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Apr 172017
 

If Christ had not risen, vain would our faith

This month we have the biggest fact of all time, the great truth that divided history to “before and after Christ”: the resurrection of Jesus. This is because, if Christ had not risen, our faith would be in vain and the Christian life would be meaningless. Christ is risen! He is really the way to God, the truth for which every human being searches. The Life we all strive for, with total quality in abundance, true to life.

 

Photo: Daniel Mafra/cancaonova.com

The shroud of Turin shows that the Romans were vicious in the flagellation of Christ. Despite not having the custom  to give so many lashes, so the practice began and ended with the body of Jesus. He just persevered because he was a strong man. He was all bruised, in pain from head to toe. Jesus was wounded by our sins. We were all like stray sheep, each following his own path. Do we still do this today, leading our life the way that suits us. It’s not what the Father wanted, but it was for our redemption, that the Lord did put upon Him all our sins. Jesus knew what he was supporting was for our salvation.

Jesus was not a defendant, he was innocent. He was crucified for you and for me. Jesus accepted death because this was the means to save us. He took upon himself the sins of all humanity, he let the curse fall upon himself. He died for us, but also he rose for us, to make it clear that this project of the father be realized in our life. Just as Jesus was resurrected for a definitive life, we too will raise up at the last day, the Lord wants us to live the present life in this way, making sure that one day we shall resurrect with him.
Our body is still subject to sin, but we need to use all members, no more for evil, but for the sake of righteousness, because that’s why we were created.

“If Christ is in you, your body, without doubt, is destined to death because of sin, but the spirit is life because of righteousness. And if the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Jesus Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies for your spirit that dwells in you “(Rm -11 8.10).

Although your body is weak, subject to sin and walks to death and corruption, if Jesus is in you, although your body is bound to the physical death, your spirit lives. The most beautiful reality is that your body also begins to experience the resurrection and the life. It becomes full of life, resurrection, and the signs that begin to appear in you, that becomes strong, brave by the power of Jesus. You stop being discouraged, a person who lives dragging through life, and you becomes a brave, fearless, kind person, who gives itself, full of courage, facing overwhelming odds, by the grace of God.

All this for what? Because of the presence of Jesus. Everyone will see your face, in your eyes, the true joy, enthusiasm, optimism, because Christ lives in you. And if the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Jesus Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies for your spirit that dwells in you “(Rm 8.11). In the Valley of tears, (problems, difficulties, diseases), we will see people full of the resurrection and life. You are invited to be a transmitter of life for all those living in death.

The world needs Jesus! He is not physically with us, but we, Christians, by the power of the Holy Spirit are the source of living water to the world, as He. Jesus is the resurrection and the Life. There are a multitude of men in death, as in the vision of Ezekiel: “How parched bones scattered on the ground” (Ez 37.2). The Lord wants you to be resurrection and life for these people, to so many prodigal children who want to return home, they need to receive the embrace of the father of mercies. A person who has life and gives life to the point of saying: How Jesus is in me, how He lives in me and how I allow Him to penetrate me, I too am the resurrection and life.

To have that life we need to be in communion with the Lord, take communion the body and blood of Jesus, because “he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I shall rise on the last day” (Jo 6.54). Simply do not receive communion, but enter into intimate communion with the Lord. The Eucharist is the great means for our body, our soul and our spirit to come into communion with Jesus. How to assimilate the food we eat, and it becomes life for our body, so it happens when we enter into intimate communion with Jesus.

Raising up on the last day will be just a natural consequence of a lifetime. When our body you discard as the seed falls apart on Earth, eternal life will be on us. I always wondered why Mary Magdalene was the first to see the Lord. It wasn’t any of the Apostles. She’s the one who goes and announces to Peter and John that the Lord had risen. Mary Magdalene was chosen because she was the more determined, more determined to follow the Lord. While the Apostles went into hiding for fear of the Jews, she took her companions and, at dawn, determined, even at risk, she went to the Tomb, to express the great love she had for Jesus, because she had broken from her old life. We need to be as determined as she was!

If we stay on the fence, in “more or less” correct “neither hot nor cold,” and we’re not going anywhere. Mary Magdalene knew if she stayed in mourning, she wouldn’t want to go anywhere. My brethren, the Church wants us to live in this expectation of resurrection, because the resurrection of Jesus is the certainty of our resurrection. If we are living in the light, if we took the word of God and she takes effect in our lives, if we persevere and fight, especially in today’s world, where we are against the current, when we die, by the grace and mercy of God we shall resurrect to eternal life, eternal award, and not for conviction.

And the word of God, which attests to the resurrection of Jesus, we aim also to his glorious coming. We are between these two wonderful events, seeking in each Easter, our resurrection and new life. At the same time, we turn to the happy expectation of the coming of Jesus in glory, and we turn, every day, by the powerful action of the Holy Spirit who was given to us. You see: the same Holy Spirit,-tells us the Scriptures –, who raised Jesus from the dead, has been given to us and dwells in us, to enact in each of us the resurrection of Christ and to lead us to new life!

Your brother,

Monsignor Jonas Abib
Founder of the community Canção Nova

Portuguese version

May 052014
 

Fr. Arlon’s reflection is based on John 20:11-18  –ed.

My brothers, we started talking about the Resurrection of Jesus, a very important moment for us, because if the tomb was not empty, there would not be the Church, the Pope, the priests nor the Canção Nova.

We’re only here, we can only go to Mass because Jesus was resurrected. That is our great faith! The fact that the tomb is empty changed the history of all mankind.
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The Gospel says that was the first day of the week… The Christian special day.

The Octave of Easter Sunday ended. During all these days, it was still Easter. Now, after the Resurrection, we enter the Easter season, in which The Paschal Candle remains present, representing the risen Christ. There are 40 days until his ascension and 50 days until Pentecost.

The tomb was empty. The Word says that Mary Magdalene was there, at dawn, sad and dejected.But why was she there at this time? Because she did not want anyone to see her. She wanted to live her moment with Jesus. However, when she arrived there, she saw two angels and asked them, “Why have taken away my Lord?”. She had seen that Jesus was not there, and she had gone to call the apostles Peter and John, and they had seen the empty tomb and told the others. Magdalene, however, stood there and Christ appeared to her.

Why did Jesus appear to Mary Magdalene and not to the apostles? Why would He appear to a person who had no social standing, who had no voice? Because he made a point of appearing first to whomever was faithful to Him at the foot of the cross.

Mary Magdalene meets Jesus, but she does not recognize Him. So he calls her by name. She turns and sees that who is there is the Lord. She had not previously recognized Him, because the glorious body is different, but as soon as he speaks “Mary,” she acknowledges him, because only the Lord called her by that name.

At that point, Mary Magdalene is overwhelmed and crying out:..! “I saw the Lord” She is in a process of transformation, because when she came to the tomb, she was sad and dejected, with her candle of faith extinguished. But when she encounters with the risen Jesus, immediately her candle of faith is lit Sadness turns joy, faith emerges, tiredness turns into strength; discouragement in mind is an immediate miracle..

That’s what we need to live in this Easter season. I know we all have problems and difficulties, but ask God for the opportunity to live the experience of Mary Magdalene. If our faith is an unlit candle, we light it in the risen Jesus.

You know what is our difficulty? We light the candle of faith, but problems come and it goes out and we leave it unlit. You know what we must do? Light it again in Jesus, by praying and going to Mass.

Perhaps you know people who are with their candles of faith erased by depression, by disease, by unemployment; and you ask God for them to light the candle. But did you ever stop to think that she may not have the strength for it? At this time, you must take the initiative, to light your candle, then light the candle of another. It is a contagious.

Sometimes you’re waiting for someone of your home to take the initiative to change, to do something, but that person may be weak, needing you. Like Mary Magdalene, with the candle lit by faith, light the the other’s candle.

If a problem comes and the candle goes out, light it again. If it goes out a hundred times, you must light it a hundred times. Not because you are from God that the candle will always be let; There are times when the candle goes out and you have to light it.

Get out of your home to light the candles of faith of others. Rekindle the flame of God’s love for you and yours. Do not let this candle go out, ask the Holy Spirit to help, keeping the flame always lit.

I invite you to close your eyes. Remember all the people you know who have their candles darkened in  faith. Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate them.

“King of kings, Lord of lords, who, this morning, sends His flame to penetrate the hearts of all, of all families. May we live the experience of Mary Magdalene, we turn our sorrow into joy, dejection into encouragement, lack of faith into faith.Let us be revitalized, infected with His call. Come, Holy Spirit of God upon us, give us joy, restore us, ignite our soul. ”

Father Arlon Cristian 

Priest of the Canção Nova Community.
Twiiter: twitter.com/pearloncn
Facebook: facebook.com/PadreArlonCristian

Portuguese Version

May 102012
 

I hope that you have understood why the Son of God said: “I accept, Father!”. Jesus came and died humiliated. The greatest humiliation that a person could endure. He who is Son of God, the King of King, the Lord of lords, came to be known as a malefactor. But the Father resurrected Him and He is in Heaven, keeping the second moment, the hour of His glorious second coming, when He will come to reign over the earth.

And between the first and second moment, Christ put the church. We are this Church and we are living between the first and second time: the first already happened– Jesus was humiliated, but conquered through resurrection; and actually we are in the second time – and Jesus will come and will reign in the world with all of His Glory. Therefore, in our principle role as intercessors and proclaimors: “Jesus Christ is the Lord!” He always was: He came the first time, humbled himself and accepted to be humiliated. He offered himself in sacrifice for the souls of sinners and died on the cross. But now, He will come to be Lord.He will come to be Jesus, the Lord that saves, to be the Christ, the Messiah, the One hoped for.

God Bless You!

Monsenhor Jonas Abib

Founder of the Canção Nova Community

(Excerpt  from the book “Orando com poder” “Praying with Power” by Monsignor Jonas Abib)

translated from Portuguese

Feb 102011
 

The night was drawing near. And Jesus found himself on the shore of Lake Gennesaret, and sent the disciples to the other side of the sea. The multiplication of bread could have raised triumphalist hopes in respect to the reign of God. Jesus left his disciples from this error, left the multitude and climbed the mountain to pray alone. The faith in the Lord Resurrected helps the church confront the existential difficulties in the Siro-Phoenician Christian communities of the first century and the scenario does not stop here, but continues to our days.

The episode of crossing the rough sea, with Jesus walking on the waters, is narrated by Mark and by John. Matthew adds to it the fact that Peter dared to go to encounter the Messiah on the waters, establishing a dialogue among them both. Peter asks Jesus to permit him to go to meet him. He has the consent and put himself to walk on the agitated waters. Vacillating and feeling fear, he begins to “sink”. In our evangelical mission to cross the sea of adversities, also we feel the fear that leads us to be inclined to retreat. But Jesus is present, he secures us with the hand and encouraging our faith: “Courage, It is I! Why  did you doubt?”

Without Jesus, Peter’s boat, that represents the Church, confronts contrary winds. In the last hours of the night, seeing the Lord come to us, walking on the sea, the disciples scream in fear, thinking that it is a ghost. “Courage! It is I. Do not be afraid!” The faith in the Lord resurrected should stop the fear of Christian communities.

Peter asks for a sign that confirms the presence of the Lord: “If it is you, send me to go to meet you.” The Lord said: “Come” and Peter walked on the waters, trusting in the Word of Jesus. But feeling the violence of the wind, he remained with fear and began to sink. “Lord, save me! Jesus extended a hand to Peter, to me and to you saying: “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

When Jesus climbed in the boat, the wind ceased and all prostrate, recognized him: “Truly, you are the Son of God!” This profession of faith, now purified through the experience of the dark night, comes being prepared from the episode of the Multiplication of loaves.

In the moments of desolation, I trust in the presence of the Lord, even in the apparent absence of Him? In the dark night, that which I ask the Lord: the miracle of a stronger faith? In the storms of life we are not alone. God does not abandon us, even when we don’t feel His presence.

Lord Jesus, in the hours of enthusiasm do not allow me to forget that the Lord is the fount of my joy. And in the hours of sadness, that I do not lose the faith in Your presence. I believe, Lord, but increase my faith. I want to risk my life for the Reign. Give the me the strength and Your power in order that I may overcome the fight from day to day.

Fr Bantu Mendonça K. Sayla

Fr. Bantu writes from the Diocese of Benguela, Angola.

Translated from Portuguese

Apr 212010
 

Lord, stay with us because it is dusk and the day has ended…

Lord, stay with us because the night has come and with it darkness…

Lord, stay with us because if You are not here during the night, we will be lost, we remain with fear…

Lord, stay with us because in the darkness we do not know where to go nor what road to follow…

Lord, stay with us because we need your company, alone we cannot walk…

Lord, stay with us because because in the cold night, we need the warmth of Your love…

Lord, stay with us because the weight of many time we do not perceive that you walk with us…

Lord, stay with us…

Amen

Remain in the peace of Christ Resurrected, Alleluia, Alleluia

Daniel Galaz

New Song Community, Chile

Translated from Spanish

Apr 122009
 

Happy Easter to All!

One of the fascinating aspects of the Easter Triduum is the reality that it is celebrated pretty much the same way throughout the world. Despite our cultural differences, we all celebrate our faith in a powerful way in the same liturgies. That is that despite our differences as Catholics, we ultimately believe the same powerful truths, that in Christ we have freedom from sin. We need only seek and follow Christ. Our Lord teaches us to love and to love powerfully and calls us to build communities of love each and everyday. Let us do that daily, and seek to live the gift that Jesus gives us: Eternal life in Him as a community of love.

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