Sunday, March 31, 2013

EASTER MASS WITH POPE FRANCIS FROM VATICAN - VIDEO - TEXT

Vatican Radio IMAGE - SHARE

EASTER SUNDAY MASS READINGS


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.
or:
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.
or:
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.
or:
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.
or:
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.

POPE FRANCIS WORLD BLESSING - URBI ET ORBI - TEXT AND VIDEO

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!

AUSTRALIA : BEAUTIFUL STAINED GLASS OF CATHEDRAL


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.

SHARED FROM ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY

ASIA : SOUTH KOREA : BISHOP SPENDS EASTER WITH HOSPITAL PATIENTS

ASIA NEWS REPORT
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. "

SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS

TODAY'S SAINT : MARCH 31 : ST. BENJAMIN


St. Benjamin
MARTYR, DEACON
Feast: March 31


     Information:
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."


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/B/stbenjamin.asp#ixzz1qeydP6LF

Saturday, March 30, 2013

EASTER VIGIL MASS WITH POPE FRANCIS FROM VATICAN - VIDEO - TEXT


RADIO VATICANA
  Vatican Radio) Below we publish the definitive text of Pope’ Francis’ Easter Vigil Homily, March 30th, 2013:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, In the Gospel of this radiant night of the Easter Vigil, we first meet the women who go the tomb of Jesus with spices to anoint his body (cf. Lk 24:1-3). They go to perform an act of compassion, a traditional act of affection and love for a dear departed person, just as we would.


 They had followed Jesus, they had listened to his words, they had felt understood by him in their dignity and they had accompanied him to the very end, to Calvary and to the moment when he was taken down from the cross. We can imagine their feelings as they make their way to the tomb: a certain sadness, sorrow that Jesus had left them, he had died, his life had come to an end. Life would now go on as before. Yet the women continued to feel love, the love for Jesus which now led them to his tomb. But at this point, something completely new and unexpected happens, something which upsets their hearts and their plans, something which will upset their whole life: they see the stone removed from before the tomb, they draw near and they do not find the Lord’s body. It is an event which leaves them perplexed, hesitant, full of questions: “What happened?”, “What is the meaning of all this?” (cf. Lk 24:4). Doesn’t the same thing also happen to us when something completely new occurs in our everyday life? We stop short, we don’t understand, we don’t know what to do. Newness often makes us fearful, including the newness which God brings us, the newness which God asks of us. We are like the Apostles in the Gospel: often we would prefer to hold on to our own security, to stand in front of a tomb, to think about someone who has died, someone who ultimately lives on only as a memory, like the great historical figures from the past. We are afraid of God’s surprises; we are afraid of God’s surprises! He always surprises us!

Dear brothers and sisters, let us not be closed to the newness that God wants to bring into our lives! Are we often weary, disheartened and sad? Do we feel weighed down by our sins? Do we think that we won’t be able to cope? Let us not close our hearts, let us not lose confidence, let us never give up: there are no situations which God cannot change, there is no sin which he cannot forgive if only we open ourselves to him.

2. But let us return to the Gospel, to the women, and take one step further. They find the tomb empty, the body of Jesus is not there, something new has happened, but all this still doesn’t tell them anything certain: it raises questions; it leaves them confused, without offering an answer. And suddenly there are two men in dazzling clothes who say: “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; but has risen” (Lk 24:5-6). What was a simple act, done surely out of love – going to the tomb – has now turned into an event, a truly life-changing event. Nothing remains as it was before, not only in the lives of those women, but also in our own lives and in the history of mankind. Jesus is not dead, he has risen, he is alive! He does not simply return to life; rather, he is life itself, because he is the Son of God, the living God (cf. Num 14:21-28; Deut 5:26; Josh 3:10). Jesus no longer belongs to the past, but lives in the present and is projected towards the future; he is the everlasting “today” of God. This is how the newness of God appears to the women, the disciples and all of us: as victory over sin, evil and death, over everything that crushes life and makes it seem less human. And this is a message meant for me and for you, dear sister, dear brother. How often does Love have to tell us: Why do you look for the living among the dead? Our daily problems and worries can wrap us up in ourselves, in sadness and bitterness... and that is where death is. That is not the place to look for the One who is alive! Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life! If up till now you have kept him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms. If you have been indifferent, take a risk: you won’t be disappointed. If following him seems difficult, don’t be afraid, trust him, be confident that he is close to you, he is with you and he will give you the peace you are looking for and the strength to live as he would have you do.

3. There is one last little element that I would like to emphasize in the Gospel for this Easter Vigil. The women encounter the newness of God. Jesus has risen, he is alive! But faced with empty tomb and the two men in brilliant clothes, their first reaction is one of fear: “they were terrified and bowed their faced to the ground”, Saint Luke tells us – they didn’t even have courage to look. But when they hear the message of the Resurrection, they accept it in faith. And the two men in dazzling clothes tell them something of crucial importance: “Remember what he told you when he was still in Galilee… And they remembered his words” (Lk24:6,8). They are asked to remember their encounter with Jesus, to remember his words, his actions, his life; and it is precisely this loving remembrance of their experience with the Master that enables the women to master their fear and to bring the message of the Resurrection to the Apostles and all the others (cf. Lk 24:9). To remember what God has done and continues to do for me, for us, to remember the road we have travelled; this is what opens our hearts to hope for the future. May we learn to remember everything that God has done in our lives. 

On this radiant night, let us invoke the intercession of the Virgin Mary, who treasured all these events in her heart (cf. Lk 2:19,51) and ask the Lord to give us a share in his Resurrection. May he open us to the newness that transforms. May he make us men and women capable of remembering all that he has done in our own lives and in the history of our world. May he help us to feel his presence as the one who is alive and at work in our midst. And may he teach us each day not to look among the dead for the Living One. Amen

DIVINE MERCY NOVENA PRAYER - SHARE


SHARE – LIKE – PRAY – DIVINE MERCY NOVENA
JESUS said: I will deny nothing to any soul whom you will bring to the fount of My mercy. On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My bitter Passion, for graces for these souls".
-Day 1. Today, bring to Me all mankind,especially all sinners, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me. 

Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from it. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Oh omnipotence of Divine Mercy,
Salvation of sinful people,
You are a sea of mercy and compassion;
You aid those who entreat You with humility.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen.
Day 2. Today bring to me the souls of priests and religious, and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave Me the strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them, as through channels, My mercy flows out upon mankind.

Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in us, that we may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.

The fountain of God’s love
Dwells in pure hearts,
Bathed in the Sea of Mercy Radiant as stars,
bright as the dawn.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company [of chosen ones] in Your vineyard — upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.
Day 3.Today bring to Me all devout and faithful souls, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought Me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were that drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness. 

Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from it. We beg this of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.

The miracles of mercy are impenetrable.
Neither the sinner nor just one will fathom them.
When You cast upon us an eye of pity,
You draw us all closer to Your love.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.
 Day 4. Today bring to Me the unbelievers and those who do not yet know me. I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My Heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. 

Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of pagans who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.

May the light of Your love
Enlighten the souls in darkness;
Grant that these souls will know You
And, together with us, praise Your mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of pagans and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Day 5. Today bring to Me the souls of heretics and schismatics, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart; that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church, My wounds heal, and in this way they alleviate My Passion. 

Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of heretics and schismatics. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.

Even for those who have torn the garment of your unity,
A fount of mercy flows from Your Heart.
The omnipotence of Your mercy, Oh God.
Can lead these souls also out of error.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of heretics and schismatics, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Day 6. Today bring to me the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who would keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. Only the humble soul is able to receive My grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.

Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, “Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart.” Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy and they are the heavenly Father’s favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.

A truly gentle and humble soul
Already here on earth the air of paradise breathes,
And in the fragrance of her humble heart
The Creator Himself delights.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon the souls of little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Day 7. Today bring to me the souls who especially venerate and glorify My mercy, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over My Passion and entered most deeply into My Spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death.

Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy. These souls are united to Jesus and carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.

A soul who praises the goodness of her Lord
Is especially loved by Him.
She is always close to the living fountain
And draws graces from Mercy Divine.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their spirit, overflowing with joy, sings a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God: Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them, I Myself will defend as My own glory, during their lifetime, and especially at the hour of their death, those souls who will venerate My fathomless mercy.
Amen.
Day 8. Today bring to Me the souls who are in the prison of Purgatory, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice. 

Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of the purifying fire, that in that place, too, the power of Your mercy may be praised.

From that terrible heat of the cleansing fire
Rises a plaint to Your mercy,
And they receive comfort, refreshment, relief
In the stream of mingled Blood and Water.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen
Day 9. Today bring to Me souls who have become lukewarm, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: “Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.” For them, the last hope of salvation is to flee to My mercy.

Most Compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love let these tepid souls, who like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.

Fire and ice cannot be joined,
Either the fire dies, or the ice melts.
But by Your mercy, O God,
You can make up for all that is lacking.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls, who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen.

HOLY SATURDAY MASS - FULL TEXT - READINGS


Genesis 1: 1, 26 - 31

1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
26Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."
27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
28And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."
29And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.
30And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so.
31And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.
Psalms 33: 4 - 7, 12 - 13, 20 - 22

4For the word of the LORD is upright; and all his work is done in faithfulness.5He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.6By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth.7He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle; he put the deeps in storehouses.12Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!13The LORD looks down from heaven, he sees all the sons of men;20Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and shield.21Yea, our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.22Let thy steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in thee. ------------------------------------------------------------------------
Genesis 22: 1 - 18
1After these things God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I."
2He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Mori'ah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you."
3So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; and he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
4On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place afar off.
5Then Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the ass; I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you."
6And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together.
7And Isaac said to his father Abraham, "My father!" And he said, "Here am I, my son." He said, "Behold, the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"
8Abraham said, "God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son." So they went both of them together.
9When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.
10Then Abraham put forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I."
12He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me."
13And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.
14So Abraham called the name of that place The LORD will provide; as it is said to this day, "On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided."
15And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven,
16and said, "By myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son,
17I will indeed bless you, and I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore. And your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies,
18and by your descendants shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves, because you have obeyed my voice."
Psalms 16: 5, 8 - 11
5The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; thou holdest my lot.
8I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
9Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also dwells secure.
10For thou dost not give me up to Sheol, or let thy godly one see the Pit.
11Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence there is fulness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore. Exodus 14: 15 - 31
15The LORD said to Moses, "Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.16Lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go on dry ground through the sea.17And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen.18And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen."19Then the angel of God who went before the host of Israel moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them,20coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel. And there was the cloud and the darkness; and the night passed without one coming near the other all night.21Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.22And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.23The Egyptians pursued, and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.24And in the morning watch the LORD in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down upon the host of the Egyptians, and discomfited the host of the Egyptians,25clogging their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily; and the Egyptians said, "Let us flee from before Israel; for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians."26Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen."27So Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its wonted flow when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled into it, and the LORD routed the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.28The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen and all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not so much as one of them remained.29But the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.30Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the seashore.31And Israel saw the great work which the LORD did against the Egyptians, and the people feared the LORD; and they believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses.
Exodus 15: 1 - 6, 17 - 18
1Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the LORD, saying, "I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.
2The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him.
3The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is his name.
4"Pharaoh's chariots and his host he cast into the sea; and his picked officers are sunk in the Red Sea.
5The floods cover them; they went down into the depths like a stone.
6Thy right hand, O LORD, glorious in power, thy right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy.
17Thou wilt bring them in, and plant them on thy own mountain, the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thy abode, the sanctuary, LORD, which thy hands have established.
18The LORD will reign for ever and ever."
Isaiah 54: 5 - 14

5For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.6For the LORD has called you like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a wife of youth when she is cast off, says your God.7For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion I will gather you.8In overflowing wrath for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you, says the LORD, your Redeemer.9"For this is like the days of Noah to me: as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you and will not rebuke you.10For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the LORD, who has compassion on you.11"O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires.12I will make your pinnacles of agate, your gates of carbuncles, and all your wall of precious stones.13All your sons shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the prosperity of your sons.14In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.
Psalms 30: 2, 4 - 6, 11 - 13
2O LORD my God, I cried to thee for help, and thou hast healed me.
4Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name.
5For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
6As for me, I said in my prosperity, "I shall never be moved."
11Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; thou hast loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
12that my soul may praise thee and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to thee for ever.
Isaiah 55: 1 - 11

1"Ho, every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.2Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Hearken diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in fatness.3Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.4Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples.5Behold, you shall call nations that you know not, and nations that knew you not shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.6"Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near;7let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD.9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.10"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,11so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
PSALM
Isaiah 12: 2 - 6
2"Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation."
3With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
4And you will say in that day: "Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name; make known his deeds among the nations, proclaim that his name is exalted.
5"Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth.
6Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel."
Baruch 3: 9 - 15, 32 - 38

9Hear the commandments of life, O Israel; give ear, and learn wisdom!10Why is it, O Israel, why is it that you are in the land of your enemies, that you are growing old in a foreign country, that you are defiled with the dead,11that you are counted among those in Hades?12You have forsaken the fountain of wisdom.13If you had walked in the way of God, you would be dwelling in peace for ever.14Learn where there is wisdom, where there is strength, where there is understanding, that you may at the same time discern where there is length of days, and life, where there is light for the eyes, and peace.15Who has found her place? And who has entered her storehouses?32But he who knows all things knows her, he found her by his understanding. He who prepared the earth for all time filled it with four-footed creatures;33he who sends forth the light, and it goes, called it, and it obeyed him in fear;34the stars shone in their watches, and were glad; he called them, and they said, "Here we are!" They shone with gladness for him who made them.35This is our God; no other can be compared to him!36He found the whole way to knowledge, and gave her to Jacob his servant and to Israel whom he loved.37Afterward she appeared upon earth and lived among men.
Baruch 4: 1 - 4

1She is the book of the commandments of God, and the law that endures for ever. All who hold her fast will live, and those who forsake her will die.2Turn, O Jacob, and take her; walk toward the shining of her light.3Do not give your glory to another, or your advantages to an alien people.4Happy are we, O Israel, for we know what is pleasing to God.
Psalms 19: 8 - 11

8the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;9the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever; the ordinances of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.10More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.11Moreover by them is thy servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
Ezekiel 36: 16 - 28

16The word of the LORD came to me:17"Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their ways and their doings; their conduct before me was like the uncleanness of a woman in her impurity.18So I poured out my wrath upon them for the blood which they had shed in the land, for the idols with which they had defiled it.19I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries; in accordance with their conduct and their deeds I judged them.20But when they came to the nations, wherever they came, they profaned my holy name, in that men said of them, `These are the people of the LORD, and yet they had to go out of his land.'21But I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel caused to be profaned among the nations to which they came.22"Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came.23And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them; and the nations will know that I am the LORD, says the Lord GOD, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.24For I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land.25I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.26A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.27And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.28You shall dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
Psalms 51: 12 - 15, 18 - 19
12Restore to me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13Then I will teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners will return to thee.
14Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of thy deliverance.
15O Lord, open thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.
18Do good to Zion in thy good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,
19then wilt thou delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on thy altar.
Romans 6: 3 - 11
3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
4We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
6We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.
7For he who has died is freed from sin.
8But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.
9For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.
10The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.
11So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Psalms 118: 1 - 2, 16 - 17, 22 - 23
1O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his steadfast love endures for ever!
2Let Israel say, "His steadfast love endures for ever."
16the right hand of the LORD is exalted, the right hand of the LORD does valiantly!"
17I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD.
22The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner.
23This is the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
Luke 24: 1 - 12

1But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices which they had prepared.2And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb,3but when they went in they did not find the body.4While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel;5and as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead?6Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee,7that the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise."8And they remembered his words,9and returning from the tomb they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest.10Now it was Mary Mag'dalene and Jo-an'na and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told this to the apostles;11but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.12But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home wondering at what had happened.