Celebrant: As people of faith we seek to dwell in the house of the Lord. With confidence that the Lord will hear our prayers, we now present our petitions.
For the Church throughout the world, that through her teachings and witness, many may embrace the truth of Jesus, we pray to the Lord...For the Pope, bishops, priests, and all who preach the Gospel, and for all who hear their message around the world, we pray to the Lord...For those in authority in Government and commerce, that they make their decisions based on prayerful discernment of God's will, we pray to the Lord...That as we recognize Jesus in broken bread, so we may recognize Him in broken lives, including those we consider burdensome, inconvenient, and unwanted, we pray to the Lord...
That all administrative professionals may find the Lord's strength and guidance in their work, we pray to the Lord...
That the witness of this parish community to the risen Christ may echo into our neighborhoods, schools and work places, inviting others to believe the Good News, we pray to the Lord...
That our brothers and sisters who have died may share in the heavenly banquet prepared for them by the Lord, we pray to the Lord...
Almighty Father, as you hear and answer our prayers, grant us the grace to endure all that comes to us in this life. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Easter is a Season
Just as Sunday is one day out of seven, so the Easter season, a period of 50 days, is approximately one-seventh of the year. The Easter season, a time of special rejoicing and celebration of the Resurrection of Christ, is the “Great Sunday” of the year. The liturgical prayers and readings focus on the Resurrection and the effects that it has on believers and on the world. The Acts of the Apostles is a book of Scripture that provides the source of most of the readings of the Easter Season, and it shows the vigor with which the apostles proclaimed the Resurrection and brought many to the waters of baptism to share the new life of Christ. This season is a celebration of life, and leads us all to a deeper commitment to proclaim, celebrate, and serve the gift of human life.
Acts 3:13-15, 17-191 Jn 2:1-5aLk 24:35-48
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The readings today make it clear that the events of Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday were foretold, and that they occurred for the purpose of repentance. In the same way that God foresaw these events, he foresaw each of us having the opportunity to receive the grace and salvation that these events bring. The way to celebrate the Easter season, in other words, is to actually repent, to take hold of the transforming power of Christ’s death and resurrection, and as a result to be “made perfect in love,” as John describes in the second reading. What happens in our lives – and what can happen still – is just as much in God’s sight, from all eternity, as what happened to Christ.
Peter, furthermore, calls Christ “the author of life” in the first reading, and the Gospel passage clearly reveals that this author of life is not a ghost, but a person who has real flesh and blood. As we are transformed by Easter and grow in God’s love, we grow in our deep appreciation for the gift of life (natural and supernatural), and our appreciation of the body. One key theme of the culture of death is the false separation of the body from the person. In other words, people “do what they want with their bodies,” and even look the other way when the bodies of children are aborted, because they often believe that the body is not important, or is not as much an aspect of the person as is the soul. But the physical resurrection of Christ is a revelation of the sacredness of the human body, and of the fact that the love we are called to have, the commandments we are called to obey, and the repentance we are called to practice all involve a deep reverence for physical human life.