“I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live.” (John 11, 25)
We had a beautiful mass at the Easter Vigil at Ecce Homo presided by Msgr. Michael L. Fitzgerald, an African missionary (“White Father”) with some diocesan and religious priests concelebrating. We started on the terrace with the blessing of the New Fire and the Paschal Candle. Issa, a Muslim who works with the sisters lit the fire. For many year Issa’s father, Fahkri who had also worked with the sisters would always light the fire, so it has become a tradition.
It was a lovely night and we processed from the terrace to the Basilica following the Pascal Candle and singing “Christ be our light.” We participated in the celebration with singing, dancing and some actions while the psalms were sung. Then we had refreshments after the mass.
The next day, we had a mass on the terrace at 7 o’clock in the morning. We enjoyed the sunrise and sharing a delicious breakfast with the people following the Mass. The view from the terrace is spectacular!
At lunch time we were invited to Sr. Rose Theresa’s apartment. She gave us a very warm welcome and she and Sr. Aracely, nds prepared a wonderful lunch with rice, Feijoada (beans and pork), potatoes and salads. Some of our sisters from Connecsion were there too.
We thank God for this opportunity to be here in Jerusalem and to enjoy the Holy Week ceremonies. We’ve had a deep experience and have come to know Jesus better. He always had a special encounter with individuals, both with men and women. For example, the man born blind, the Samaritan woman, Martha and her sister, Mary and the calling of the disciples, he would meet each as an individual. He accepted them where they were, and led them through their questions and their suffering, to a deeper expression of faith.
Jesus also invites us to start and to walk again like them. He is our light, our path and we need to be a testimony of a resurrected Jesus through our lives and ministry and through these we can bring hope, joy and peace to those who need it most. Fr. Theodore reminds us that “Jesus Christ, He is the way, the truth and the life; He is our justice, our hope, our resurrection, our peace and our love.” (Book 3 pg. 227). Moreover, he said that the season of Easter should be a season of complete and deep renewal for “it is the spiritual springtime which is beginning all over again; and on our mountain (Sion) this springtime must reveal an abundance of all kinds of flowers. So, my dear daughters, re-awaken in your souls the life of Christian piety. Expand your charity, dig deep trenches of humility, perfume the hills of Sion with the incense of love which is sweet, tender and life-giving.”
(Fr.Theodore, April 20, 1852. Book 2, Pg. 279)
May the season of Easter bring us renewed hope, faith, love and joy!
Wishing you a blessed and joyful Easter!!
Andrea Chacón Carmona, Novice NDS
Community St. John in Montana