The Bishop's Easter Message

For Easter 2018, I take a portion of a book written by my favorite Christian author, Max Lucado:

To protect a letter, you seal the envelope. To keep air out of a jar, you seal its mouth with a rubber ringed lid. To keep oxygen from the wine, you seal the opening with cork and wax. To seal a deal, you might sign a contract or notzrize a signature. Sealing declares ownership and secures contents.

The most famous New Testament "sealing" occurred with the tomb of Jesus. Roman soldiers rolled a rock over the entrance and "set a seal on the stone" (Matthew 27:66 NASB). Archaeologists envision two ribbons stretched in front of the entrance, glued together with hardened wax that bore the imprimatur of the Roman Government--SPQR (Senatus Populusque Romanus)--as if to say "Stay away! the contents of this tomb belong to Rome." Their seal, of course, proved futile.

Jesus appeared to the followers in a flesh-and-bone body: "A spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have" (Luke 24:39 NASB). His resurrected body was a real body, real enough to walk on the road to Emmaus, to be mistaken for that of a gardener, to swallow fish at breakfast. In the same breath, Jesus' real body was really different. The Emmaus disciples didn't recognize him, and walls didn't stop him. Mark tried to describe the new look and settled for "[Jesus] appeared in another form" (Mark 16:12 NKJV). While his body was the same, it was better; it was glorified. It was a heavenly body. And I can't find the passage that says he shed it. He ascended in it.

You know what this means? The greatest force in the cosmos understands and intercedes for you. "We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 John 2:1 NASB).

The idea that a virgin would be selected by God to bear himself...the notion that God would don a scalp and toes and two eyes...the thought that the King of the universe would sneeze and burp and get bit by mosquitoes...it's too incredible. Too revoluntionary. We would never create such a Savior. We aren't that daring...in our wildest imaginings we wouldn't conjure a king who becomes one of us.

But God did. God did what we wouldn't dare dream. He did what we couldn't imagine. He became a man so we could trust him. He became a sacrifice so we could know him. And he defeated death so we could follow him.

Blessed Resurrection to all!

Bishop Stan

 

 

Holy Week and Easter Schedule

Palm Sunday (March 25th)
9 am - Holy Mass with Blessing and Distribution of Palms and Procession

Holy Tuesday (March 27th)
7 pm - Mass of Chrism with Blessing of Holy Oils at
Divine Word Parish
2842 W. 57th Street, Chicago

Holy Wednesday (March 28th)
Noon - Sorrowful Lamentations
6 - 9 pm - Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
7 pm - Sorrowful Lamentations

Maundy Thursday (March 29th)
7:30 pm - Holy Mass of the Lord's Supper and Eucharistic Procession to the Altar of Repose, Stripping of Altar

Good Friday (March 30th)
Our Cathedral will be open from 9 am to 7 pm for meditation during the vigil before the Most Blessed Sacrament

2 pm - Mass of the PreSanctified and Adoration of the Cross; Opening of the Symbolic Grave of Christ
3 pm - Walking the Stations of the Cross by families and youth
7 pm - Tenebrae and Lamentations of the Polish National Catholic Church

Holy Saturday (March 31st)
10 am - Ceremony of New Light with the Exhortations and Blessing of the Paschal Candle and water; Blessing of Easter Food
Noon - Blessing of Easter Food
3 pm - Blessing of Easter Food

Easter Sunday (April 1st)
Solemnity of the Resurrection of Our Lord
9 am - Resurrection Mass with Procession

Low Sunday (April 8th)
9 am - Holy Mass
Immediately following Mass will be our School of Christian Living Easter Program followed by our Easter Dinner and Social