3RD SUNDAY OF EASTER
04TH – 05TH MAY 2019
02ND COLLECTION – for this weekend is for the seminary fund. Please give generously.
TEACHERS’ DAY THANKSGIVING CUM FOUNDER’S DAY MASS will be organised by the Catholic Teachers’ Guild of Sarawak on SUNDAY, 12TH MAY at 5:30 pm in the Cathedral. All are welcome!
DEVOTION OF OUR LADY – in this Church throughout the month in MAY with Holy Rosary will be held 30 minutes before all Masses weekly from TUESDAY – SUNDAY. Except on 17TH MAY, the Holy Rosary is incorporated inside the Holy Hour. All are encouraged to come & participate. The invitation of Our Blessed Mother Mary home is an on-going program of our Parish & requires Registration at the Parish Office during office hours.
ALPHA IN ENGLISH – a series of interactive sessions that freely explore the basics of the Christian faith, will be hosted by Holy Trinity Church on TUESDAY starting the 7TH MAY, from 7.30 pm – 9.15 pm. This is a golden opportunity for us to come and explore the Christian faith together and encounter the Risen Lord. Please bring your friends along. Registration is free. Forms are available outside the entrance of the Church. Please return the completed registration forms in the ALPHA registration boxes provided or to HTC parish office. Closing date is this weekend.
PRE-MARRIAGE COURSES in English, BM and Mandarin are scheduled on 8TH, 9TH, 15TH & 16TH JUNE. Couples planning to get married are required to attend this course at least six months before the intended wedding date. Registration forms are obtainable from St. Joseph’s Cathedral Parish Office and closing date is on 31ST MAY Please register early.
The Body of Christ
Fr. Paul McPartlan
Jesus was raised to life on a Sunday, the first day of the week, and the Church consequently celebrates every Sunday as the day of Resurrection, the day of new life, the Day of the Lord (Dies Domini), a mini-Easter. Though we can celebrate the Eucharist every day, Sunday has always been the main day for its celebration, and the Church urges us to take part in the celebration not just as an obligation but a regular renewal of Easter grace and Easter joy amid the difficulties and struggles of life. The Eucharist is like a sure compass in our hand, and this regular celebration keeps us on the right track by ‘making us take our bearing from the victory of life’.
“The Eucharist has always been the celebration of the life which conquers death”
Just as there would be nothing to celebrate about Christ’s death if he had not been raised (1 Co 15:12-19), so there would, of course, be no Resurrection without Calvary. The Eucharist has always been the celebration of the life which conquers death, and therefore of the Father’s supremely loving response to Christ’s supremely loving sacrifice. At the heart of the Eucharist is the sacrifice of Jesus: ‘When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus, until you come in glory’ (memorial acclamation, cf 1 Co 11:26). As Pope John Paul has recently taught, the Mass is the ‘sacramental re-presentation of Christ’s sacrifice, crowned by the resurrection’.
This sacrifice is ‘so decisive for the salvation of the human race that Jesus Christ offered it and returned to the Father only after he had left us a means of sharing in it as if we had been present there’. When Jesus died, there were those who passed by and mocked (Mt 27:39-40). Presumably, there were also others who simply watched as spectators. The Centurion had the beginnings of understanding of what was really happening (Mt 27:54), but the full understanding has been entrusted to the Church. We know that Jesus died for the salvation of the world (Jn 3:16-17). It is therefore our own deepest desire not simply to be spectators of what was really happening on Calvary, but to be participants, to enter into and share what Jesus was doing, and that is precisely what he made possible at the Last Supper. He established a doorway into the mystery of his sacrifice. By eating and drinking what he gave them there, his disciples already participated in his passion. ‘The institution of the Eucharist sacramentally anticipated the events which were about to take place, beginning with the agony in Gethsemane.’ The Mass is the re-enactment of the Last Super in accordance with Jesus’ instruction: ‘do this in remembrance of me’ (Lk 22:19; 1 Co 11:24-25). By eating and drinking what the Lord gives us, we too enter into the mystery of his sacrifice, as if passing through a doorway. The Mass marvellously enables us still today to accompany Jesus on the journey he took from the upper room and to participate in the mystery of his suffering and death. However, we celebrate knowing the glorious outcome of that journey, we celebrate his sacrifice ‘crowned by the resurrection’, the entire Paschal Mystery, so our remembrance is shot through with Easter light. The lighted candles that we always have on or beside the altar for the celebration of Mass are a reminder of this: each is a mini-Paschal Candle.
Around five hundred years B.C., the four songs of the Suffering Servant were composed in the book of the prophet Isaiah (Is 42:1-9; 49:1-6; 50:4-11; 52:13-53:12). These songs have a special place in the Church’s Holy Week liturgy. In Isaiah’s description of the Servant who turns out to be the saviour, Christians recognise the features of Christ himself, who was exposed to insult and spittle (Is 50:6) and crushed in the eyes of the world (Is 53:5), but whose suffering had an astonishing outcome. Like the faithful Servant, he was upheld by God (Is 42:1) and established as ‘covenant of the people and light to the nations’ (Is 42:6; 49:6), bringing salvation to the ends of the earth (Is 49:6).
The celebration that Jesus held with his friends on the eve of his passion already contained important references to the songs of the Servant. We have four accounts in the New Testament of the Last Super (Mt 26:26-29; Mk 14:22-25; Lk 22:15-20; 1 Co 11:23-26), and all of them report that Jesus referred to the ‘covenant’, the bond of unity that God forges with his people, as he gave the cup to his friends: ‘this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, poured out for many’ (Mt 26:28; Mk 14:24); ‘this cup is the new covenant in my blood’ (Lk 22:20; 1 Co 11:25); and the reference to the ‘many’ is itself taken from the fourth song: ‘my servant will justify many by taking their guilt on himself’ (Is 53:11).