Arulvakku

03.04.10 VIGIL

Posted under Reflections on April 3rd, 2010 by

After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb…"Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay… Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me." (Mt 28, 1-10)

 

Today the Church keeps a vigil. It is a Mother of all vigils. It is like the vigil of the Israelites, in Egypt, 4000 years ago.

Vigil is a time of expectation. It is a time of watching. It is a time of hope. The Israelites waited for the Lord to come and release them from bondage. They waited the whole night. The escape was at night when the Egyptians were all asleep (they were not waiting for the Lord). Those who kept vigil moved with the Lord.

It is a time of new creation. Israelites were formed into one nation. They come out as one nation with belief in one God. And the Liturgy of the day also gives the symbols of creation. The fire is blessed first (at creation, God said let there be light at first) then there is water which is blessed (there was water all over at creation; the Israelites were redeemed through the water of Red sea). It is a reminder of the water of Baptism where in the person is re-born in Christ.

The WORD of god is read while people are keeping vigil.(The Word that was there at creation; then with Abraham and then at Exodus and through prophets until the time of Jesus). It is a reminder that the WORD was there always from the beginning with the people guiding them, leading them etc. This word of God is alive in the person of Jesus.

Today’s gospel story speaks about the resurrection of Jesus. He is the first fruit. He is the model of resurrection. The whole world keeps vigil for this. It awaits the resurrection of the Lord. We believe in the resurrection (if Jesus is not risen then our faith is in vain 1 Cor 15,17); resurrection is our hope (we will all be resurrected by God 1 Cor 15, 19); and we proclaim this resurrection (1 Cor 15,3)

 

We believe in the resurrection

We hope in the resurrection

We proclaim the resurrection

Alleluia Alleluia Alleluia

 

 

  

02.04.10 CHOICE

Posted under Reflections on April 1st, 2010 by

 …So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. And he said to them, "Behold, the man!" When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out, "Crucify him, crucify him!"…

They cried out again, "Not this one but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a revolutionary…

 And he said to the Jews, "Behold, your king!" They cried out, "Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your king?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar." Then he handed him over to them to be crucified…

So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may (come to) believe… (Jn 18,1-19,42)

 

The reading presents a long narration of the passion and death of Jesus. The passion narrative gives a continuous flow of events. As the events take place, the narratives show the choice one makes. In two instances Pilot forces the people to make a choice.

In the first instance Jesus is brought in front of the people and the people are made to choose between Barabbas and Jesus. Jesus stands in par with a revolutionary. A revolutionary fights for a cause keeping the people in mind. He takes up the role of a leader. He gathers force from among the people. As a revolutionary Jesus fails. And the people are not for Jesus. People should have supported Jesus if they had seen in him a revolutionary (at least like Barabbas). So Jesus is not accepted as a leader from the grass-root.

The second choice is between Caesar and Jesus. Here Jesus is presented as king. King is a leader (not chosen by the people) but born of royal family. People choose Caesar to Jesus. People are happy with external leadership. They are happy with earthly leader. So Jesus fails again as a leader.

Since people do not accept Jesus, as a leader, he is condemned to death. He is crucified. As the gospel writer presents, God chooses Jesus, because the scriptures are fulfilled in Jesus. People have not chosen him. God has done it.

An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may (come to) believe. The gospel writer presents himself as an eye witness and he speaks the truth. If we have believed all that he has said so far in his writings (the miracles, parables, and teachings) then we are in line with his writings. Now he presents him as Son of God and his testimony is true. The reader is asked to believe in Jesus.

Jesus is the Son of God; he was rejected by his own people; he was crucified; God chose him. So believe in him.  

 

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