Thursday, April 12, 2018

A Whole Season

Happy Easter!
You might say to me, "Easter was on April 1st. That was almost two weeks ago!" The actual Easter Day was April 1st for us Roman Catholics. For the Orthodox, their celebration of Easter was April 8th, just a week after ours. The Latin Rite, which the majority of Catholics belong to, celebrates 7 weeks of Easter.
This season, also called the Paschal Season, the first readings at each weekday Mass are from the Acts of the Apostles. Acts recounts for us the growth of the Church after the Resurrection, and especially from Pentecost up to the Paul's going to Rome.These readings show the strength and courage of Peter, John and Paul, as well as that of their companions. Where once they had abandoned and even denied Christ, now they are eloquent, Spirit-filled Apostles, fearless in the face of threats. Today's gospel reading tells of the gifts of God. These refer to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These seven gifts which we also call virtues are: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel (or Right Judgement), Fortitude (Courage), Knowledge, Piety (Reverence), and Fear of the Lord (which means a Wonder and Awe in God's Presence, see Isaiah 11:1--2). We Christians believe in One God in Three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Symbols of the Holy Spirit are fire, flames, wind, light, a descending dove. When Jesus was baptized in the Jordan, the Holy Spirit appeared in the form of a dove over Jesus' head.

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