This Easter morning we celebrate the central mystery of our faith, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. He suffered on the cross and died for us, but now he is risen!
We gather around the Easter candle on this cold Easter night, celebrating the Lord’s resurrection. With that light to illumine our way and to warm our hearts, we listen to God’s word at the Easter Vigil and prepare to renew our baptism an make a new start in the Easter springtime.
The liturgy that begins with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday continues until we reach Easter. We are at the start of a three-day celebration of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. We journey from the Last Supper to Gethsemane tonight, from there to Calvary tomorrow, and from the tomb to resurrection and new life at the Vigil of Easter Sunday.
Today’s liturgy gives us a preview of the events we will celebrate in the Easter Triduum later this week. The passion, death and resurrection of Jesus are the focus of this and every Sunday celebration.
In just over ten days time, the Easter Triduum will begin, on Holy Thursday evening. The time when baptism is celebrated is now very close. We ask God’s help for all the adults and children preparing for baptism this Easter, and pray that we may be fit and ready to renew our baptismal vows at the same feast.
Traditionally, this Sunday is called Laetare Sunday, which means ‘a day for joy’. Lent is half over, and the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus is nearer. At this midpoint of Lent, it is traditional to honour mothers, treasuring those still with us and praying for those we have lost to death.
Today’s readings about water and thirst remind us that this is a baptismal season. During Lent, many people all over the world look forward to their baptism, while those already baptised prepare to renew their promises.
Just 12 days into the season of Lent, we keep the feast of Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. We mark the day by praising God the creator, who sustained Patrick, and who sustains the Church, in good times and bad.
Now that we are ten days into the season of Lent, our goal is clarified in today’s liturgy. The Gospel of the Transfiguration reminds us that we are destined for glory. Like the disciples, we keep this glimpse of glory in our hearts in the dark days ahead. Resurection will follow, as surely as day follows night.
We celebrate the first Sunday of Lent. All over the world today, men and women are beginning a period of preparation for their baptism at the Easter Vigil. Like them, we spend Lent preparing to renew our baptismal vows at Easter, looking forward to our blessing with Easter water and to receiving the gift of a new start.