Easter Announcements

Dear Parishioners,

We hope this finds you well during Holy Week!

Two things have been set out in the vestibule for you to take home: Hand-held candles (for observation of the Easter Vigil), and missalettes. We encourage you to take both in order to make the most out of the time that we do not have public Masses available to us. Our websites for streaming have not changed. Our parish website is HERE and our parish’s Facebook page is HERE.

Father Hottovy highly recommends watching the ½ hour film Triduum: A Spiritual Pilgrimage which can be found HERE (Formed.org) and is a way to virtually visit the most important places connected to Our Lord’s passion, death, and resurrection.

There are two attachments to this e-mail: The bulletin and our advertisers.

Each priest has offered a reflection or homily to be shared with you.

Father Raminedi has shared his homily from Thursday’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper:

April 9, 2020
My dear brothers and sisters!

We are celebrating one of the holiest nights of the year, where we remember and relive wonderful mysteries namely ‘institution of the Eucharist’, ‘institution of the Priesthood’ and a new ‘commandment of Love’.

Today we are given a very different picture of Jesus. We see him on his knees, wiping away dirt, washing feet. This is truly what it means to be Christ. He said so himself, “I have given you a model to follow,” he tells his apostles. “So that as I have done for you, you should also do.”

Tonight, God gets down on his knees for us. Tonight, He lowers himself. Tonight, He becomes a servant to the world — as humble as a slave, as meager and plain as a crumb of bread. He asks us to do what he does in remembrance of Him.

From this, we learn what it means to be like Christ.

The overwhelming impression is surprising, and challenging. It is God becoming less…so that we can become more.

One of his last acts on earth, the last communal moment with his friends, is spent taking care of them, purifying them, removing the dust of the day. Perhaps he is anticipating the roads they will travel in the hours ahead. Maybe he is somehow getting them ready for the long journey ahead — missions they will undertake after he has gone, traveling by foot to bring the gospel to the world.

I also think it is also a beautiful representation of the priesthood, and the sacrament of reconciliation. We all walk the earth carrying the debris of our lives – our failings, our sins, our weaknesses. They cling to us. But here, they are washed away. We are made new; we can begin again.

And this, too, is what it means to be like Christ.

“As I have done for you, you should also do.”

The Imitation of Christ begins with this moment. It is in the selfless service, doing what others won’t do, or can’t.

According to Pope Francis, “The Eucharist is not just a weekly way of celebrating our faith, but should radically affect our relationship with others, especially with those most in need.”

The Eucharist affects the life of our Christian communities and we receive our mission and identity from the Eucharist, mission to imitate Christ our Master. From here our lives begin with the imitation and living the new commandment.

Fr. Goodwin has shared a reflection on Good Friday:

4-10-20
“If he gives his life as an offering for sin, he shall see his descendants in a long life, and the will of the Lord shall be accomplished through him.

“Because of his affliction he shall see the light in fullness of days; through his suffering, my servant shall justify many.”

Jesus fulfilled these words of the prophet Isaiah. He was the servant of God who saved God’s people through the acceptance of suffering and death. He did so, not by seeking out suffering or having a “death wish”, but simply by never budging from his witness to the truth. For Jesus, truth was simply what he saw his Father doing and heard his Father saying. He was willing to sacrifice everything but his fidelity to the Father. And because of that, we are saved.

John’s passion narrative contrasts several different people and their approach to Jesus, including the chief priests, Pontius Pilate, and Simon Peter.

The chief priests who plot to kill Jesus are hard of heart. Determined to follow the law of Moses, they are unwilling to see in Jesus the one whom Moses’ life prefigured, and whom the prophets had foretold. Professing to be guardians of the law, they refused to believe in the one whom the law had prepared them to welcome.

Pilate was not a Jew, and therefore knew little of the law or the prophets. He was intrigued by Jesus, but his pragmatism kept his intrigue from becoming faith. Although he found no guilt in Jesus, he was willing to hand him over to death to avoid trouble for himself.

Peter, like the chief priests and Pilate, was also flawed. He denied Jesus three times, and this after using violence to try to prevent Jesus’ arrest. But Peter had something that neither the chief priests nor Pilate had: he loved Jesus as his personal friend and Lord. When Peter was the most flawed, it was when he was denying the Cross: rebelling against the sufferings that come in the course of being faithful to God. But because of his sincere love for the Lord, he was open to repentance and the gift of Christ’s mercy.

Good Friday is a day of deep grace to be renewed in our friendship with Jesus, so that like Peter, we will learn from the Master how to see affliction not as something to rebel against, but as another way of carrying out the will of God.

Fr. Hottovy wishes to share this reflection (from Creighton’s Online Ministries)
Letting Myself be Reborn

Easter is a wonderful time to reflect upon the new life we receive through our relationship with Jesus. However, celebrating Easter is not just thinking about new life, but it is about experiencing new life. There are two questions:
1) where am I not feeling "alive" or not fully alive? and 2) what would it mean for me to let myself become fully alive, in Jesus?

When Jesus talked with Nicodemus about being born again, Nicodemus misunderstood him. Jesus clarified the phrase, explaining what he meant. We must be born "from above." [John 3:3]

What is this distinction Jesus is making between being born "again" and being born "from above." Jesus is talking about where life comes from. It's from him. The "new life" is a gift and it is from God.

When we are feeling tired, discouraged, and full of deadly, or self-defeating, desires and actions, we know we aren't happy, even if it is difficult to admit it. But, the desire for healing, relief, refreshment - new life - is the first step to being open to receive the gift. And, this is not a "once and for all" realization. Various deadly things go on in our lives all the time. We need to stay attentive to what's happening in us all the time. It's like when a blood clot blocks blood flow to our heart or our brain, something dies. When something blocks the flow of life to any part of our spiritual reality, something dies in us. Jesus is telling us that there is relief and new life - from above. We just need to be attentive to what is happening in us.

When we let his life course through us, we come to life again. It is all about the connection, the communion, the way we make our home in him and allow him to make his home in us. When we become branches connected to the Vine of life, then we can live again and can bear much fruit.

When he restores life to parts of us that were not very vital, the new life often means change. We feel different, and when we begin to act differently, it can feel not only "new" but "strange" or "awkward." It means that old habits and patterns need to be let go of and new ones need to be practiced. This is how we are opened up to grace - open to his giving his life to us. Then we can be opened to a new way of acting and loving. This new way is characterized by greater freedom, greater mercy and greater generosity.

As it appears in us, it is a beautiful thing to behold. All of a sudden, we really like what it feels like. We like who we are becoming. It starts to feel like we are reborn, renewed, coming to life in a new way.

When we experience new life, two things are very clear. 1) It is rarely, if ever, a solitary experience. We need the support of others to grow and we grow best in a community of others who are also growing. Celebrating Easter is always best done in community. 2) An Easter community is on fire with growth. The Holy Spirit comes to us and gives growth with renewed vitality and splendor.

So, let's let our longing for new life fill this Easter Season. Let's look for what needs a new vitality in us. Let's talk with the Lord about how we can stay better connected, better rooted in him. Let's let him heal what is painful or sore or deeply wounded. Let's let him show us his love and his grace. Let's ask for the graces of a new beginning, a fresh start which will bring us to life in a new way - for our own happiness - and for our vitality for others.

Celebrating the Easter Season

Easter is a seven week season of joy and grace. Starting with the Triduum in Holy Week and ending with Pentecost Sunday, this 50 day season has been called "the radiant center of the liturgical year." We keep celebrating so that we might continue to enter into the meaning of the resurrection and to deepen the way it touches our daily lives.

After Easter Week's resurrection stories, the first reading for the rest of this long and glorious season is from the Acts of the Apostles. Every day we see how Jesus' followers reacted to his death, the challenges to their witness and the unexpected courage that comes to them. John's Gospel is used for the entire Easter Season, the one time of year we can enter into his poetic and layered stories on a daily basis.

Easter only begins with Easter Sunday. These daily prayers and meditations come together to remind us that Jesus is with us. He is not dead, but alive. And, that makes all the difference in the world in how much hope and courage we have, before any struggle, any possible fear of death.

In these 50 days, we are Easter People!

May God bless you and keep you,

Aubrey Potter
Secretary | Saint Teresa Parish
735 South 36th Street, Lincoln, NE 68510
(402) 477-3979
www.stlfchurch.org

My office hours are currently 9am-11am Tuesday-Thursday and 9am-Noon on Fridays.

General office hours are currently 9am-3pm Monday-Thursday and 9am-Noon on Fridays.

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