27 Apr 2014

Commemorating St John Paul II visit to Ireland 1979

To commemorate the Cannonisation of Pope John Paull II today, the addresses and homilies from his 1979 visit to Ireland are available to listen to here.

Homily of Pope Francis at Mass of Canonisation

Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis
Mass of Canonisation
27th April 2014
At the heart of this Sunday, which concludes the Octave of Easter and which John Paul II wished to dedicate to Divine Mercy, are the glorious wounds of the risen Jesus.
He had already shown those wounds when he first appeared to the Apostles on the very evening of that day following the Sabbath, the day of the resurrection. But Thomas was not there that evening, and when the others told him that they had seen the Lord, he replied that unless he himself saw and touched those wounds, he would not believe. A week later, Jesus appeared once more to the disciples gathered in the Upper Room, and Thomas was present; Jesus turned to him and told him to touch his wounds. Whereupon that man, so straightforward and accustomed to testing everything personally, knelt before Jesus with the words: “My Lord and my God!” (Jn 20:28).
The wounds of Jesus are a scandal, a stumbling block for faith, yet they are also the test of faith. That is why on the body of the risen Christ the wounds never pass away: they remain, for those wounds are the enduring sign of God’s love for us. They are essential for believing in God. Not for believing that God exists, but for believing that God is love, mercy and faithfulness. Saint Peter, quoting Isaiah, writes to Christians: “by his wounds you have been healed” (1 Pet 2:24, cf. Is 53:5).
John XXIII and John Paul II were not afraid to look upon the wounds of Jesus, to touch his torn hands and his pierced side. They were not ashamed of the flesh of Christ, they were not scandalized by him, by his cross; they did not despise the flesh of their brother (cf. Is58:7), because they saw Jesus in every person who suffers and struggles. These were two men of courage, filled with the parrhesia of the Holy Spirit, and they bore witness before the Church and the world to God’s goodness and mercy.
They were priests, bishops and popes of the twentieth century. They lived through the tragic events of that century, but they were not overwhelmed by them. For them, God was more powerful; faith was more powerful – faith in Jesus Christ the Redeemer of man and the Lord of history; the mercy of God, shown by those five wounds, was more powerful; and more powerful too was the closeness of Mary our Mother.
In these two men, who looked upon the wounds of Christ and bore witness to his mercy, there dwelt a living hope and an indescribable and glorious joy (1 Pet1:3,8). The hope and the joy which the risen Christ bestows on his disciples, the hope and the joy which nothing and no one can take from them. The hope and joy of Easter, forged in the crucible of self-denial, self-emptying, utter identification with sinners, even to the point of disgust at the bitterness of that chalice. Such were the hope and the joy which these two holy popes had received as a gift from the risen Lord and which they in turn bestowed in abundance upon the People of God, meriting our eternal gratitude.
This hope and this joy were palpable in the earliest community of believers, in Jerusalem, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles (cf. 2:42-47). It was a community which lived the heart of the Gospel, love and mercy, in simplicity and fraternity.
This is also the image of the Church which the Second Vatican Council set before us. John XXIII and John Paul II cooperated with the Holy Spirit in renewing and updating the Church in keeping with her pristine features, those features which the saints have given her throughout the centuries. Let us not forget that it is the saints who give direction and growth to the Church. In convening the Council, John XXIII showed an exquisiteopenness to the Holy Spirit. He let himself be led and he was for the Church a pastor, a servant-leader. This was his great service to the Church; he was the pope of openness to the Spirit.
In his own service to the People of God, John Paul II was the pope of the family. He himself once said that he wanted to be remembered as the pope of the family. I am particularly happy to point this out as we are in the process of journeying with families towards the Synod on the family. It is surely a journey which, from his place in heaven, he guides and sustains.
May these two new saints and shepherds of God’s people intercede for the Church, so that during this two-year journey toward the Synod she may be open to the Holy Spirit in pastoral service to the family. May both of them teach us not to be scandalized by the wounds of Christ and to enter ever more deeply into the mystery of divine mercy, which always hopes and always forgives, because it always loves.

We have two new saints.........

“For the honor of the Blessed Trinity, the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the increase of the Christian life, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ and of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul and having sought the council of many of our brother Bishops, we declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II be Saints,”

“We enroll them among the Saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole Church. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

Canonisation Day in Rome

Live stream from St Peter's for the canonisation cermemony:

The worship aid for the ceremonies is available HERE.

Rocco over at Whispers in the Loggia as usual has a great reflective piece on the meaning of the canonisations for the universal church and the challenge it poses to all Catholics - Two Saints. One Church. One Call

John Allen has a front page piece on this mornings Boston Globe

You can also follow events as they happen with the Irish Catholics Live Blog

The crowds are allowed into St Peter's Square at 6am (Rome time) - News.va Facebook page - amazing pictures and video.

Meanwhile last night in Rome:

With the canonization ceremony just a day away, thousands of pilgrims gathered in parishes across Rome to take part in prayer vigils. It will be a busy night for many, since St. Peter's Square will open early Sunday morning to welcome the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who will attend the canonization ceremony of John Paul II and John XXIII.

26 Apr 2014

27th April 2014 - Canonisations of John XXIII & John Paul II - 2nd Sunday of Easter (Low Sunday) (Divine Mercy Sunday)

All eyes are once more on the Eternal City this week as Pope Francis leads the ceremonies for the canonisations of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II. On this weeks programme we are joined by Prof. Fr Eamon Conway from Mary Immaculate College to reflect on this historic occasion. We have our regular reflection on the gospel as well as some other notices and liturgical odds and ends.

You can listen to the full programme podcast HERE.
Canonisations of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II
On this weeks programme we are joined by Prof. Eamon Conway to discuss the canonisation of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II in Rome today. It will be a historic occasion when two former pontiffs are raised to "the glory of the altars" in the presence of two popes - Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict.

Prof Conway reminds us of the fact that all Christians are called to be saints and that while we may not always be perfect, saints are held up as exemplars of heroic virtue but that saints are not holy and pious at all times during their lives.

You can listen to the interview excerpted from the main programme HERE.

SS102fm coverage of the canonisations HERE.
Gospel - John 20:19-31
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe."

Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.
Reflections on this weeks gospel:
Word on Fire
English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy
Sunday Reflections
Liturgical odds and ends
Divine Office - Psalter week 2; 2nd week of Easter
Saints of the Week
April 28th - St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort
April 29th - St Catherine of Siena
April 30th- St Pius V
Month of May dedicated to Our Lady.
May 1st - St Joseph the Worker
May 2nd - St Athanasius (bishop & doctor of the church) (First Friday)
May 3rd - St Philip & St James

Just a small reminder............

It is still Easter!!!
Alleluia!!! Alleluia!!! Christus resurrexit Alleluia!!!! Alleluia!!!!








25 Apr 2014

Canonisations of John XXIII and John Paul II - UPDATED 1 - 4

While Rome may have been crowded last weekend for the Easter ceremonies with 150,000 people in St Peter's Square for Easter Sunday Mass with Pope Francis,  the expectation is that around a million pilgrims will be drawn to the Eternal City for next weekend as Pope Francis will solomnely declare that his predecessors Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II are among the saints. The coverage online is blanket but we will try to give you a flavour of some of the articles online. However if you want to browse yourself some of the best coverage is from the following sites:
UPDATE 1: Official website for the canonisations

Starting off the round up of articles, Fr James Martin SJ poses the question - What is a saint?

Staying a bit more closer to home:

Over at America magazine, Loyola press have given permission for Fr James Martin's chapter on John XXIII from his book "My Life with the Saints" (a book that comes with a five star recommendation from the SS102fm team) to be published - Vicar of Christ.

St. John Paul II: The 20th Century’s Greatest Dissident

Blessed John XXIII: pope of hearts (Vatican Radio)

John Paul II: pope from a far away country (Vatican Radio)

Blessed John Paul II's Polish roots: courage and moral strength (Vatican Radio)

John XXIII: The accidental saint

The virtues of John XXIII

What the canonizations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II tell us

SS102fm's previous blogs about these two saints HERE and HERE

Everything you need to know about popes and saints

Joint canonization encourages politicized Catholics to bridge divides

New papal saints have flaws as well as greatness

ICBC has a summary page of the canonisation process and the two new saints

Freedom Lived Nobly: The Social Magisterium of John Paul II

Holy Popes! Significance of the Canonization of John XXIII & John Paul II

Blessed John XXIII: Cardinal Loris Capovilla and the canonisation - Cardinal Loris Capovilla was for many years the personal secretary of John XXIII and recently wrote how this twentieth century Pope rather than arouse in us feelings of nostalgia should encourage us to look towards the future..

Becoming saints: Two popes who revolutionized Jewish-Catholic relations

Pius XII to John XXIII: A change in style - Vatican Radio


The Pope and I: Remembering John XXIII (Thinking Faith)

Pope John Paul II: Thinking outside the Church (Thinking Faith)

Discussions on the Pontificate of Blessed John Paul II (Dominicans Interactive)


John Paul II: tainted saint? - Irish Times

Proposer defends swift canonisation process of Pope John Paul II - Irish Times

The debate over canonizing two popes - John Thavis

John XXIII and John Paul II, ‘twin bookends’ of Vatican II - Catholic Comment

It is the person who is canonized, not every pontifical choice he made - Vatican Insider

The Process of Beatification & Canonization

Vatican issues official prayers to Saints John XXIII & John Paul II

Encyclical for Holy Pascha 2014 from the Ecumenical Patriarch

By the mercy of God
Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome
and Ecumenical Patriarch
to the plenitude of the Church
Grace, Peace and Mercy from Christ risen in glory

Christ is Risen!

Come, brethren and children in the Lord, receive the light from the unwaning Light of the Phanar, the Holy Center of the Orthodox, and let us all together and jointly glorify “Christ, Who is risen from the dead.”

The emotional state of the Lord’s disciples was grim after His Crucifixion, because by the Lord’s death on the Cross the hopes of His disciples were dispersed that He and they would one day prevail as political power. They had perceived the triumphant entrance of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, following the resurrection of Lazarus and the miraculous feeding of five thousand men, with additional women and children, by five loaves of bread and two fish, as a prelude of their conquering of secular authority. The mother of two of them moreover requested that her two sons sit by each side of the Lord, when He came to power. All these, however, dissipated as childish imaginations on account of the awful execution of Jesus Christ.

But, one Saturday morning, the Myrrh Bearers found the tomb empty and heard from an Angel that Jesus was risen from the dead. Shortly after, they saw Him in a different state not allowing the Myrrh Bearers to touch Him. This unexpected development of the situation caused the people close to Jesus to wonder about what was to happen next. They did not receive the answer right away. They were told to wait with patience and endurance until they received strength from above. Obeying the command, they waited until Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came down and revealed to them, in fullness, their new mission. This mission did not call for the liberation of one nation from its slavery bondages by another nation; instead it called for the liberation of all humanity from its enslavement by the master of evil and evil itself. This was another great mission and different from the one they had dreamt about.

The inconceivable commandment calling for the preaching of the message of man’s deliverance from the slavery of death took them by surprise; nevertheless they undertook it with zeal and preached the message everywhere and saved and continue to save many from death. There is the first among the dead, the risen Jesus, Who offers to all the gift of resurrection and eternal life, a life that is not subjected any longer to corruptibility, because man in the resurrected state is like an angel of God in heaven who no longer has a fleshly body but a spiritual one.

We experience already the foretaste of this blessed resurrected state when we carry our fleshly garment in a way by which we do not taste the substance of death, that is the distancing from God’s love, but feel that we transition from the natural death of our fleshly body to the higher life of our spiritual body through the loving knowledge of the Person of the Lord, a knowledge which equals towards eternal life.

Therefore, we are not simply in anticipation of the resurrection of the dead as an event that will take place in the distant future, but we partake in it now, and are jubilant and cry out along with Saint John Chrysostom: Death, where is your sting? Hades, where is your victory? We were resurrected alongside Jesus Christ and experience the end of times as present reality and present reality as the end of times. The resurrection permeates our being and fills us with joy. Exactly like the joy the disciples felt when they were saying that the Lord was risen.

We continue the work of the Apostles. We convey to the world the message of the resurrection. We preach knowingly that death must not have a place in our life for it offers no benefit to humanity. The ones who seek to improve social life by killing fellow humans do not offer good service to the living. They rather serve the proliferation of death and prepare their own devouring by death.

In our times, the drums of death and darkness beat frantically. Some fellow men believe that the eradication of other fellow men is a praiseworthy and beneficial act, but they are seriously mistaken. Unfortunately, the annihilation and suppression of the weakest by the strongest dominates in the secular pyramid of today’s reality. Often we are shocked by the cruelty and lack of compassion exhibited by the powerful that hold the reins of the world, believing that they are actually the ones ruling it.

21 Apr 2014

Easter Sunday - Pope Francis "urbi et orbi"

Dear Brothers and Sisters, a Happy and Holy Easter!

The Church throughout the world echoes the angel’s message to the women: “Do not be afraid! I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised… Come, see the place where he lay” ( Mt 28:5-6).

This is the culmination of the Gospel, it is the Good News par excellence: Jesus, who was crucified, is risen! This event is the basis of our faith and our hope. If Christ were not raised, Christianity would lose its very meaning; the whole mission of the Church would lose its impulse, for this is the point from which it first set out and continues to set out ever anew. 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.

That is why we tell everyone: “Come and see!”In every human situation, marked by frailty, sin and death, the Good News is no mere matter of words, but a testimony to unconditional and faithful love: it is about leaving ourselves behind and encountering others, being close to those crushed by life’s troubles, sharing with the needy, standing at the side of the sick, elderly and the outcast… “Come and see!”: Love is more powerful, love gives life, love makes hope blossom in the wilderness.
With this joyful certainty in our hearts, today we turn to you, risen Lord!
Help us to seek you and to find you, to realize that we have a Father and are not orphans; that we can love and adore you.

Help us to overcome the scourge of hunger, aggravated by conflicts and by the immense wastefulness for which we are often responsible.

Enable us to protect the vulnerable, especially children, women and the elderly, who are at times exploited and abandoned.

Enable us to care for our brothers and sisters struck by the Ebola epidemic in Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and to care for those suffering from so many other diseases which are also spread through neglect and dire poverty.

Comfort all those who cannot celebrate this Easter with their loved ones because they have been unjustly torn from their affections, like the many persons, priests and laity, who in various parts of the world have been kidnapped.

Comfort those who have left their own lands to migrate to places offering hope for a better future and the possibility of living their lives in dignity and, not infrequently, of freely professing their faith.
We ask you, Lord Jesus, to put an end to all war and every conflict, whether great or small, ancient or recent.

We pray in a particular way for Syria, beloved Syria, that all those suffering the effects of the conflict can receive needed humanitarian aid and that neither side will again use deadly force, especially against the defenseless civil population, but instead boldly negotiate the peace long awaited and long overdue!

Jesus, Lord of glory, we ask you to comfort the victims of fratricidal acts of violence in Iraq and to sustain the hopes raised by the resumption of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

We beg for an end to the conflicts in the Central African Republic and a halt to the brutal terrorist attacks in parts of Nigeria and the acts of violence in South Sudan.

We ask that hearts be turned to reconciliation and fraternal concord in Venezuela.

By your resurrection, which this year we celebrate together with the Churches that follow the Julian calendar, we ask you to enlighten and inspire the initiatives that promote peace in Ukraine so that all those involved, with the support of the international community, will make every effort to prevent violence and, in a spirit of unity and dialogue, chart a path for the country’s future. On this day, may they be able to proclaim, as brothers and sisters, that Christ is risen, Khrystos voskres!

Lord, we pray to you for all the peoples of the earth: you who have conquered death, grant us your life, grant us your peace!

Dear brothers and sisters, Happy Easter!


20 Apr 2014

iCatholic: Reflection for Easter Sunday - The Resurrection of the Lord


Salesian Sister Sarah O'Rourke, accompanied beautifully by members of the UL Folk Group, shares a reflection for Easter Sunday entitled"The Resurrection of the Lord".

Surrexit Dominus! (The Lord is Risen)

Pope Francis takes part in the Resurrexit rite before Easter Sunday Mass in St Peter's square

From Vatican.va:

In the twelfth century, the Bishop of Rome, following an ancient tradition, would pause in prayer at the Oratory of Saint Lawrence in the Lateran, nowadays the Shrine of the Holy Stairs, before setting out in procession from Saint John Lateran to Saint Mary Major, where he would chant the Solemn Mass of Easter Morning. The Oratory, still known as the Sancta Sanctorum, was considered one of the most sacred places in Rome. A celebrated relic of the Holy Cross was venerated there and then, as now, the Shrine housed the Acheiropita (not painted by human hands) icon of the Saviour.

The icon, probably brought to Rome from the East, was already mentioned in the Liber Pontificalis under the entry for Pope Stephen III (752-757). A full representation of the enthroned Saviour, it was painted on cloth applied to a wooden tablet measuring approximately 1.52 m. by 70 cm. The icon has been frequently restored, most recently in 1995-1996. The only part presently visible is the Face of the Lord painted on a silken cloth superimposed upon the original. The rest of the icon is covered by a sheet of silver.

The cult of the icon of the Most Holy Saviour, unlike that of the Veronica veil kept in the Vatican Basilica or other ancient Roman icons, was the only one to become part of the official celebrations of the Roman Liturgy. This is evident from the Liber Politicus (Ordo Romanus XI), a ceremonial book written between 1143-1144, and the Liber Censuum Romanae Ecclesiae (Ordo Romanus XII), compiled about 1192 by Cencius Camerarius, the future Pope Honorius III. These ceremonial books not only show that a procession with the Acheiropita took place on the night of the Assumption, but also that the icon was venerated during Holy Week.

The Acheiropita icon in the Sancta Sanctorum
On Easter morning, the Pope, vested in pontificals, entered the Sancta Sanctorum, opened the small silver doors covering the feet of the icon (the doors are still sealed) and kissed the feet three times. He then chanted the versicle: Surrexit Dominus de sepulchro, alleluia, to which the assembly responded: Qui pro nobis pependit in ligno, alleluia. The Cross, which had bee removed on Good Friday, was then placed on the altar for the Pope’s veneration.

After the Pope, the members of the papal entourage venerated the icon and the Cross and then approached the Supreme Pontiff for the kiss of peace. The Pope gave the sign of peace reciting the versicle: Surrexit Dominus vere, to which each person responded: Et apparuit Simoni. Meanwhile the choir chanted a series of antiphons. Following these rites the papal procession was formed along the Via Merulana while the Pope was informed by a notary of the Baptisms which had been celebrated the previous night.

When the Apostolic See moved to Avignon, the rite of the Resurrexit fell into disuse. With the return of the Popes to Rome, the Easter statio was transferred to the Basilica of Saint Peter.

The basis and the authentic significance of these ritual sequences can be found in the words of the Gospel of Luke which describe Peter’s amazement at seeing the empty tomb and the testimony of the Eleven that the Lord was truly risen and had appeared to Simon (cf. Lk 24:12,34; Jn 20:3-10). The appearance of the Risen Lord to Peter and to the other witnesses is the theological foundation of the Church’s Easter faith (cf. Acts 1:21-22; 1 Cor 15:3-6).

The Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, likewise meets the Risen Lord in the icon of the Most Holy Saviour and, after the solemn Easter proclamation of the previous night’s Vigil, he becomes on Easter Day the «first» witness to all the Church of the Gospel of the Lord’s Resurrection.

The rite of papal veneration the icon of the Resurrexit was restored for Easter of the Great Jubilee in 2000.

Happy Easter Message from Bishop Brendan Leahy

20th April 2014 - Easter Sunday

The Resurrection of Christ, 1555, Marco Pino


Let everyone share this feast of faith; let everyone enjoy the riches of goodness. Let none lament their poverty; for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let none mourn their sins; for forgiveness has dawned from the grave. Let none fear death; for the Savior's death has set us free

- St John Chrysostom


Christians, to the Paschal Victim Offer your thankful praises!
A Lamb the sheep redeems: Christ, who only is sinless, Reconciles sinners to the Father.
Death and life have contended in that combat stupendous: The Prince of life, who died, reigns immortal.
Speak, Mary, declaring What you saw, wayfaring. "The tomb of Christ, who is living, The glory of Jesus' resurrection;
Bright angels attesting, The shroud and napkin resting. Yes, my Christ my hope is arisen:
To Galilee he goes before you." Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining. Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!
Amen. Alleluia

(Sequence from Mass on Easter Sunday)

On this joyous Easter morn, the SS102fm team wish you every joy and blessing of this Easter Day to you and yours!

On this weeks programme, we mark Resurrection Day with our usual reflection on the gospel of the day as well as a quick visit to some of the symbols and traditions associated with Easter.

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks programme with John, Anne and Shane HERE.


Christos anesti! Christ is Risen! The Greek proclamation of the Resurrection speaks of Christ's victory, 'trampling on death by means of his death'.

Gospel Reflection - John 20:1-9

"Now on the first day of the week Mary Mag'dalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead."
You can listen to the podcast of this weeks gospel reflection excerpted from the programme HERE.

Easter Traditions
Colours associated with Easter are white- purity - and gold - glory. Peacocks are an ancient symbol of the Resurrection and in the USA lilies are symbols of Easter and new life. During Eastertide (Easter Sunday to Pentecost) the Angelus is replaced by the Regina Caeili.

Queen of Heaven rejoice, alleluia:
For He whom you merited to bear, alleluia,
Has risen as He said, alleluia.
Pray for us to God, alleluia.

V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R. Because the Lord is truly risen, alleluia.

Let us pray: O God, who by the Resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, granted joy to the whole world: grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may lay hold of the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

Of course one of the big traditions associated with Easter is the Easter Egg.The egg is seen by followers of Christianity as a symbol of resurrection: while being dormant it contains a new life sealed within it. In the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, Easter eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Christ, shed on the Cross, and the hard shell of the egg symbolized the sealed Tomb of Christ—the cracking of which symbolized his resurrection from the dead. Easter eggs are blessed by the priest at the end of the Paschal Vigil, and distributed to the faithful. Each household also brings an Easter basket to church, filled not only with Easter eggs but also with other Paschal foods such as paskha, kulich or Easter breads, and these are blessed by the priest as well. During Paschaltide, in some traditions the Paschal greeting with the Easter egg is even extended to the deceased. On either the second Monday or Tuesday of Pascha, after a memorial service people bring blessed eggs to the cemetery and bring the joyous paschal greeting, "Christ has risen", to their beloved departed. While the origin of easter eggs can be explained in the symbolic terms described above, a sacred tradition among followers of Eastern Christianity says that Mary Magdalene was bringing cooked eggs to share with the other women at the tomb of Jesus, and the eggs in her basket miraculously turned brilliant red when she saw the risen Christ.The egg represents the boulder of the tomb of Jesus. A different, but not necessarily conflicting legend concerns Mary Magdalene's efforts to spread the Gospel. According to this tradition, after the Ascension of Jesus, Mary went to the Emperor of Rome and greeted him with "Christ has risen," whereupon he pointed to an egg on his table and stated, "Christ has no more risen than that egg is red." After making this statement it is said the egg immediately turned blood red.
You can find out more about Easter traditions HERE.
Liturgical odds and ends
As Eastertide continues for 50 days, this week we will forgo listing the upcoming saints of the week except to note that next Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday and also the canonisation date of Bl John XXIII and Bl John Paul II in Rome. We will be joined by Prof. Eamonn Conway to discuss the canonisation and the importance for the church of the witness of these two new saints.

And finally keeping with SS102fm tradition

19 Apr 2014

Easter Vigil at the Holy Sepelchre in Jerusalem

The organ breaks the silence of the basilica, along with the church bells and the joy of the resurrection that fill the church. It is Easter in Jerusalem. Christ rises here and now. Today, just like he did two thousand years ago.

The Great Easter Vigil, the “mother of all vigils,” as the liturgy reads, takes place on Saturday morning at the Holy Sepulcher. This year, it is taking place at dawn, with the first rays of the sun penetrating into the shrine, and it will coincide with the Orthodox Easter, whose rites are celebrated in the same basilica.

[Blog Editors Note: Unlike in the rest of the Latin Church because the rules and timetable of the liturgies at the Basilica of the Holy Sepelchre are governed by
the 1853 Status Quo, the Latin liturgies follow an older timetable. In this case pre-1955 when Pius XII reformed the liturgies for Holy Week and moved the Easter Vigil from Holy Saturday morning back to Holy Saturday evening. However in Jerusalem, the older timetable has to be maintained.]
The light for the Easter candle is taken directly from the Sepulcher. The deacon hands it to Latin Patriarch Archbishop Fouad Twal, who presides over the celebration. Then, from that flame, the lamps and candles in front of the shrine and those of all the faithful are lit.

After a long series of readings for the Easter Vigil, it is the patriarch himself who reads the Gospel of the Resurrection, right in front of the door where the Empty Tomb is located. In the account according to Matthew, the women are the first to receive the announcement of the resurrection.

“This is the most important place for the Church, where the Church was born, and with the presence of women, the word is spread. And even today, the first person they say saw him was Mary Magdalene and I'm happy about that.”

"There is a message: He is not here; he is risen. Jerusalem continually calls us to go beyond ourselves, to bring this message that is the heart of the Gospel to the whole world.”

In the baptismal liturgy, with the blessing of water and sprinkling of the faithful, there is a sign of hope for the Holy Land.

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
“It is my wish for peace: for the local church, for all the people who live in the Holy Land, peace for everyone! And I hope that the Universal Church feels committed to this peace, to this Christian community and to this joy along with us.”

Easter Vigil - Bishop Brendan Leahy - Homily

Easter Vigil Mass
Bishop Brendan Leahy
St John's Cathedral Limerick

In the Gospel that we have just heard, the women, the first evangelisers, receive an important message that is repeated twice: Go to Galilee and you will see Jesus there.
Deep down, we all want to know where we can see the Risen Jesus. What’s more, as Pope Francis reminds us, many people today call on Christians to speak of a God they themselves know and are familiar with, “as if they were seeing him”.

But how can people “see” Jesus?

It’s important for us to remember Jesus didn’t just rise again, body and soul, for those living in the Holy Land about 30 AD. Jesus isn’t trapped in Galilee back two thousand years ago. Indeed he is no longer in any one place in the world. In his resurrection he has entered a new sphere of existence. He now embraces the whole world and is present to us in a new and powerful way in every place.

But how can we see him and let him be seen? The night before he died he told his disciples: “By this all will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.” We “see” and “show” Jesus Risen through the love we have for one another. It is the distinctive sign of Christians.

Some years ago I met a nurse, let’s call her Yvonne, who was working in England and she shared with me an important discovery in her life. She was brought up with absolutely no contact whatever with the Church. But when she became a nurse she noticed something special about some of her colleagues in the hospital. Not only were they good at their work, helpful to patients, and open to others, but there was something about their own way of relating to one another that attracted her. After a while she asked them, “What is it you have here?” They answered, “well, we try to give priority to our love for one another. We believe Jesus is present among us because he promised to be among those united in his name.” Yvonne listened with rapt attention to the explanation of a life she’d glimpsed over the years at the hospital. She found herself saying: “So, that’s it…I want to live like this…” Sometime later she was baptized. For her, the way those nurses lived, with Jesus among them, in their relationship, was the answer to the unspoken, then spoken yearning in Yvonne’s heart. ‘I want to see Jesus.’

Pope Francis has said that ‘instead of seeming to impose new obligations, Christians should come across as people who want to share their joy, who point to a horizon of beauty and who invite others to a delicious banquet. It is not by proselytizing that the Church grows, but “by attraction”.’ It is the attraction of the love we have for one another; it is the attraction of the Risen Jesus made visible among us.

In this year when Limerick is the national city of culture, we can take away this Easter reminder that we are called to live the culture of the Resurrection by the love we have for one another.