After the intensity of Lent and Holy Week, Easter for many people becomes just a one-day feast. But nothing could be further from the truth. Easter is more than just one day in the life of the church. Easter is a 50 day season in the life of the Church. It is a season of celebrating our new life in Christ and is the most joyous season of the Christian year. The Easter season begins at sunset on Easter Vigil and continues throughout the Day of Pentecost.
I found my inspiration for this next series of images from the Psalms of the Season of Easter (cycle A). This series of images which can be used as Facebook or Twitter Covers or can be used as general images to share on your other Social Media channels.
Enjoy and Celebrate this Season joyfully and intentionally!
“You could not keep watch with me for one hour?” – Matthew 26:40
The famous Trappist monk, Thomas Merton said: “The biggest disease in North America is busyness.” How very true it is. Our lives are a constant barrage of busy and noisy. TV, video games, iPods, IPads and cell phones mean that our lives are filled with a constant noise. All of this while we juggle the constant stream of places and activities that keep us "busy" and dominate our lives. Crammed into just one hour we can be taking one child/grandchild to this sports practice and one to this dance recital. Getting the family pet to the vet and our aging parents to their latest medical test. All this while our minds are remembering and planning dinner preparation needs before we make that final pit-stop at the grocery store.
It is all a never-ending cycle of busyness that becomes the motivating condition of our lives - if we let it.
But Jesus himself has asked us to do this one thing for him this most Holy Week of the year. To stay for a while in the garden and just keep watch with him. He has taken on the pain and sorrow that fills our lives and even taken the burden of our busyness. He just asks us to slow-it-down for one hour. Just give him one hour.
One hour at Holy Thursday Mass to pray with him in the garden and to dine with him at the table of His last supper.
One hour to experience the final steps of his agony and passion and to humble ourselves and venerate the Cross on Good Friday
One joyful and glorious hour to rejoice and celebrate on Easter that he has concurred death, he has risen and he truly lives today and for all of time.
HOMILY OF POPE FRANCIS
PALM SUNDAY OF THE LORD'S PASSION
ST PETER'S SQUARE
13 APRIL 2014
This week begins with the festive procession with olive branches: the entire populace welcomes Jesus. The children and young people sing, praising Jesus. But this week continues in the mystery of Jesus’ death and his resurrection. We have just listened to the Passion of our Lord. We might well ask ourselves just one question: Who am I? Who am I, before my Lord? Who am I, before Jesus who enters Jerusalem amid the enthusiasm of the crowd? Am I ready to express my joy, to praise him? Or do I stand back? Who am I, before the suffering Jesus?
We have just heard many, many names. The group of leaders, some priests, the Pharisees, the teachers of the law, who had decided to kill Jesus. They were waiting for the chance to arrest him. Am I like one of them?
We have also heard another name: Judas. Thirty pieces of silver. Am I like Judas? We have heard other names too: the disciples who understand nothing, who fell asleep while the Lord was suffering. Has my life fallen asleep? Or am I like the disciples, who did not realize what it was to betray Jesus? Or like that other disciple, who wanted to settle everything with a sword? Am I like them? Am I like Judas, who feigns loved and then kisses the Master in order to hand him over, to betray him? Am I a traitor? Am I like those people in power who hastily summon a tribunal and seek false witnesses: am I like them? And when I do these things, if I do them, do I think that in this way I am saving the people?
Am I like Pilate? When I see that the situation is difficult, do I wash my hands and dodge my responsibility, allowing people to be condemned – or condemning them myself?
Am I like that crowd which was not sure whether they were at a religious meeting, a trial or a circus, and then chose Barabbas? For them it was all the same: it was more entertaining to humiliate Jesus.
Am I like the soldiers who strike the Lord, spit on him, insult him, who find entertainment in humiliating him?
Am I like the Cyrenean, who was returning from work, weary, yet was good enough to help the Lord carry his cross?
Am I like those who walked by the cross and mocked Jesus: "He was so courageous! Let him come down from the cross and then we will believe in him!" Mocking Jesus….
Am I like those fearless women, and like the mother of Jesus, who were there, and who suffered in silence?
Am I like Joseph, the hidden disciple, who lovingly carries the body of Jesus to give it burial?
Am I like the two Marys, who remained at the Tomb, weeping and praying?
Am I like those leaders who went the next day to Pilate and said, "Look, this man said that he was going to rise again. We cannot let another fraud take place!", and who block life, who block the tomb, in order to maintain doctrine, lest life come forth?
Where is my heart? Which of these persons am I like? May this question remain with us throughout the entire week.
This week, Holy Week, more than any other week in our liturgical year I ponder the question - Who am I like in the story?
For at different times I am like Judas,
at times I am like Peter...
I am like the guards who mock him..
I am the like the women who mourn him...
First Fridays with Francis are a time where I share something that Pope Francis has said that has been a source of inspiration for me. This month's First Fridays with Francis words come from his Angelus Message of 3/24/14, the third Sunday of Lent. The entire message is one of such joy and such encouragement, that it was hard to pick just one part to share.
What an amazing thought. Jesus thirsts to encounter those of us who are parched. Those of us who are lost and seeking. He wants us to ask those questions that we have been too afraid to ask in the past. There is profound freedom in knowing that he waits, that he more than waits - he thirsts - to encounter those of us who are parched.
Thank-you once again Pope Francis for sharing with us words of hope and faith.
by Cyndi Marlow
The above image is created for sharing via social media! Please share if you agree!
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