Let Easter Triduum transform you, pope tells faithful
Remember Christ's love for us during days leading up to Easter
VATICAN CITY — During the final days of Holy Week, Catholics should recognize that Christ's love for them is shown by "the total gift of Himself on the cross," said Pope Benedict XVI.
"Let us allow ourselves to be touched by this love, to be transformed, so that the Resurrection may really be realized in us. I invite you, therefore, to live the Paschal Triduum intensely, and I wish you all a Holy Easter!" the pope said on April 4.
Pictured: Pilgrims wave U.S. flags as Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd as he arrives for his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 4. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
The pope made his remarks to more than 11,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square for his Wednesday general audience. He explained to them that from Thursday onwards, "we enter the Easter Triduum, the summit of the liturgical year" that celebrates "the central mystery of faith: the Passion, death and Resurrection of Christ."
Exploring the scriptural texts that will be used over the three days of the Triduum, the pope explained how St. John's Gospel describes those days in the life of Jesus as His "hour."
"Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that His hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved His own in the world and He loved them to the end," Pope Benedict said, quoting the passage from St. John 13:1 in full.
"The whole life of Jesus is oriented towards this hour," he noted, proposing that the whole historical episode is "characterized by two aspects that illuminate each other."
The pope said the first aspect is Christ's hour being a "passage" – "metabasis" in ancient Greek – while the second feature of His hour is Jesus' "love until the end," called "agape" in Greek.
"It is the divine love, the Holy Spirit of which Jesus is filled, which allows Jesus to 'pass' through the abyss of evil and death, and sees Him emerge into the new 'space' of the Resurrection," the pope said.
And His hour is marked by "agape," which "brings about this transformation" that allows Jesus to go "beyond the limits of the human condition marked by sin and overcomes the barrier that keeps man prisoner, separated from God and eternal life."
Pope Benedict finished his reflections on the Paschal Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday) by saying that those who participate in faith in the liturgical celebrations "are invited to experience this transformation brought about by agape."
The days leading up to Easter Sunday will be among the busiest of the year for 84-year-old Pope Benedict.
On Thursday he celebrates the Chrism Mass with the priests of the Diocese of Rome in St. Peter's Basilica at 9:30 a.m. He will then travel across the city for the Mass of the Lord's Supper at his cathedral church, the basilica of St. John Lateran, at 5:30 p.m.
On Good Friday, the pope will lead the Celebration of the Lord's Passion in St. Peter's at 5 p.m., followed by the Stations of the Cross in Rome's Coliseum at 9:15 p.m.
On Holy Saturday evening, the pope will preside over the Easter Vigil, beginning at 9 p.m. in St. Peter's.
The pope's intense schedule will wrap up with 10:15 a.m. Mass on Easter Sunday in St. Peter's Square, followed by his "Urbi et Orbi" message and blessing to the "city and world" at noon.
— CNA/EWTN News
Father Shawn O'Neal: In this debate, remember Church teaching on human rightsAs a means to develop a comprehensive plan to reform our nation's current immigration system, a group of senators has introduced legislation formally called the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013."...
Father Matthew Buettner: Radical ChristianityRecently, the Boston Marathon came to an abrupt end when two bombs exploded near the finish line. Three young people died in the explosion, including an 8-year-old boy who received his first Holy Communion just 11 months ago. Along with these...
The Poor Clares: Joy and sacrificeSt. Paul was a man passionate with zeal and consumed by love for God and desire for the salvation of souls. His actions and words were geared toward one purpose: the claiming of souls from the dominion of the devil, and the deceit used by him...
Brian Williams:The honest 411 on Vatican III recently had the opportunity to take a class about the Second Vatican Council offered through a diocesan adult education program. While much was covered within a relatively short span of four classes, one subject occupied much of our time...
William L. Esser IV: Love and 'gay marriage'It's always best to get your disclaimer on the table early, so here is mine: I'm a lawyer, I love my Catholic faith, and I love my country. So it should come as no surprise that I have been following the recent "gay marriage" cases before the...
Peggy Bowes: Be the stranger"I have always depended on the kindness of strangers." — Blanche DeBois, "A Streetcar Named Desire" I was quietly praying the rosary, holding a "Pray to Stop Abortion" sign outside Planned Parenthood in Winston-Salem, when a delivery truck...
Deacon James Toner: On Christian RealismWe Catholics often find ourselves trying to chart a wise and balanced course between justice and mercy, between solemnity and a touch of appropriate humor, between the classical and the contemporary. So it is with the law of love and the fact...
LETTERS FROM OUR READERS
Warrior saints are found throughout historyRegarding the April 26 letter criticizing St. Nicholas of Flue, I am disgusted that an American would insinuate that a soldier who distinguishes himself or herself in combat is not following...
Who would be worthy?In a letter in the April 26 Catholic News Herald, St. Nicholas of Flue was referred to as someone who "did not follow those teachings" of Christ because he defended the faith with his sword and...
St. Peregrine is a model to followI greatly admire the saints. The stories of youthful saints speak powerfully to me and never fail to captivate me; since I am 15, I can relate particularly to them. When I read the article about...
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy