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
Will an ox and ass feature in the Vatican nativity scene?
Despite the Pope's pronouncement that no ox or ass was present at the birth of Jesus, they are expected to appear in the St. Peter's Square tableau.
- Estefania Aguirre
- Vatican City
- November 26, 2012
The Vatican has started construction on its annual nativity set in St. Peter's Square, and the display is expected to include a few animals that may not have been at Jesus' birth.
The Pope said in his third book on the life of Christ, "Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives," released Nov. 21, that the ox and the donkey, regularly included in nativity scenes, are not mentioned in the gospels.
But they are included in other parts of the Bible, which could have inspired Christians to use them in representations of the birth of Jesus.
"No nativity scene will give up its ox and donkey," Pope Benedict says in his new book, which will eventually be translated into 20 languages.
The square was first decorated in 1986 under Pope John Paul II and the 19th-century images usually come from the parish of San Andrés del Valle.
The construction of the nativity scene began on Nov. 19 and is expected to finish by Dec. 24, just in time for Christmas Eve.
The Governorate of Vatican City's technical services office designs a new nativity set every year, inspired by different scenes of the life of Jesus.
Although the scenarios of where the statues are located vary each year, the essence is the same.
In 2010 the set included nine Filipino figures in honor of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations with the Holy See. Last year’s scene focused on biblical events where Mary was a key figure, including the Annunciation, the Visitation, the presentation in the temple and, of course, the birth of Jesus.
As of Nov. 21, the area where the display will be in St. Peter’s Square sports the pillars that will partially support the nativity scene. Construction workers have also placed a metal frame next to the obelisk and a tent to protect their work, with scaffolding alongside it.
The nativity will likely include life-size figures of Jesus, Joseph, Mary, shepherds, the Magi and some animals.
Source: Catholic News Agency