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Observing Holy Week-Gregory of Nazianzen

Observing Holy Week

 

St. Gregory of Nazianzen

Early Church Father & Doctor of the Church

 

Saint Gregory the Great, Observing Holy Week, Early Church FatherThis excerpt from a fourth century homily by Saint Gregory Nazianzen (Oratio 45, 23-24: PG 36, 654-655) is used in the Roman Office of readings for Saturday of the 5th week of Lent, just as the Church is ready to enter into the observance of Holy Week.  It is a wonderful guide to meditating on the Passion of Christ in a way that will make Holy Week a life-changing experience.

 

We are soon going to share in the Passover, and although we still do so only in a symbolic way, the symbolism already has more clarity than it possessed in former times because, under the law, the Passover was, if I may dare to say so, only a symbol of a symbol.  Before long, however, when the Word drinks the new wine with us in the kingdom of his Father, we shall be keeping the Passover in a yet more perfect way, and with deeper understanding.  He will then reveal to us and make clear what he has so far only partially disclosed.  For this wine, so familiar to us now, is eternally new.

 

It is for us to learn what this drinking is, and for him to teach us.  He has to communicate this knowledge to his disciples, because teaching is food, even for the teacher.

 

So let us take our part in the Passover prescribed by the law, not in a literal way, but according to the teaching of the Gospel; not in an imperfect way, but perfectly; not only for a time, but eternally.  Let us regard as our home the heavenly Jerusalem, not the earthly one; the city glorified by angels, not the one laid waste by armies.  We are not required to sacrifice young bulls or rams, beasts with horns and hoofs that are more dead than alive and devoid of feeling; but instead, let us join the choirs of angels in offering God upon his heavenly altar a sacrifice of praise.  We must now pass through the first veil and approach the second, turning our eyes toward the Holy of Holies.  I will say more: we must sacrifice ourselves to God, each day and in everything we do, accepting all that happens to us for the sake of the Word, imitating his passion by our sufferings, and honoring his blood by shedding our own.  We must be ready to be crucified.

 

If you are a Simon of Cyrene; take up your cross and follow Christ.  I f you are crucified beside him like one of the thieves, now, like the good thief, acknowledge your God.  For your sake, and because of your sin, Christ himself was regarded as a sinner; for his sake, therefore, you must cease to sin.  Worship him who was hung on the cross because of you, even if you are hanging there yourself.  Derive some benefit from the very shame; purchase salvation with your death.  Enter paradise with Jesus, and discover how far you have fallen.  Contemplate the glories there, and leave the other scoffing thief to die outside in his blasphemy.

 

If you are a Joseph of Arimathea, go to the one who ordered his crucifixion, and ask for Christís body.  Make you own the expiation for the sins of the whole world.  If you are a Nicodemus, like the man who worshiped God by night, bring spices and prepare Christís body for burial.  If you are one of the Marys, or Salome, or Joanna, weep in the early morning.  Be the first to see the stone rolled back, and even the angels perhaps, and Jesus himself.

 

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The Meaning of the Passion, Marcellino D'AmbrosioThe Meaning of the Passion

A great Lenten/Holy Week activity is to view and meditate on "The Passion of the Christ," both the the movie and, more importantly, the events it depicts. As we prepare for the Triduum, we can't help but ask why it had to happen this way?  Why did Jesus have to suffer such horrible torture to redeem us?  Wasn't there another way? This talk, a perfect complement to the film and The Guide to the Passion, will help you get the most out of the movie, recently rereleased, and the most out of the season.  45 minutes, followed by questions and answers.

Retail - $9.00

 

 Psalms: The School of Prayer 10 Part Bible Study 6 DVDs Psalms: The School of Prayer 10 Part Bible Study 6 DVDs
This is the 10 Part - 6 DVD set: Psalms: The School of Prayer, The Great Adventure moves from telling the Story to making it personal. While the historical books of the Bible recount Godís creative and redemptive acts in history, the Psalms reveal Israelís response to Godís covenant offer and serve as a model for our response to Him. Indeed, one could say that the historical books tell the "outside" of the story of Israel by giving an historical perspective, while the Psalms tell the "inside" story, which comes from the deeply personal perspective of one who is seeking God. Our communication with God is enhanced by a deeper understanding of the book of Psalms and of the individual psalms that reside in each of our hearts.

 

Psalms: The School of Prayer Study Set
 Psalms: The School of Prayer Study Set The Psalms Study Set Questions (56 pages) guide participants through their study with thought-provoking questions about the Psalms and related portions of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Comprehensive Study Set Responses (40 pages) provide answers and further commentary on the questions as well as a substantive review of each lesson. Each lesson is designed to be followed by the corresponding talk from the DVD or CD series.

 

A Guide to the Passion, The Passion of the ChristA Guide to the Passion of The Christ -  

Even if you have not seen Gibsonís epic film The Passion of The Christ, this book will help you experience this movie as a personal call to encounter the person of Jesus Christ in a new, deeper way. Co-Authored by Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D. it answers 100 questions about Mel Gibson's Passion of Christ. Priced to purchase in bulk to share with your friends and parish! Call today for delivery by Easter!

1 for $6.95   

 


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