Oil on Canvas
Preparing for the Mass April 18, 2014
The month of April is dedicated to The Holy Spirit. The first nineteen days of the month fall during the season of Lent which is represented by the liturgical color purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart. The rest of April falls in the Easter season in which white, the color of light, a symbol of joy, purity, and innocence, is the liturgical color.
Friday of The Lords Passion (Good Friday)
Sunday Bible Reflections from Scott Hahn and this Friday's liturgy can be found here and a children's Easter liturgy can be found here.
This day, Maundy Thursday (also "Holy Thursday" or "Shire Thursday"1) commemorates Christ's Last Supper and the initiation of the Eucharist. Its name of "Maundy" comes from the Latin word mandatum, meaning "command." This stems from Christ's words in John 13:34, "A new commandment I give unto you." It is the first of the three days known as the "Triduum," and after the Vigil tonight, and until the Vigil of Easter, a more profoundly somber attitude prevails (most especially during the hours between Noon and 3:00 PM on Good Friday). Raucous amusements should be set aside...
There are many scenes in the Passion account from the Gospel of Matthew which we have just proclaimed. This year, a particular scene keeps recurring to me. The scene is not on Golgotha, but in Jerusalem, in the Temple. The time in at 3 in the afternoon at the moment that Jesus dies. The readings said that there was an earthquake, and the curtain of the Temple was torn in two.
Christ is in His tomb. Rather, His Body is in the tomb, but when His Soul left His Body, He descended into Hell to "free the captives." "Hell" here refers to the place of the dead in general ("Sheol" in the Hebrew, or "Hades" in the Greek), not to the place of torment with which the word "Hell" is most usually associated with today. The world "Hell" in the loosest, earliest sense includes:Painting of the harrowing of Hell, by Hans Mielich
• the Limbo of the Fathers, the place for those who were righteous
by charity and faith in the coming Messias and who died before
• the Limbo of Infants, where, possibly, those who are sent who die
without personal guilt but without Baptism after the time of
Christ, or who died without charity and faith in the coming
Messias before the time of Christ. This would be a place of
beautiful, natural happiness, no punishment, and no sensible
• Purgatory, where righteous people go to be cleansed of the
temporal effects of their sins
• Gehenna, the "Hell of the Lost," the eternal place of punishment
for the damned, the place we usually refer to as simply "Hell"