Sunday, March 31, 2013


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The Resurrection of the Lord
The Mass of Easter Sunday
Lectionary: 42

Reading 1ACTS 10:34A, 37-43

Peter proceeded to speak and said:
“You know what has happened all over Judea,
beginning in Galilee after the baptism
that John preached,
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Spirit and power.
He went about doing good
and healing all those oppressed by the devil,
for God was with him.
We are witnesses of all that he did
both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.
They put him to death by hanging him on a tree.
This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible,
not to all the people, but to us,
the witnesses chosen by God in advance,
who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
He commissioned us to preach to the people
and testify that he is the one appointed by God
as judge of the living and the dead.
To him all the prophets bear witness,
that everyone who believes in him
will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23

R. (24) This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
R. Alleluia.
“The right hand of the LORD has struck with power;
the right hand of the LORD is exalted.
I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the LORD.”
R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
R. Alleluia.
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2COL 3:1-4

Brothers and sisters:
If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, 
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ your life appears,
then you too will appear with him in glory.

Or 1 COR 5:6B-8

Brothers and sisters:
Do you not know that a little yeast leavens all the dough?
Clear out the old yeast,
so that you may become a fresh batch of dough, 
inasmuch as you are unleavened.
For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.
Therefore, let us celebrate the feast, 
not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, 
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

GospelJN 20:1-9

On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark, 
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter 
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, 
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb, 
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter 
and arrived at the tomb first; 
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him, 
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, 
and the cloth that had covered his head, 
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in, 
the one who had arrived at the tomb first, 
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture 
that he had to rise from the dead.

OrLK 24:1-12

At daybreak on the first day of the week 
the women who had come from Galilee with Jesus 
took the spices they had prepared
and went to the tomb.
They found the stone rolled away from the tomb;
but when they entered,
they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
While they were puzzling over this, behold,
two men in dazzling garments appeared to them.
They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground. 
They said to them,
“Why do you seek the living one among the dead?
He is not here, but he has been raised.
Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee, 
that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners
and be crucified, and rise on the third day.”
And they remembered his words.
Then they returned from the tomb
and announced all these things to the eleven
and to all the others.
The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James;
the others who accompanied them also told this to the apostles,
but their story seemed like nonsense
and they did not believe them.
But Peter got up and ran to the tomb, 
bent down, and saw the burial cloths alone;
then he went home amazed at what had happened.

OrLK 24:13-35

At an afternoon or evening Mass
That very day, the first day of the week,
two of Jesus’ disciples were going
to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating,
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,
but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
He asked them,
“What are you discussing as you walk along?”
They stopped, looking downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply,
“Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem
who does not know of the things
that have taken place there in these days?”
And he replied to them, “What sort of things?”
They said to him,
“The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene,
who was a prophet mighty in deed and word
before God and all the people,
how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over
to a sentence of death and crucified him.
But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel;
and besides all this,
it is now the third day since this took place.
Some women from our group, however, have astounded us:
they were at the tomb early in the morning
and did not find his body;
they came back and reported
that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who announced that he was alive.
Then some of those with us went to the tomb
and found things just as the women had described,
but him they did not see.”
And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into his glory?”
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he interpreted to them what referred to him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
he gave the impression that he was going on farther.
But they urged him, “Stay with us,
for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”
So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight.
Then they said to each other,
“Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the eleven and those with them who were saying,
“The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”
Then the two recounted
what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread.


VATICAN RADIO REPORT:  Below we publish the full text of the Holy Father’s Urbi et Orbi Message, Easter 2013. 

Dear brothers and sisters in Rome and throughout the world, Happy Easter! 

What a joy it is for me to announce this message: Christ is risen! I would like it to go out to every house and every family, especially where the suffering is greatest, in hospitals, in prisons …

Most of all, I would like it to enter every heart, for it is there that God wants to sow this Good News: Jesus is risen, there is hope for you, you are no longer in the power of sin, of evil! Love has triumphed, mercy has been victorious!

We too, like the women who were Jesus’ disciples, who went to the tomb and found it empty, may wonder what this event means (cf. Lk 24:4). What does it mean that Jesus is risen? It means that the love of God is stronger than evil and death itself; it means that the love of God can transform our lives and let those desert places in our hearts bloom.

This same love for which the Son of God became man and followed the way of humility and self-giving to the very end, down to hell - to the abyss of separation from God - this same merciful love has flooded with light the dead body of Jesus and transfigured it, has made it pass into eternal life. Jesus did not return to his former life, to earthly life, but entered into the glorious life of God and he entered there with our humanity, opening us to a future of hope.

This is what Easter is: it is the exodus, the passage of human beings from slavery to sin and evil to the freedom of love and goodness. Because God is life, life alone, and his glory is the living man (cf. Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, 4,20,5-7).

Dear brothers and sisters, Christ died and rose once for all, and for everyone, but the power of the Resurrection, this passover from slavery to evil to the freedom of goodness, must be accomplished in every age, in our concrete existence, in our everyday lives. How many deserts, even today, do human beings need to cross! Above all, the desert within, when we have no love for God or neighbour, when we fail to realize that we are guardians of all that the Creator has given us and continues to give us. God’s mercy can make even the driest land become a garden, can restore life to dry bones (cf. Ez 37:1-14).

So this is the invitation which I address to everyone: Let us accept the grace of Christ’s Resurrection! Let us be renewed by God’s mercy, let us be loved by Jesus, let us enable the power of his love to transform our lives too; and let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish.

And so we ask the risen Jesus, who turns death into life, to change hatred into love, vengeance into forgiveness, war into peace. Yes, Christ is our peace, and through him we implore peace for all the world.

Peace for the Middle East, and particularly between Israelis and Palestinians, who struggle to find the road of agreement, that they may willingly and courageously resume negotiations to end a conflict that has lasted all too long. Peace in Iraq, that every act of violence may end, and above all for dear Syria, for its people torn by conflict and for the many refugees who await help and comfort. How much blood has been shed! And how much suffering must there still be before a political solution to the crisis will be found?

Peace for Africa, still the scene of violent conflicts. In Mali, may unity and stability be restored; in Nigeria, where attacks sadly continue, gravely threatening the lives of many innocent people, and where great numbers of persons, including children, are held hostage by terrorist groups. Peace in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in the Central African Republic, where many have been forced to leave their homes and continue to live in fear.

Peace in Asia, above all on the Korean peninsula: may disagreements be overcome and a renewed spirit of reconciliation grow.

Peace in the whole world, still divided by greed looking for easy gain, wounded by the selfishness which threatens human life and the family, selfishness that continues in human trafficking, the most extensive form of slavery in this twenty-first century. Peace to the whole world, torn apart by violence linked to drug trafficking and by the iniquitous exploitation of natural resources! Peace to this our Earth! Made the risen Jesus bring comfort to the victims of natural disasters and make us responsible guardians of creation.

Dear brothers and sisters, to all of you who are listening to me, from Rome and from all over of the world, I address the invitation of the Psalm: “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; for his steadfast love endures for ever. Let Israel say: ‘His steadfast love endures for ever’” (Ps 117:1-2).

Dear brothers and sisters, who have come from all over the world to this Square, the heart of Christianity, and all of you joining us via communications media, I renew my wishes for a Happy Easter! Bring to your families and your nations the message of joy of hope and peace that each year is powerfully renewed on this day. May the Risen Lord, who defeated sin and death, support us all especially the weakest and those most in need. Thank you for your presence and the witness of your faith. A thought and a particular thanks for the gift of these beautiful flowers from the Netherlands. I affectionately repeat to all of you: May the Risen Christ guide you and all humanity on the paths of justice, love and peace!


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
28 Mar 2013
The Risen Christ stained glass window
Created in the 19th Century over a period of 50 years the 40 magnificent stained glass windows are frequently described as "the glory of St Mary's Cathedral."
Many, the work of British master artisan, John Hardman the Cathedral's stained glass windows internationally recognised for their beauty as well as their outstanding quality and design.
Exquisitely-realised the windows are at their best in the early evening or morning when light floods through the glass. For anyone who visits the city's iconic Gothic-revival Cathedral cannot help but be filled with admiration for architect William Wardell and his vision that gave birth to the city's iconic Cathedral with the outstanding stained glass windows.
This weekend with thousands of people attending the various Easter Services it is an ideal time to admire the stained glass and perhaps reflect on the story some of them tell of the crucified Christ and the Risen Christ.
But with so many treasures, artworks and pictorial stained glass to appreciate, it comes as no surprise that many visitors overlook the small two-panelled window on the Cathedral's College Street side near to the Chapel of the Sacred Heart which also have a story to tell. As with the majority of the stained glass windows at the Cathedral, the two panels depicting the Birth of Our Lord were created by craftsmen at the now defunct Birmingham Company, Hardman & Son and are beautifully realised both in design, colour and execution.
Trams spelled the begining of the end to Sydney's hansom cabs
While due to the smaller size of the two panels and their location in the Cathedral, the window is often missed by visitors. But for the Queensland father-in-law of Tracey Cain, the editor of Meter, the magazine for the city's cabbies, the window turned out to be one of the highlights of his visit.
"He was admiring the beauty of the window when he noticed the brass plaque below and discovered the window had been donated to the Cathedral in 1882 by Sydney's Catholic cabbies," says Tracey.
Until then she had had no idea that back in Sydney's early days when taxis were horse-drawn Hansom Cabs, the drivers had got together to donate a stained glass window to the Cathedral.
"I'm not sure how many people knew of this but it was a lovely discovery and made a wonderful cover for the Christmas issue of Meter Magazine late last year," she says.
A three-panelled stained glass depiction of the crucified Christ
The brass plaque under the window is simple and says: "This window is donated by the Catholic Cab Men of Sydney, 1882." But further research reveals the gift by Sydney's mainly Irish cabbies marked the dedication Mass at St Mary's which was held on 8 September 1882 and marked the first time the Cathedral's bells rang out.
The first St Mary's Cathedral was destroyed by fire in 1865. Australia's first archbishop, John Polding immediately commissioned William Wardell, a pupil of famed Gothic Revivalist architect Alexander Pugin to design a new Cathedral. In the meantime, a temporary wooden church was erected. In 1869 this too was destroyed by fire, but by then foundation stones for the ambitious sandstone Cathedral with its vaulted ceilings, wide nave and three towers had laid and work begun. 
In England at this time, Pugin was working closely with John Hardman to create some of Britain's most superb stained glass windows and his former pupil Wardell, chose Hardman and his firm to design and craft windows for Sydney's new Cathedral.
Although Archbishop Polding died long before the Cathedral was completed, his successor Archbishop Roger Vaughan presided over the dedication Mass in 1882. By now some of the magnificent stained glass windows including the one donated by Sydney's Catholic cabbies had been installed, but the Cathedral itself was many years away from completion and the foundation stone for the nave had yet to be laid.
Hansom cab rank outside St Mary's Cathedral
The nave itself was not finished until 1928 and the Cathedral not fully completed until 2000 when the spires from Wardell's original plan were finally completed.
"The Cathedral is very much bound up with the history of Sydney and we are very proud to discover that the Cathedral has such a strong link with Sydney cabbies and their history," says Tracey.
Back in 1882 when the city's Catholic cabbies donated the window, there were almost 1000 hansom cabs in Sydney. Introduced to the city in the 1860s they quickly became Sydney's favoured form of transport. Each cab featured a driver dressed smartly in three piece suits with bowler hats set at a jaunty angle, sitting outside high at the rear of the cab with the reins to his horse fed through a support at the front of the roof, while the hansom's two passengers rode snugly inside.
The windows reveal glorious rich colouring
Unlike today, each cab and horse was independently owned by their driver with fares set at 1 shilling for 15 minutes at a speed of less than 9.5 kph. Cabbies back then paid one pound for the license fees. On top of this relatively small fee was the cost of hansom cab's "turnout" which included the cab, its fittings, the driver's uniform and bowler along with harness and the horse itself.
As with current practice, there were specific "cab ranks" where hansom cabs could be hailed and at the height of these horse-drawn taxis there were at least 70 dotted across the city with 30 more in the suburbs.
The death knell to Hansom Cabs sounded in the late 1890s with the advent of horse drawn buses, trams and the invention of the telephone. The telephone replaced the short runs Hansoms used to make to deliver messages or leave calling cards while the public relied more and more on trams and buses to get around. By 1918 and the increasing use of motor cars, there were few cabs still in use although there was a surge in taxi driver numbers.
"After the First World War the government handed out taxi plates to returning soldiers to help them get back on their feet," Tracey explains adding that the same thing happened after World War II.
While things have changed since 1882, Sydney cabbies are still regarded as among the world's best.



by Joseph Yun Li-sun
The bishop, Msgr. Lazzaro You Heung-sik, will celebrate the great Easter Vigil in the Cathedral. The next day, however, will be devoted to a diocesan geriatric hospital "Easter is the cornerstone of our faith and the perennial source of hope for mankind. It should be shared with those who need it most. "

Daejeon (AsiaNews) - The Easter Triduum "is the central moment of the life of the Church but also the fulcrum of human hope. This is why I decided to spend time with the elderly and the sick, those who are most in need", the Bishop of Daejeon, Msgr. Lazzaro You Heung-sik, tells AsiaNews about his Easter "agenda" and launches a message: "We follow the new Pope to become a poor Church for the poor."
The Mass, the Lord's Supper was celebrated yesterday by the bishop in the tiny parish of Unsan, on the outskirts of the diocese. Instead today, the Way of the Cross will be held in the cathedral, as well as the Easter Vigil: "In the evening we will be in the" Daeheung-dong "(the central church of the diocese, dedicated to St. Joseph.) Last year, Buddhist monks took part, this year I do not know if they can join us. We try to maintain the best possible relations: I'm visit them on the day of Buddha's birthday and they come at Easter and Christmas".
Easter Sunday, however, Msgr. You will go to the old and sick, "I will try to spend all day in a Home for the Aged of the diocese, to be with them. Nearby is a geriatric hospital and a center for the disabled. We made a qualitative leap since we took up this center, which originally was run by the state:  after saying Mass, in fact, I will also bless the new parts of the hospital".
The choice is not random: "These holidays are the heart of our faith, but above all they are the perennial source of hope for the human being. I think it's only right to share this eternal hope with those who need it most, that is those who suffer and are alone".
On the feast of St. Joseph, the diocese has also celebrated the 20th anniversary of the seminary: "I celebrated a Mass for the new Pope with my priests and told them that,  in the footsteps of Francis, we must commit ourselves to really become a poor Church for the poor. "



St. Benjamin
Feast: March 31

Feast Day:March 31
Died:424 in Persia
Isdegerdes, son of Sapor III, put a stop to the cruel persecution against the Christians in Persia, which had been begun by Sapor II, and the church had enjoyed twelve years' peace in that kingdom when, in 420, it was disturbed by the indiscreet zeal of one Abdas, a Christian bishop, who burned down the Pyraeum, or temple of fire, the great divinity of the Persians. King Isdegerdes threatened to demolish all the churches of the Christians unless he would rebuild it. Abdas had done ill in destroying the temple, but did well in refusing to rebuild it; for nothing can make it lawful to contribute to any act of idolatry, or to the building a temple, as Theodoret observes. Isdegerdes therefore demolished all the Christian churches in Persia, put to death Abdas, and raised a general persecution against the church, which continued forty years with great fury. Isdegerdes died the year following, in 421. But his son and successor, Varanes, carried on the persecution with greater inhumanity. The very description which Theodoret, a contemporary writer, and one that lived in the neighbourhood, gives of the cruelties he exercised on the Christians strikes us with horror: some were flayed alive in different parts of the body, and suffered all kinds of torture that could be invented: others, being stuck all over with sharp reeds, were hauled and rolled about in that condition; others were tormented divers other ways, such as nothing but the most hellish malice was capable of suggesting. Amongst these glorious champions of Christ was St. Benjamin, a deacon. The tyrant caused him to be beaten and imprisoned. He had lain a year in the dungeon when an ambassador from the emperor obtained his enlargement on condition he should never speak to any of the courtiers about religion.
The ambassador passed his word in his behalf that he would not; but Benjamin, who was a minister of the gospel, declared that he could not detain the truth in captivity, conscious to himself of the condemnation of the slothful servant for having hid his talent. He therefore neglected no opportunity of announcing Christ. The king, being informed that he still preached the faith in his kingdom, ordered him to be apprehended; but the martyr made no other reply to his threats than by putting this question to the king: What opinion he would have of any of his subjects who should renounce his allegiance to him, and join in war against him? The enraged tyrant caused reeds to be run in between the nails and the flesh both of his hands and feet, and the same to be thrust into other most tender parts, and drawn out again, and this to be frequently repeated with violence. He lastly ordered a knotty stake to be thrust into his bowels, to rend and tear them, in which torment he expired in the year 424. The Roman Martyrology places his name on the 31st of March.
St. Ephrem, considering the heroic constancy of the martyrs, makes on them the following pious reflections: "The wisdom of philosophers, and the eloquence of the greatest orators, are dumb through amazement, when they contemplate the wonderful spectacle and glorious actions of the martyrs: the tyrants and judges were not able to express their astonishment when they beheld the faith, the constancy, and the cheerfulness of these holy champions. What excuse shall we have in the dreadful day of judgment, if we, who have never been exposed to any cruel persecutions, or to the violence of such torments, shall have neglected the love of God and the care of a spiritual life? No temptations,  no torments, were able to draw them from that love which they bore to God; but we, living in rest and delights, refuse to love our most merciful and gracious Lord. What shall we do in that day of terror, when the martyrs of Christ, standing with confidence near his throne, shall show the marks of their wounds? What shall we then show? Shall we present a lively faith? true charity towards God? a perfect disengagement of our affections from earthly things? souls freed from the tyranny of the passions? silence and recollection? meekness? almsdeeds? prayers poured forth with clean hearts? compunction, watchings, tears? Happy shall he be whom such good works shall attend. He will be the partner of the martyrs, and, supported by the treasure of these virtues, shall appear with equal confidence before Christ and his angels." We entreat you, O most holy martyrs, who cheerfully suffered most cruel torments for God our Saviour and his love, on which account you are now most intimately and familiarly united to him, that you pray to the Lord for us miserable sinners, covered with filth, that he infuse into us the grace of Christ that it may enlighten our souls that we may love him, &c."