Tag Archives: Easter

celebrating Jesus in green, red and white

23 Jul

One of the good things about “having a priest” on a pilgrimage is that you get to celebrate Mass every day. One of the good things about “being a priest” on pilgrimage is that I get to celebrate Mass every day, each time at a site that was significant in the life of Jesus or is significant to the local Catholics today, and thus are significant to us.

The color was green when I concelebrated with Father Ibrahim, the parish priest of Beit Jala (Bethlehem) and Father Faysal, the General Director of the Latin Patriarchate Schools of Palestine and Israel.

0 1 Beit Jala DSC_0400 1

At Capernaum along the Sea of Galilee we celebrated in red, in honor of the Apostles Peter and Andrew.

??????????

In the olive grove of the Cremisan Valley, Father Ibrahim and I wore white vestments.

0 Cremisan DSC_0148 1

In the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, if we had been on Mount Calvary, I would have worn red. But since we had Mass at the Holy Tomb, the color was Easter white.

???????????????????????????????

At the Milk Grotto shrine in Bethlehem the color was, well, you can see for yourself.

0 Milk Grotto DSC_0213 1

 

 

returning to our first love

21 Apr

“In the Cross we see the monstrosity of man, when we allow ourselves to be guided by evil; but we also see the immensity of God’s mercy who does not treat us according to our sins, but according to His mercy.” 

+ + + +

 

+ + + +

“The message which Christians bring to the world is this: Jesus, Love incarnate, died on the cross for our sins, but God the Father raised him and made him the Lord of life and death. In Jesus, love has triumphed over hatred, mercy over sinfulness, goodness over evil, truth over falsehood, life over death.”

+ + + +

 

Happy Easter, Egg!

20 Apr

Each of my two sisters greeted me on Easter with, “Happy Easter, Egg!’

Wonder where they got that?

+ + + +

+ + + +

I am glad that I miss my mom. It is a sign that I was blessed to have the kind of mom that is missed, once she is gone.

all you holy men and women pray for us

19 Apr

Peter, Paul, Andrew

+ + +

+ + +

Pray for us.

 

keep hope and be hope

19 Apr

Keep hope within yourself.

Be hope for someone else.

+ +

+ +

Be hope for someone else.

Keep hope within yourself.

 

hope gone / unexpected dawn

6 Apr

At our “Community Fare” luncheon today, I will interview in talk show fashion four women who have met and become friends through grief: each has buried her husband.

On this Fifth Sunday of Lent we will use the Raising of Lazarus, with hearty reference to his sisters Martha and Mary, as our conversation prompt. I have prepared eight questions, which I will ask one by one of our panel of believers to help them tell their faith story.

lazarus 1

1. How long have you been without your husband – and – how long was his dying process?

lazarus 2

2. When her brother Lazarus was dying, Martha called for Jesus, and when Lazarus had died, Martha ran to Jesus, all the time knowing that Jesus could change the situation. How did your “running to Jesus” make your situation change?

lazarus

3. One could guess that, once Lazarus was brought back to this life, Lazarus and his sisters lived life differently after that moment – and that each of them, Lazarus, Martha and Mary, would approach their own death differently. Since your experience of accompanying your husband in his passing, how do you live life differently now and how might you approach your own dying differently when it comes?

lazarus 1

4. Jesus instructed those near Lazarus to untie him and let him go free. How did you untie your husband and let him go free? How has your family and your parish helped to untie you and let you go free?

lazarus 1

5. Lazarus was brought back to this life. Would you want to bring your husband back?

lazarus 1

6. When Lazarus was resuscitated, Martha and Mary were reanimated. What are you doing now, since your husband’s death, that you never did when he was alive or that you would never have thought that you would have done or could have done?

lazarus

7. In our closing hymn at Mass today, “Jerusalem Our Destiny,” we sang in the fifth verse, “To the tombs I went to mourn the hope I thought was gone / Here among you I awoke to unexpected dawn.” Can you relate to that in any way?

lazarus

8. Martha put her faith into words. How do you finish the sentence that she began “I have come to believe that …?”

hoping Francis will help

28 Apr

April 28, 2013 Beit Jala 02

Last Wednesday, April 24, the people of Beit Jala (Bethlehem) – and the few people in the rest of the world who are paying attention – heard the decision of an Israeli Appeal’s Committee that “the Wall” can be built right through another section of Palestinian land: their Cremisan Valley.

April 28, 2013 Beit Jala 09

Today, April 28, is Palm Sunday in Beit Jala. They begin Holy Week, and will celebrate Easter with the Orthodox Christians on May 5. 

April 28, 2013 Beit Jala 04

This coming week Pope Francis will meet with Israeli President Shimon Peres, who was invited by the Holy Father for a visit to the Vatican, among the first of the world leaders who will meet with the new Pope.

April 28, 2013 Beit Jala 01

This all comes together in these photos, taken today in Beit Jala. The people of Annunciation Catholic parish gathered today, on Palm Sunday, outside their church after Sunday Mass to sign letters to Pope Francis, pleading with him to keep Cremisan high on his agenda when he meets with the Israeli president.

April 28, 2013 Beit Jala 06

April 28, 2013 Beit Jala 07

April 28, 2013 Beit Jala 08

You might find this April 24 article  in the Washington Post, “Palestinian Christians hope new pope will help in battle against Israel’s barrier route,” helpful for understanding the present state of the situation.

How can this be?

8 Apr

Beit Jala jen holy land 964 (237)

Our sister parish of the Annunciation, located in Beit Jala (Bethlehem), West Bank, Palestine, celebrates her feast day today: the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord.

Here in Milford at St. Andrew we will pray in our evening Mass that, through the intercession and care of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God and woman of Palestine, God will make good on His every promise to His people in Beit Jala and full their every hope in Him.

On Easter Sunday morning one of our teenagers asked me, “Father, which is the more important day for Christians: Christmas or Easter?” How would you have answered her? She picked Christmas.

On this day, I ask myself, “Which is the more important feast: Christmas or the Annunciation?” I pick the Annunciation. Here is my reasoning. When did God become one of us and one with us? Not when He was born. When He was conceived! The English translation of the Nicene Creed used to be: he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man. Now we say: he was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. The word incarnate replaces born. To be born describes the moment of birth. To be incarnate describes the moment of conception. The Word became incarnate – became flesh – in Mary’s womb. All of us – you and I and Jesus – were born. But God took on human flesh; God became human; God was incarnate. And the “incarnation” took place at the moment of conception in the womb of Mary, at the moment when Mary accepted God’s will and desire to become human. On Christmas we celebrate His birth among us. On Annunciation we celebrate His incarnation.

For me, the Annunciation feels like Christmas. It takes me back to Beit jala, and seeing that painting over the altar in their Catholic parish church, dedicated to the Annunciation. It takes me back to meeting Deacon Sleiman (Solomon) Hassan in that very church. It will be his ordination to the priesthood in June that will take me back to my next visit to Beit Jala.

Beit Jala ohio_2012%20(30)

Christ is risen. You too shall rise.

7 Apr

do not be afraid jpg

do not be alarmed jpg

do not be troubled jpg

do not weep jpg

Father Firas, now the parish priest of Jifna, formerly the parish priest of Aboud, sent this Easter greeting.

The Christian Palestinians of Aboud and Jifna – and throughout the entire West Bank – have a strong faith and an enduring hope, in spite of the trials and struggles that they have in their lives, due to “the situation,” that is, the military occupation of their land by the Israeli government.

They have much of which to be afraid, much at which to be alarmed, much by which to be troubled and much in which to weep. But they have Easter faith.

They know that Jesus is risen and that they too will rise.

Holy Week at Busted Halo and at St. Andrew

23 Mar

 

Holy Week

at St. Andrew

Holy Thursday, March 28

Mass of Our Lord’s Supper: 7:30 pm

Night Prayer: 10:00 pm

Good Friday, March  29

Morning Prayer: 8:00 am

Way of the Cross: 12 noon

Good Friday Liturgy: 1:30 pm

Night Prayer: 10:00 pm

Holy  Saturday, March 30

Morning Prayer: 8:00 am

Easter Vigil Mass: 8:30 pm

Easter Sunday,  March 31

8:00 am

9:30 am

11:00 am

12:30 pm

We should glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,

in whom is our salvation, life and resurrection,

through whom we are saved and delivered.

 

The Lord is truly risen, alleluia.

To him be glory and power

for all the ages of eternity, alleluia, alleluia.