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As we continue our Easter journey with the risen Christ, we meet him once again in stories of healing and forgiveness, encounter and witness. Do others see the risen Christ in us? Are we the witnesses Jesus challenges us to be? (Pastoral Liturgy)

Understanding the Scriptures does not mean opening the Bible and finding specific texts referring to the suffering of the Messiah. For sure, there is a wealth of scriptural allusions to the suffering of holy people, chief among them the Suffering Servant of God (see the Fourth Song in Isaiah 53). But these remain allusions, not texts explicitly saying that the Messiah would suffer. This explains why no one in Israel expected a suffering Messiah; on the contrary, the Messiah was expected to be a glorious figure who would restore the ’fallen hut’ of King David. That Jesus as the Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead is all part of God’s plan. His death on the cross is not a mere coincidence; but an integral part of God’s ongoing plan to save his people. Jesus’ death is not solely the consequence of human pride and machinations, but the expression of total self-giving love that achieves reconciliation with God. (Source: God’s Word 2024)

To his Nazi captors, Polish priest and Conventual Franciscan friar Maximilian Kolbe was prisoner number 16670. But to Franciszek Gajowniczczek, his fellow inmate in Auschwitz, Maximilian was much more and his sacrifice would change his life forever. In late July 1941, a prisoner escape in Auschwitz prompted the deputy camp commander to order the deaths of 10 men to deter future escape attempts. When Maximilian heard Franciszek, who was one of the ten selected, cry out for his wife and children, he volunteered to take his place. Franciszek was reunited with his wife after the war and lived to be 93. He said that, as long as he lived, he would tell everyone about Maximilian’s courageous act of love. Jesus’s dying and rising again, like Maximilian’s act of sacrifice and love, was not only a moving act of humanity; it was also a prophetic witness of God’s redemptive love. ........... We are called to rise with Jesus to a new life. In communion with our faith companions and all the saints from ages past, present and future, we are also called to be prophetic witnesses to his redemptive love. Clothed in our baptismal garments, anointed by holy oil, and redeemed by blood, let us proclaim this Easter promise to everyone. He is risen indeed. (Source: Majellan Family Media)


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