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Posted by on Apr 8, 2023

What a beautiful night – Resurrection!

What a beautiful night – Resurrection!

What a beautiful night!

¡La noche de la resurrección!

It is a night that burns brighter than day. The darkness is banished by the light of love. Death is vanquished by the light of joy. Our fears have been taken away. Our crucified Lord is dead no more. The blinding light of the angel and the earthquake rolling away the stone stuns all of us.

En la madrugada las tinieblas moradas se rompen por el terremoto y el relámpago del ángel. Conmovidos, nos asustamos cuanto más al oír la consolación del ángel, “No temas.” Dios llega con su poder y gracia para rescatarnos. No temas.

Yet, the blinding light of the Angel’s voice tells us not to be afraid. We are shaken and our legs are trembling. But is this true? Yes! Our fear gives way to excitement. Go tell the others. You wept for him and anointed his body, torn and broken on the cross. You stayed with him until the end and now you have come to mourn him, but he is not here!

Al amanecer, la resurrección, se evanescen nuestros miedos, nuestras angustias, nuestra tristeza. Hemos visto el sufrimiento de los inocentes, hemos encontrado desconsolados la matanza de niños escolares. Hemos visto y tocado la fiebre del temor del COVID. No temas. Están sueltos de los lasos de la muerte como El Señor. Todo el sufrimiento de las cruces de la humanidad ha sido vencido por la cruz y resurrección del Salvador Victorioso.

Christ is victorious! Death has no power over him. Joined to him we have the promise of everlasting life. Heaven and earth are reconciled. With Him and in Him all glory, honor, and praise are given to the Almighty Father.

The forces of evil, despair, and distrust fell on Him and He vanquished them with compassion. “Father, they know not what they do.” In this priceless witness, the forces of derangement became only more furious. But He conquered them not by force but by coming forth from the sealed tomb.

Cristo en su triunfo ha vencido las fuerzas del pecado y furia por su humilde fe en la voluntad de su Padre. Lo captaron y crucificaron por su miedo, por su temor de que El los derribara de sus tronos y elevara a los humildes y mansos. Una luz resplandeciente que hace mover la tierra en sí misma nos ha amanecido en esa noche de nuestras velas de esperanza como estrellas en el domo del cielo.

Through the sin of Adam, a promise is made and fulfilled. God comes to pitch his tent with us. Light from light, True God from True God, begotten not made.

El cirio de la luz eterna rompe las cadenas de la oscuridad. La llama vacilante abofeteada por los vientos de nuestros tiempos, impulsados por la indiferencia, el enojo, y la desesperanza, la luz del cirio brilla aún más. Nos guía a través de las brisas de nuestra peregrinación, a través del Mar Rojo a pesar de nuestra duda. Anda en frente de nosotros por noche en el desierto desconocido y mostrándonos el camino al Padre.

“Go to Galilee.” “Go tell the others.”  You will see him there. He is not here. But surely, He is here. We go to tell the others. Leaving our jars of spices and unguents to perfume the dead; leaving our wine and spices to wash the dead. We find him! We fall at his feet. He smiles and lifts us up. Go tell the others.

Mary of Magdala, relieved of seven devils by the Lord’s touch, weeps at the open tomb. His body has been stolen. Where have they taken him? The gardener must know. He must know. “Tell me sir, tell me where have they laid him?” So quietly, so gently, kindness meets my ears. “Mary!” He calls through my tears. The gardener tends a new paradise where sin cannot enter, nor ugliness, but only the sweetness of blossoms. “Mary!” I look up. “Rabboni, it is you!”

Nos da nueva vida el jardinero del paraíso. Su voz suave seca nuestras lágrimas. Con precaución levantamos nuestros corazones. ¿Puede ser? La tumba fue vacía. Ni sabemos por donde lo llevaron. Señor Jardinero, ¿sabe usted a dónde lo llevaron? y nos llama por nuestro propio nombre. ¡Cómo queremos quedarnos en este jardín de dulce alegría!

¿Sólo era en el pasado la tumba vacía?

The Angel tells tourists today, “He is not here.” We come with our phones and cameras, in our sandals and shorts. We are here to see the empty tomb. “Have you listened to the women and gone to Galilee?” the lightening voice asks. This is not history. This is your story. What are you going to do with this second chance? How will your sorrow be turned into joy? How will your smile conquer the frown in your heart? Is it enough to marvel at the paschal candle, the singing, the flowers and the lights? This holy night is only the beginning. On your way, as you leave the garden, pay heed to the Gardener to find your name and yourself.

Ya amanece el sol, Víctor de la madrugada. La estrella de la mañana surge en nuestros corazones. Cristo Rey victorioso, crucificado y muerto por las fuerzas de la maldad, triunfador resucitado desde la muerte llevando a nosotros consigo a la derecha del Padre.

Cristos Anesthe, Alethos Aneste, Christ is Risen, Truly Risen.

¡Viva Cristo Victorioso!

Readings for Easter Vigil– Lecturas para la Vigilia Pascual

Readings for Easter Sunday – Lecturas para Domingo de Pascuas


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Posted by on Mar 26, 2016

A Few Minutes to Pray

A Few Minutes to Pray

Winter Sun on the Central Coast 2.1.16Holy Saturday can become one of the busiest days of the year, especially for those preparing for church services or hosting Easter dinner. Finding a moment to stop and pray is not easy. There are rehearsals for those playing a part at Easter Vigil or other Easter services. There are last minute Easter basket details to handle. The floors need sweeping. The furniture is dusty. The windows have splotches that testify to recent rains. Shirts to iron, shoes to shine, etc., etc., etc.

Yet Holy Saturday is really a time that is supposed to be holy: a time to stop, reflect on what we have just experienced with Christ and his early family and friends, and wonder how it all applies to our lives here and now. A time to step out of time and space and enter into (or remain within) the realm of the Sacred, the Holy, the Other.

We Christians are not always conscious of the reality that God and God’s presence/activity exist outside the confines of time and space. We mistakenly think that what we celebrate took place two thousand years ago and we simply remember in historical, or maybe collective, terms the events and the people to whom these things happened. In reality, for God everything is NOW. There is no past, present, or future. When we enter into the mysteries of the life, passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the Pascal Mystery, those mysteries are not history. They are happening in our lives as well. Our Jewish sisters and brothers will say, “Our ancesters walked through the Red Sea and our feet are wet.” They understand that the events they remember in story and ritual are truly real today as well. This reality is equally true for us.

Today we remember that day when all seemed lost for Jesus’ mother Mary, for his friends Peter, James, John and the other disciples, for Mary of Magdala and the other women who traveled with Jesus. Jesus had been publicly tortured to death as a traitor to the Empire, a political enemy of the state. His death was that reserved for the worst of criminals, those seen as fomenting revolution. It was meant as a warning to any who would attempt to change the status quo, the way things are/were. His family and friends recognized the warning and were crushed with sadness and fear, on top of the emptiness we all feel when someone we love has died. It was the Sabbath. They couldn’t even go to the tomb to care for his body properly. They simply had to wait and pray, try to make some sense of the past three years of their lives with him, and console each other as best they could.

We know the rest of the story — the events of the next morning changed history. God intervened, raising Jesus up on the third day, the day on which God came to the rescue of the faithful one. As a result, it’s easy for us to forget what this day, the day in-between, is about, easy to get busy rushing around to prepare to celebrate. They didn’t have a clue what was coming.

But we have entered into the mystery. We have celebratedPalm Sunday with cries of Hosanna and waving of palm branches. We rejoiced on Holy Thursday, celebrating the institution of the Eucharist. We have heard the passion narrative, prayed for all the peoples of the world, and venerated the cross on Good Friday. We are still in the midst of the mystery. It is not over yet. This is a time of quiet hope and awe in the face of loss and the unknown. It’s a time to experience our solidarity with those who suffer today because they are disciples of this Jesus, the crucified one. Time for quiet and prayer.

It’s a beautiful day here on California’s Central Coast. I’m going to leave the floors unswept, the furniture undusted, the weeds growing happily in all the flower beds, and go for a walk with my Lord alongside the ocean.

Holy Saturday blessings to all.


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Posted by on May 22, 2015

A Few Minutes to Pray

Why Mary is Important

Hail Mary - F Fong

When we think or speak of Mary, the Mother of God, it is always important to keep in mind that she is best understood in the context of her relationship with her son, Jesus. Said formally, Mariology is always constructed in the context of Christology. This is so because Christ is the redeemer and the sole source of salvation. Everything in creation came to be through him. Mary, because of her role, participates in the creative and redeeming action of God in a special way.

Mary’s exceptional conception as sinless affords her the choice to live fully for God. She was not programmed to be good, but rather, Mary did not carry the deep fear of interference and resistance against God that exists in all other human beings. The rest of the human race has the grace and possibility to work with and overcome fear and anger, but we must work to limit our desire for control and instead surrender to God’s grace. We often do not choose right away to stop being resentful or angry. We often project onto others the responsibility for our own self-inflicted injuries. Mary had a clear vision of her place in life. She was born totally honest and prepared to grow. She chose to say “yes” over and over to these qualities, even when they brought suffering.

According to the Scriptures, Mary grew in her understanding of her son, herself, and the work of God in the world for salvation. We read more than once in the Gospel of Luke that she “pondered” how their lives were unfolding and what God was doing. She did not have a road map to reassure her of where they were going, but she had given her consent at the Annunciation and she trusted over and over. Her pregnancy was unexpected and controversial. The choices that Jesus made had consequences. His declaration in the synagogue that he was the Messiah brought immediate violence and ejection from the community. We find him and Mary later in the Gospel living in a completely new town, Capernaum, not a hill village like Nazareth but a fishing village.

Icon of the Wedding at Cana - Lucia 398 - CCWhen Jesus began his itinerant preaching and healing ministry we know that Mary, her sister and a group of women accompanied him as well as the crowds. This was not a normal lifestyle for first century Jewish women. Mary had to give up her reputation, village, old friends and the comforts of a house. In all of these ways she was an excellent listener of God as he called her out of the usual, the expected. She had to be quite aware of the danger that Jesus was in. In the Gospels, in village after village, the rage and jealously grew in the scribes and Pharisees. They hated his penetrating honesty, his clear perception of their air of superiority. They despised Jesus’ humility and closeness to the cast-offs of society. Mary must have constantly had to put her worries in the hands of God. She modeled an exceptional surrender to God and acceptance of His will. No one could have gone through this without being in deep prayer and interior connection to God all the time. She stood by Jesus from Cana to Golgotha and we have no reason to believe that she knew that “everything was going to be all right.”

Throughout the centuries Mary has been understood as the second Eve who reversed the willfulness and disobedience of the first Eve. Even when this story is understood metaphorically, Mary still is understood as the first human to be perfectly and happily obedient. She is also appreciated as the mother of the Church because she remained as the center of the early church community and loved them as her own. But it is her maternity of Jesus which stands out as the most important role she has because of its eschatological (future reaching) character. What is meant by this is that she is not just a person who did something unique in the past. Mary was and is “full of grace.” In the spiritual relationship which she has with her son and the whole of creation, Christ’s grace pours through her as the first disciple to all of humanity. Mary mothers us (protects and strengthens us) if we let her. Catholicism understands all of humanity, living and dead, to be in spiritual solidarity, a mystical body. Because of this solidarity or communion, Mary can help us to have a readiness to commitment, trust even in unbearable loss, and unimaginable joy when we are united to her son.

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Posted by on Apr 20, 2015

A Few Minutes to Pray

Velaron, salieron y entraron en el misterio – Papa Francisco

Resurrection_of_Christ_and_Women_at_the_Tomb_by_Fra_Angelico_(San_Marco_cell_8)Papa Francisco, en su homilía para la Vigilia Pascual, reflexionó sobre la experiencia de los primeros discípulos y discípulas del Señor, en esa noche de dolor y de temor antes de la resurrección . Notó que el Señor no duerme, sino «vela el guardián de su pueblo» (Sal 121,4) y lo salva de la esclavitud, abriendo el camino a la libertad. Así como velaba y cuidaba a su pueblo Israel en Egipto, velaba e hizo «pasar a Jesús a través del abismo de la muerte y de los infiernos.»

Los discípulos se quedaron en el Cenáculo, el salón en donde celebraron con Jesús la Ultima Cena, cuando nació el alba, pero las discípulas salieron con sus ungüentos para ungir al cuerpo de su amigo fallecido. Se preocuparon por el detalle de la piedra, pero sin embargo salieron para enfrentarlo y atender a su amigo.

En su acción de salir de nuevo al mundo y entrar en su dolor, entraron en el misterio del poder y amor del Señor, según el Papa. La tumba estaba abierta. ¡Su amigo se había resucitado! Las discípulas habían «entrado en el misterio.» (1Re 19,12) en el cual se puede «escuchar el silencio y sentir el susurro de ese hilo de silencio sonoro en el que Dios nos habla.»

Nuestro Señor nos llama a todos a salir de lo que nos encierre, del miedo, de la incertidumbre, para enfrentar los temores, los problemas, los interrogantes y «entrar en el misterio … más allá de las cómodas certezas …»

Las mujeres discípulas de Jesús, junto con su Madre, pasaban la noche velando. Y luego, en la mañana, «salieron y encontraron la tumba abierta … Velaron, salieron y entraron en el misterio.»

Papa Francisco nos invita a «velar con Dios y con María, nuestra Madre, para entrar en el misterio que nos hace pasar de la muerte a la vida.»


La homilía completa y la vigilia pueden verse en el video adjunto. (No hay sonido por los primeros 3½ minutos, ¡espere con paciencia!)


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Posted by on Apr 17, 2015

A Few Minutes to Pray

The Easter Proclamation and the Identity of the Deacon

exsultet1In his blog, Deacons Today: Servants in a Servant Church, Deacon William Ditewig, PhD reflects on the role of the Deacon in singing the Easter Proclamation, the Exsultet: “Exult, Let them exult, the hosts of heaven.”

Deacon Ditewig traces the history of the Easter Vigil liturgy and the important role of the deacon in the lighting of the Paschal candle, as well as his proclamation of the Light of Christ in “Christ, Cross, Candle, and Gospel: An Early Lenten Reflection on the Deacon and the Exsultet.”

From the earliest times of the Church, according to Deacon Ditewig, the bishop was likened to God the Father, the presbyters (elders, priests) were viewed as the apostles, and the deacon was the Alter Christus (Another Christ). In fulfilling this calling, the deacon proclaimed the Gospel — the Kingdom of Heaven — and provided for the sick and needy in mind, body, and spirit.

The blessing and lighting of the Easter Candle and the proclamation of God’s saving power symbolize the deacon as Christ carrying the cross which is now transformed into the glorious light of salvation, dispelling the gloom and bringing new life and vision into the world.

Listen to the Exsultet sung here:

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