Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Fifth Sunday of Easter 2019 (Year C)

See, I Am Making All Things New

God has opened the way of salvation for all. Through the Holy Spirit, life and freedom are given to all who believe in Jesus (Acts 11:1-18). Let the whole earth praise God for raising the horn of salvation through Jesus Christ (Psalm 148). He is the Alpha and Omega who promises to quench our thirst and make all things new (Rev 21:1-6). Life and resurrection have been promised by the one who is faithful. Because of this, we should love one another, as Christ loved us (John 13:31-35).

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Fourth Sunday of Easter 2019 (Year C)

Our Merciful Shepherd

“Through Christ, we are able to do more than we could in our own strength, just as Peter worked a miracle in Joppa (Acts 9:36-43). The Lord is our shepherd (Revelation 7:9-17); he takes care of all our needs (Psalm 23) and offers us eternal life (John 10:22-30).”  -Thomas Oden, Ancient Christian Devotional

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Third Sunday of Easter 2019 (Year C)

Now I See

“Just as Saul heard the voice of the Lord in the road to Damascus, was blinded and then regained his sight (Acts 9: 1-6), so we who turn from our sins and follow the Lord find joy and healing (Psalm 30). Because we love and trust God’s Son, who became man and dwelled among us (John 21:1-19), we offer him all praises and glory (Revelation 5:11-14).” 

-Thomas Oden, Ancient Christian Devotional

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Easter Sunday & Second Sunday of Easter 2019 (Year C)

Christ is Risen!

“He is risen (John 20:1-18)! In Christ’s resurrection is peace for the world and the promise of a new creation (Isaiah 65:17-25). The Lord is our strength and our salvation. This is the day the Lord has made – let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24). Death is destroyed. Christ is risen – he is risen indeed (1 Corinthians 15:19-26).” 

-Thomas Oden, Ancient Christian Devotional

Bearing Witness

“We bear witness to Jesus’ death and resurrection and tell everyone the good news (Acts 5:27-32). Like Thomas, we lay aside our doubts (Jn 20:19-31) and now anticipate his second coming (Rev 1:4-8). We will not die, but live and proclaim what the Lord has done (Ps. 118). Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” 
–Thomas Oden in Ancient Christian Devotional

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Holy Week 2019 (Thursday, Friday, Saturday)

Paschal Triduum

The most striking worship celebrations of the Christian church happen every year at the end of the Lenten season. There is no greater contrast between darkness and light than the eclipse and glory that were experienced by Jesus’ disciples between the Last Supper and Easter morning. For centuries, Christians have marked the progression of these events through worship. They reenact these bedrock events to honor Christ, celebrate salvation, and grow in the way of Jesus through imitation and reflection. This period of time in the Church’s calendar has traditionally been referred to as the Paschal Triduum or “The Three Days.”

“The events framed by Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and his resurrection are some of the most dramatic and theologically important of the entire scriptural narrative. These days feature not only the drama of the triumphal entry, trial, last supper, and crucifixion but also Jesus’ poignant prayers and prophetic teachings. John’s gospel devotes eight of its twenty-one chapters to this week alone—reminding us of a common observation that the gospels are “passion narratives with long introductions.” The week begins with Passion/Palm Sunday and ends with the “three days” (also called the Triduum, from sunset on Thursday to sunset on Easter Day), the period during which we mark Jesus’ trial, death, and resurrection.”
-from The Worship Sourcebook, 2nd Edition.

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East Coker, IV by T.S. Eliot (from The Four Quartets)

Little Gidding, by Makoto Fujimura

The wounded surgeon plies the steel
That questions the distempered part;
Beneath the bleeding hands we fell
The sharp compassion of the healer’s art
Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.

Our only health is the disease
If we obey the dying nurse
Whose constant care is not to please
But to remind of our, and Adam’s, curse,
And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.

The whole earth is our hospital
Endowed by the ruined millionaire,
Wherein, if we do well, we shall
Die of the absolute paternal care
That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.

The chill ascends from feet to knees,
The fever sings in mental wires.
If to be warmed, then I must freeze
And quake in frigid purgatorial fires
Of which the flame is roses and the smoke is briars.

The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food;
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood–
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.

T.S. Eliot (from The Four Quartets)

Quote: Augustine on the Evening of the Last Supper

The Last Supper
Wikimedia Commons

“He laid aside His garments, when, being in the form of God, He emptied Himself; He girded Himself with a towel, took upon Him the form of a servant; He poured water into a basin, out of which He washed His disciples’ feet. He shed His blood on the earth, with which He washed away the filth of their Sins; He wiped them with the towel wherewith He was girded; with the flesh wherewith He was clothed, He established the steps of the Evangelists; He laid aside His garments, to gird Himself with the towel; that He might take upon Him the form of a servant, He emptied Himself, not laying aside indeed what He had, but assuming what He had not. Before He was crucified, He was stripped of His garments, and when dead was wound up in linen clothes: the whole bowl of His passion is our cleansing.”

-Augustine, as quoted by Thomas Aquinas in Catena Aurea on the Gospel for the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper