“Now, on the first day after the Sabbath, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning while it was still dark…” (v. 1). In these first words of the Gospel of Easter day one can perceive, almost breathe the signs of death’s victory. On earth it’s all silence, immobility, quietness. A woman, alone and frightened, moves in the darkness of the night. Death seems to dominate unchallenged and silence and darkness celebrate the triumph.
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The dramatic agony of the cross has often led the preachers of the past to insist excessively on the gory aspects of Jesus’ passion. From this preaching images, popular representations and some devotions are derived in which the violence of the blows of the scourging, the falls under the weight of the cross, the sadism of the soldiers exasperated. This type of approach to the Gospel texts do not make a good service to the understanding of the Easter events, indeed, it blurs the meaning.
Disciple is one who follows in the footsteps of the Master. “Your attitude should be the same as Jesus Christ had”—Paul recommends to the Philippians (Phil 2:5). “I have just given you an example,” Jesus says, “that as I have done you also may do.” He “has not come to be served but to serve” (Mk 10:45). Even his disciples, following his example, are called to be servants.
The Synod in Rome in October last year focused on young people, faith and vocational discernment; in his reflection on the Synod published last week, Pope Francis places the energy, creativity and openness of young people at the centre of his reform of the Church.
During this week we are not invited to grieve and to mourn the death of Jesus, but to rejoice in the freedom that he has realized by giving his life. We also try to question ourselves: indeed have we really entered the new reality born of his sacrifice? Let us ask ourselves if we have accepted his kingdom, assimilating the new face of God, the new religion, the new face of a man and the new society proposed by him.
As a young Jesuit, Jorge Bergoglio taught literature to a group of rowdy, hormonal teenage boys at a private school in Argentina who, according to one of them, “had no desire to study.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, will be in the Vatican this week to lead a retreat for civil and ecclesiastical authorities of South Sudan.
A Chinese bishop is back in detention and a vicar general in custody amid a long-running dispute between a group of Beijing-affiliated priests and a diocese of the underground church in the northern province of Hebei.
Bishop Charles Morerod recently told La Croix "the Church reforms itself under the influence of seemingly adverse forces. "Mounting pressure is a key factor to consider in the debates within the Church about the institutional reforms that are needed to address how bishops have failed in handling sex abuse cases. But this pressure on the institutional Church is undeniably different today from that of the past.