly, if not daily?

The Last Supper

Gustave Dore

The answer is found in the ancient Israelite sacrifice called the todah.

While most people have heard of Old Testament sacrifices such as the holocaust offering or burnt offering, those who have heard of the todah sacrifice are as rare as lotto winners. Today\’s ignorance concerning the todah, however, should not imply that it was unimportant to the Jews. Far from it. The todah was one of the most significant sacrifices of the Jews.

Indeed, an old Rabbinic teaching says: \"In the coming Messianic age all sacrifices will cease, but the thank offering [todah] will never cease.\"(1) What is it about this sacrifice that makes it stand alone in such a way that it would outlast all other sacrifices after the redemption of the Messiah?

A todah sacrifice would be offered by someone whose life had been delivered from great peril, such as disease or the sword. The redeemed person would show his gratitude to God by gathering his closest friends and family for a todah sacrificial meal. The lamb would be sacrificed in the Temple and the bread for the meal would be consecrated the moment the lamb was sacrificed. The bread and meat, along with wine, would constitute the elements of the sacred todah meal, which would be accompanied by prayers and songs of thanksgiving, such as Psalm 116.

What does the word \"todah\" mean? It is Hebrew for \"thanksgiving,\" although it also connotes a confession of praise in addition to gratitude. For example, Leah gave thanks to God when she bore her fourth son, and so she named him yehudah — or Judah — which is the verbal form of todah — to give thanks.

There are many examples in the Old Testament of people offering todah — thanks — to God. Jonah, while in the belly of the whale, vows to offer up a todah sacrifice in the Temple if he is delivered (cf. Jon. 2:3-10). King Hezekiah offers up a todah hymn upon recovering from a life-threatening illness (cf. Is. 38). However, the best example of todah sacrifice and song is found in the life of King David.

via From Jewish Passover to Christian Eucharist: The Story of the Todah.

Octave Before Christmas | DivineOffice.org

\”O\” Antiphons, a Family Prayer

December 17

O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!

December 18

O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!

December 19

O Root of Jesse’s stem,
sign of God’s love for all his people:
come to save us without delay!

December 20

O Key of David,
opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!

December 21

O Radiant Dawn,
splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the
shadow of death.

December 22

O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!

December 23

O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!

—From “Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers”

via Octave Before Christmas | DivineOffice.org.

Reciting or singing the “O Antiphons” have been part of our liturgical tradition since the very early Church. We, at Divineoffice.org made our mission to perpetuate this ancient tradition, to inspire families to gather in prayer and people around the word to join a community of prayer.

Let us remember that, in the Middle Ages, it became traditional to ring the great bells of the church each evening when the “O” Antiphones were being sung. Honoring this beautiful catholic tradition, this evening, at Vespers time, gather your loved ones and let us all pray, with one voice, to our Lord Jesus Christ who is to come.: