Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
- November 1, 2012
First among the saints is the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Mother of God; and following her are the apostles, the men chosen by Our Lord himself to carry on his mission. Then come the martyrs, the first witnesses of the faith in every local Church. We find numerous women among them, virgins foremost; but there are also the mothers of families, founders of religious groups, and queens and noblewomen as well. Then there are the doctors of the Church, those learned saints whose teachings have influenced, and whose lives have inspired countless generations. Missionaries, pastors and confessors, the list goes on and on.
Today, November 1st, is the day to remember them.
This feast goes back to the 4th century, when the Syrian Church honoured its martyrs. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon, an early Roman temple, to Our Lady and the martyrs in Rome. Gradually, the feast grew in universality, until its present date in the calendar.
Today âsainthoodâ has a bad press, and the young as well as the old feel that the saints led curious lives, sacrificing human joy and creativity for some kind of crippling obedience to Godâs call. People protest with embarrassment that âthey arenât saints,â repressed and mortified, but âregular human beingsâ.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
To be holy is to discover and cherish the truth of oneâs life, and to express it with joy and courage. In an age which promotes âcopycatâ living, the saint is the genuine, authentic article. Thatâs why no two saints are similar, whereas most celebrity lives are boringly so. Today we draw inspiration from the men and women of all times who had the courage to follow their star.