Browsing Tag

Easter

Catholicism

Return to Galilee

April 22, 2014

Pope Francis is such a gift to our times. His simplicity and humility pierce through so much of today’s complexities. He possesses a fresh and welcome perspective.

His homily from Easter is pasted below. I highlighted the phrases that stood out the most:

“The Gospel of the resurrection of Jesus Christ begins with the journey of the women to the tomb at dawn on the day after the Sabbath. They go to the tomb to honour the body of the Lord, but they find it open and empty. A mighty angel says to them: “Do not be afraid!” (Mt 28:5) and orders them to go and tell the disciples: “He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee” (v. 7). The women quickly depart and on the way Jesus himself meets them and says: “Do not fear; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me” (v. 10).

After the death of the Master, the disciples had scattered; their faith had been utterly shaken, everything seemed over, all their certainties had crumbled and their hopes had died. But now that message of the women, incredible as it was, came to them like a ray of light in the darkness. The news spread: Jesus is risen as he said. And then there was his command to go to Galilee; the women had heard it twice, first from the angel and then from Jesus himself: “Let them go to Galilee; there they will see me”.

Galilee is the place where they were first called, where everything began! To return there, to return to the place where they were originally called. Jesus had walked along the shores of the lake as the fishermen were casting their nets. He had called them, and they left everything and followed him (cf. Mt 4:18-22).

To return to Galilee means to re-read everything on the basis of the cross and its victory. To re-read everything – Jesus’ preaching, his miracles, the new community, the excitement and the defections, even the betrayal – to re-read everything starting from the end, which is a new beginning, from this supreme act of love.

For each of us, too, there is a “Galilee” at the origin of our journey with Jesus. “To go to Galilee” means something beautiful, it means rediscovering our baptism as a living fountainhead, drawing new energy from the sources of our faith and our Christian experience. To return to Galilee means above all to return to that blazing light with which God’s grace touched me at the start of the journey. From that flame I can light a fire for today and every day, and bring heat and light to my brothers and sisters. That flame ignites a humble joy, a joy which sorrow and distress cannot dismay, a good, gentle joy.

In the life of every Christian, after baptism there is also a more existential “Galilee”: the experience of a personal encounter with Jesus Christ who called me to follow him and to share in his mission. In this sense, returning to Galilee means treasuring in my heart the living memory of that call, when Jesus passed my way, gazed at me with mercy and asked me to follow him. It means reviving the memory of that moment when his eyes met mine, the moment when he made me realize that he loved me.

Today, tonight, each of us can ask: What is my Galilee? Where is my Galilee? Do I remember it? Have I forgotten it? Have I gone off on roads and paths which made me forget it? Lord, help me: tell me what my Galilee is; for you know that I want to return there to encounter you and to let myself be embraced by your mercy.

The Gospel of Easter is very clear: we need to go back there, to see Jesus risen, and to become witnesses of his resurrection. This is not to go back in time; it is not a kind of nostalgia. It is returning to our first love, in order to receive the fire which Jesus has kindled in the world and to bring that fire to all people, to the very ends of the earth.

“Galilee of the Gentiles” (Mt 4:15; Is 8:23)! Horizon of the Risen Lord, horizon of the Church; intense desire of encounter… Let us be on our way!”

Wowzers.

I think this is a beautiful homily to sit and pray with. To think back to that first encounter with Jesus…and to think about how his grace has woven itself into our lives from that point. To recall the zeal of the early days in our conversion. Maybe even to consider what has robbed that zeal from our hearts – anxiety? fear? burdens of life? lack of prayer? cut off from the Sacraments? Identifying obstacles to God’s grace in our lives can open up opportunities to “return to Galilee” and re-encounter Christ.

I urge anyone reading this to “go to Galilee.”

Encounter the Risen Christ for the first time or once again and experience the joy which “sorrow and distress cannot dismay.”

Infertility, Marriage

Little Happies: Easter

April 21, 2014

This Little Happies link up is brought to you by the Easter Triduum!

–one–

easter 3Holy Thursday

Jonathan and I were honored to  be asked by our Deacon to have our feet washed at the Holy Thursday evening mass. I have never gotten to do that before and it was truly a humbling and meditative experience.

Afterwards, our parish had a side chapel where people could spend time with Jesus in the “garden” since we are remembering those three days with him. After the Last Supper, he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemene and finally was arrested and imprisoned that night. It’s a really special time to “keep watch” with the Lord “in the garden” to prepare for Good Friday.

–two–

Good Friday

We were unable to make it to any Good Friday services at our parish due to a ultra-sound I had to get on my ovaries to check for any follicles. The happy in this was that I  was able to unite my real sufferings to Jesus during the hour of Divine Mercy on Good Friday. Usually I don’t get to have that concrete of something to grasp onto when I am drowning in pain or sadness. Another happy was that there was a mature follicle and I got to take a HCG trigger shot to attempt at getting it to ovulate. Getting a intra-muscular butt shot from Jonathan was another way to unite myself to the cross in a tangible way that made me happy.

–three–

easter 2

Holy Saturday

Jonathan and I went to our friends’ home on Saturday to color Ukranian Psanky Easter Eggs! This is just one example of the cool things you can do with these eggs. Try it sometime!

We had plans to go to the Easter Vigil but Jonathan’s psanky egg may or may not have taken five hours…so we missed the vigil this year and went Sunday morning instead. As we prepped food and cleaned the house, we watched The Ten Commandments again. Love that movie!

–four–

Easter 1

We had another couple friend over for the day and had an Easter Sunday Dominion Tournament. Enough said.

eastercollage.jpg

This was part of the food spread. I even used the good china! We had homeade gluten-free crepes with a variety of fixings, a sausage breakfast casserole, asparagus, baked grapefruit, smoky gouda cheese and cracker platter, veggie platter, coffee, mimosas, and chocolate chip cookies with vanilla bean ice cream. It was glorious.

We even threw a game of Catan Cities and Knights into the day to mix things up. Our friends came over at 11:30am and left eleven hours later. It was a very fun day and it took my mind of the HCG trigger shot situation.

But sadly, as I write this post, I have a lot of abdominal pain. Meaning I most likely did NOT ovulate and have yet another leutinized unruptured follicle aka LUF…I guess the Good Friday graces for me to suffer happily are gone, as I feel totally devastated and alone…again. It also doesn’t help that everyone and their dog decided to announce they are pregnant on Facebook today. Lesson learned – don’t get on Facebook on national holidays when you are infertile. Everyone will either be 1. pregnant or 2. taking some perfect family photo with their children in cute outfits and posting it for me to see. I know nobody means harm to me but getting on Facebook anymore feels like getting run over by a semi truck. An infertile girl can only take so many babies and bellies being flaunted on one’s newsfeed before they go insane and grow into a depressed shell of themselves.

But this is not a post about being sad. It’s about the happies in life, so I won’t linger any longer.

Getting back to focusing on the blessings in life – How will we celebrate the entire EASTER OCTAVE?!?!?!?! I don’t know yet but we will be doing something to celebrate every single day. Hope yall do the same because it’s really Easter for eight full days! Wahoo!

Infertility, Marriage

Waiting At The Tomb

April 19, 2014

A few months ago, someone suggested a few places to “visit” in prayer. One of those was the Tomb of Jesus on Holy Saturday.

I began imagining the scene. I recalled the previous 48 hours of events . The Last Supper and institution of the Eucharist. The indifference of Pilot. Jesus’ crucifixion and death. How they brought him off the cross and Joseph of Arimethea offered a tomb to lay Jesus’ body in. The darkness over the land. The broken heart of Our Blessed Mother. The confusion of the disciples. The despair of Judas. The denial of Peter.

So very much to think about.

But now, everything is still. It’s quiet here at the tomb of Jesus. The disciples are nowhere to be found. Just a guard or two lurking nearby. Not much is happening but I know what’s coming.

Holy Saturday is a weird place to be caught. It’s not Good Friday nor is it yet Easter. It’s like an intermission.

As I meditated, everything was relating back to our journey with infertility.

In carrying this cross, in many ways, we have died with Christ. Dreams shattered. Plans crushed. Control surrendered. Selfishness stripped away. Entitlement shred. Part of us is “in the tomb” with him yet we wait on the outside. Our desires have been put to death but are awaiting resurrection. That’s where we live from day to day. I hope that doesn’t sound morbid or weird but it’s just our reality.

Our life, in so many ways, is an ongoing Holy Saturday. 

The tomb on Holy Saturday is the perfect place for me to “go to” in prayer. It depicts my reality so well. Heck, anyone in the midst of suffering and waiting for a resurrection should meditate at the tomb. It doesn’t have to be infertility.

I know Easter Sunday will come in due time. The resurrection will manifest itself. We will not wait in limbo forever. Knowing that brings my heart peace to keep waiting and offering my pain up…watching for that tomb stone to roll back. To see Jesus in all his glory and to allow him to resurrect the pain we’ve united to him.

Death will not get the last word.