[Ordinary of the Mass]
[Sunday Mass Text-Latin]
[Sunday Mass Text-English]
is the day that the Lord has made. Let us be glad and rejoice in it”!
Happy Easter to all. May you be
blessed with the knowledge that on this day Jesus Christ rose from the dead,
restoring fallen mankind to the status of sons and daughters conquering sin,
sickness, and death, making it possible for us to earn the reward of eternal
life and our own glorious resurrection.
I thank all of you who contributed,
in any way, to making the celebrations of Holy Week and Easter possible. A
great deal of effort goes into this and the outpouring of assistance is
truly appreciated. And thanks to those who faithfully attended, making the
Even if you were not here during the
week, you should remember Saint Matthew's Gospel which we read last Sunday
for Palm Sunday. I asked you to ponder the link between the Last Supper
(the first Holy Mass) and the Sacrifice of our Lord on the Cross. Indeed,
this connection was reiterated in most of the Scriptures of Holy Week.
I also asked you to consider the
fickle nature of the crowd, which cheered our Lord's entry into Jerusalem on
Sunday, and then demanded that His "blood be upon us and our children" on
Friday. This is something to be considered and to be avoided, for we share
the same fickle nature, being saints one day, yet quickly becoming sinners.
And, we are equally susceptible to manipulation by influential people when
acting in a crowd.
One might ask why did the people of
Jerusalem want Jesus dead? Certainly, he was popular enough among the
common people. For many months they went out to hear Him preach, to observe
His miracles, and to have their sick cured. On two or three occasions they
wanted to make Him king over Judea and Israel.
No, the problem was with the
influential people--the Pharisees, the Scribes, and the Priests of the
Temple. The Pharisees were the descendants of the Machabees—Old Testament
Jews who literally laid down their lives for the observance of the Mosaic
Law—only the Pharisees of Jesus’ time were more interested in being seen
observing the Law, than in observing it. Jesus exposed them as hypocrites.
The Scribes were the lawyers of the
Mosaic Law, and they were upset with Jesus who was ever pointing out that
the Law was intended to serve man, rather than man serving the Law.
The priests were the administrators
of the government of God on earth. They had an uneasy relationship with the
Roman occupational government, and were afraid that Jesus would upset that
They … gathered a council,
and said: What do we do, for this man does many miracles? If we let
him alone so, all will believe in him; and the Romans will come, and
take away our place and nation. The high priest … said to them:….
it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and
that the whole nation perish not.
For all these people of political
influence, Jesus was someone to be rid of, so that things could get back to
“business as usual.” For these people it was “expedient that one man should
It is interesting to note that they
were not satisfied with having Jesus dead. Of course, they didn’t expect
Him to rise from the dead, but at the end of the Palm Sunday Gospel we read
that the chief priests and the Pharisees tried to convince Pilate to guard
the tomb to make sure that the Apostles could not steal the body to make it
look like He rose from the tomb.
And, when in fact our Lord did rise from the dead, they bribed the guards to
say that they had fallen asleep, and that the Apostles had stolen the body
while they slept.
In the night Office, Saint Augustine ridicules the desperation of people who
would hire “sleeping” witnesses!
But in the Gospel today, we have the
testimony of Angels: “you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here,
for he is risen, as he said.”
Indeed, just a little bit later on in the Gospels, we have the testimony of
Jesus Himself and of Mary Magdalene, whom He sent to tell the Apostles of
His resurrection. In the Gospels and in Saint Paul’s epistles we have the
testimony of various disciples, at least once in a group as large as five
What for the scribes, the Pharisees,
and the priests was a bitter disappointment, can only be rivaled by the joy
of our Lords many disciples. Today is a special day, the day of our Lord’s
resurrection from the dead, the day of our liberation from sin and death.
“This is the day that the Lord has
made. Let us be glad and rejoice in it”!