Friday, April 26, 2019

Reaching Beyond Ourselves

Today two heroes were honored in New York.  One in Westchester County and one in New York City.  Both served in our military one a hero of World War II and the other killed while on duty with the National Guard.  The one in Westchester died in a nursing home and had no family.  A young woman who volunteered at the nursing home where he spent his final days made sure that he had the proper funeral with full military honors.  Her desire to honor his service and memory touched many people and his funeral was more than she could ever imagine.  Many people turned out to celebrate the life of a decorated veteran.  The most touching part was when the flag that draped his coffin was given to the young volunteer.  In the city the young father of three was celebrated with full military and fire department honors and will be laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery.  Each of these men served their country with honor and remind us of the importance of looking outside ourselves and reaching out to others.  Let us take time to embrace the call that is greater than ourselves and always try to “do unto others as you would want done to you.”  

Pat Schifini, OSU

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Sunday

Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Jesus Christ is risen today!   Easter Sunday is the celebration of Christ's resurrection from the dead. is the beginning of the Easter season of the liturgical year.  Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day following his crucifixion. His resurrection marks the triumph of good over evil, sin and death.  The tomb of Christ is empty, and all rejoice.   Jesus’ disciples are called to believe what they have witnessed with their eyes we are called to believe with the eyes of faith.   As we celebrate this Easter let us remember our brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka as they mourn the loss of so many in the Church bombings that occurred there.  May there be an end to violence in all parts of our world.  May this Easter season be filled with faith, hope and love for all.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday offers a quiet beauty as we move through the emptiness of the day.  On Holy Saturday the Church waits at the Lord's tomb, meditating on his suffering and death. The altar is left bare, and the sacrifice of the Mass is not celebrated. Only after the solemn Easter vigil during the night, held in anticipation of the resurrection, does the Easter celebration begin, with a spirit of joy that overflows into the following period of fifty days.  As we reflect this day let us trust in God’s promise of salvation that we too shall rise one day.
Pat Schifini, OSU

Friday, April 19, 2019

Good Friday

Good Friday is the day on which Catholics commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Catholics are joined by almost all other Christians in solemn commemoration on this day.  According to tradition, Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariot on the night of the Last Supper.  The morning following His arrest, Jesus is taken before the Jewish authorities who condemn Him, sent to Pontius Pilate who found no reason to condemn Him.  Pilate tried to release Jesus, but the Jewish leaders would not accept this.  He then appealed to King Herod who also found no guilt in Jesus.  Pilate declared Jesus innocent and washed His hands to show that he wanted nothing to do with Jesus.  The crowds were enraged and to prevent a riot, Pilate reluctantly agreed to execute Jesus.  On this day of darkness, death and denial let us pray for the grace to overcome the darkness in our lives.
Pat Schifini, OSU

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday/Maundy Thursday is the commemoration of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ.  On this night, Jesus had His Last Supper with His Disciples.  During this meal, Jesus predicts His final betrayal.  Jesus celebrated the Passover Meal with His friends fulfilling His role as the Paschal Victim.   Jesus washed the feet of His Disciples and established the priesthood.   During the Passover meal, Jesus breaks bread and gives it to His Disciples, uttering the words, "This is my body, which is given for you." Subsequently, He passes a cup filled with wine. He then says, "This is my blood..." With this action the Eucharist – the celebration of the great thanksgiving is born.  As we receive the Eucharist this night let us remember the unity which we experience as part of Body of Christ.
Pat Schifini, OSU