The Sacred Paschal Triduum
What does the Triduum
We are now in the Easter Triduum (the "Three Days"): that time between the end of Lent (which happened when the Mass of the Lord's Supper began on Holy Thursday night) and the Easter celebrations (which starts with the lighting of the Easter fire at the Vigil on Holy Saturday night). What do the events of these intervening days celebrate?
Many of us believe we know the answer: Thursday commemorates the day that Jesus instituted the Eucharist; Friday commemorates the day he was executed on the Cross; and the Vigil commemorates his resurrection from the tomb. These Masses and commemorations "re-enact" what happened during Jesus' last days through his death and resurrection. In many ways, this is a sort of "parallel" observance similar to our journey of Advent leading to the birth of Jesus at Christmas.
While mostly accurate, holding solely to this viewpoint shows our tendency to see so much in a historical light, which can isolate us from the way that God sees things: in the light of Eternity.
set aside these days to bring to mind these events that took place in history, they are so much more. What the Paschal Triduum ultimately celebrates is
, not what
. We aren't just "taken back" to the Upper Room or even to Calvary and the empty tomb. Our celebrations don't just remember what
to Jesus, but also what is
to us as a people of faith.
Emerging from a life of sin and dying to sin, we also reflect that what is now happening to us being reborn into a life of faith: called to conversion, gathered in faith, receiving the Spirit of holiness. We celebrate God entering our hearts. Like the bread broken at the Last Supper by Jesus and given to his disciples, in our brokenness through the Body and Blood of Jesus we are healed, re-created and re-united as the Mystical Body of Christ. United in the institution of the new Covenant of Holy Thursday, sharing in the Good Friday sufferings of Christ through our own tribulations, awaiting the dawning of new life while in the silence of Holy Saturday - guided by faith - we become a new community rich in compassion and hope, fearlessly and joyfully going out to proclaim the Good News of Easter:
Jesus Christ is Risen - He is Risen, indeed!
(c.f. "The Three Days of Pascha" by Nathan Mitchell)
Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you – for you alone? He burns with the desire to come into your heart.
St. Therese’ of Lisieux
Our FORMED Recommendation for the Week
Audio (34 minutes) -
Stations of the Cross
by Saint Alphonsus Liguori
The Augustine Institute presents a beautiful meditation on the Stations of the Cross by Saint Alphonsus Liguori, narrated by Dr. Christopher Blum. This prayerful reflection is accompanied by the Schola Cantorum of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Littleton, CO, chanting the traditional Catholic hymn Stabat Mater, in Latin, which depicts the loving presence of Our Sorrowful Mother, sharing in the suffering of Christ at the foot of the cross. Take advantage of this audio on your commute, at home, or anywhere you find the time, to enrich your prayer during Lent or throughout the year, and better unite yourself to the Passion of Christ.
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Fr. Ed Blanchett
on Friday, April 19 at 3:00PM