St. Edward Parish, Newark: April 2007 Archives


Yes, as promised last year, the Exsultet will be chanted in Latin. The Homily will be about Mother bee, very prominent in the Latin but unfortunately missing in the dreadful English translation. The program will have a literal translation into English, along with the Spanish translation.

There will be six baptisms tonight, and one recieved. They will all be confirmed and I have recieved faculties to confirm the husband of one of the newly baptised, the fiance of the one recieved, and two who are receiving their first communion tonight.

Homily Notes:

Fratres Carissimi, Queridos Hermanos, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus our Risen Lord. At the beginning of this night, with ancient words and melody dating back to the first years after the resurrection, the church surrounds a significant candle, and invites it to embody the praise of the people of God, the church, as it chases away the darkness of this night and fills it with a glowing light.

This ancient song makes special mention of the work of human hands and so it is fitting that in this church we place this hand-made candle and praise the work of the artist that gives us such a gift. But the song also makes special mention of the work of the bees. The fire of this candle, although it is divided into parts, knows no loss from its light being lent out, divided and spread afar. As the light is given to each one of you, the intensity of the light in this place glows evermore intensely. The chant praises the melting streams of wax, which the mother bee has produced for the substance of this precious candle, and for the power and energy it gives for the increase of light.

Mother bee has produced no ordinary light. This light banishes a culture of darkness and now mingles with the lights of the heavens, and joined with the morning star praises the rising sun that breaks like a peaceful dawn upon a broken world.

O truly blessed night, in which heavenly things are joined to those of earth. This is the wedding night of the marriage feast of the lamb. This is the marriage of heaven and earth. In any marriage two opposites become as one, and in this marriage the Creator of the universe has invested each and every part of our creation with a capacity for the divine. God has taken up our flesh and our humanity even to the experience of death, and in his rising he has conquered death forever.

There is an old expression, "If you think you are too small to make a difference in this world, try sleeping with a mosquito". I would invite us to think like this: "if you think you are too small to make a difference in this world try living as a Christian." If the tiny bee can nourish a light that can compete with the stars of heaven, how much more can our small flesh and blood, when immersed in the great mystery of the of the death and resurrection of the Son of God and filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit, spread the light of his resurrection to every corner of this world.

My dear Elect, this is the night of your rebirth in Christ Jesus. This night is not about anything we can do or anything we can feel. It is all about Jesus Christ our Lord and what he has done, in us and for us. It is he who has shed his most precious blood for us and invited us into the holy of Holies, to stand with confidence before the Father as his beloved children. We shall remain in our weak and sinful human flesh, but he will clothe us with his glory and change us into his likeness. And when we remain in him no darkness can ever overcome us because we shall always have the light of his resurrection to scatter the shadows and fear of the world.

In the days ahead when the power of darkness seeks to exert his influence over you, I invite you to remember mother bee. Remember the work of the bees and the human hands that fashioned this candle. Remember the glory of its light that mingles with the lights of heaven. And remember that the Lord has taken each of us, as small as we are, and given us his light and made us his children. And now changed into his likeness he has given us the ability to boldly stand in his presence and show the world a light that never fails.

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Holy Thursday

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Do you ever wonder why the Gospel of this day tells the story of the washing of the Feet, and not the story of the institution of the Holy Eucharist?

Our God has come to earth, and has invested everything on earth with the capacity for the divine. “Capax dei;” the ancients would have spoken of this “capax dei,” a capacity for God. Bread and wine, once simple fruit of the earth, crushed grain and crushed grapes changed into the stuff that nourishes our bodies and fills us with joy. Now they are changed again, into the very presence of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

“Capax Dei” It would have been a normal gesture of hospitality, providing water for your guests so they could wash the dust of the road from their tired feet. Maybe there would have been a extra measure of devotion on the part of the disciple who assisted the master in washing his feet. But here everything is changed. Jesus has turned the world upside down. The master washes your feet. We would have expected him to be the Master, instead he becomes a slave.

But as he got up from the table and "took off his outer robe," we have an indication of something larger. He has taken off more than his robe. St. Gaspar invites us to see how far this love has taken him. He has emptied himself completely. He had no fear that his role or prestige or his person would be diminished. He did not even fear death. He is the one who knows who he is, where he is from and where he is going.

And during supper Jesus, knowing that God had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself.

It is the same for us. This is no mere gesture. This is not simply a sign or re-enactment. This is not about some past event. This is a celebration of who we are now and who we are to become.

We are invited to take off who we think we are that we might discover who we really are. The human heart is now where God delights to dwell. Bread and wine is where he sits us at table and waits on us. The simple act of washing the dishes or serving a neighbor can become a place where God is served and indeed where we become his presence. St Gaspar would invite us to both service of neighbor and in adoration of the Most Holy Eucharist, and tell us that in either act we are serving the divine presence and celebrating that he has given us a capacity for God.

This day also marks the origin of the priesthood. This is the glory of the priesthood, as Gaspar teaches, to effect and make known this incredible love of Jesus.

You also, are invited to make this extravagant love known to the world. Those who have been washed in him, who now share completely in him, in his life and his mission, we are with him those who know who we are, where we have come from and where we are going. Death has no more power over us. We can live without fear and do what needs to be done because we know that nothing, not even betrayal, will prevent the reign of God from being revealed in us.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the St. Edward Parish, Newark category from April 2007.

St. Edward Parish, Newark: February 2007 is the previous archive.

St. Edward Parish, Newark: May 2007 is the next archive.

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