The martyrdom of Saint Thomas (Becket) of Canterbury, by Master Francke (ca. 1424)
A recent statement, issued by Archbishop Socrates Villegas, DD, OP (Member, Dominican Priestly Fraternity) and the clergy of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan, bore for its title the words of England's famous King Henry II: "Will no one relieve me of this meddlesome priest?"
So who is this 'meddlesome priest?'
King Henry was referring to his (formerly) great friend, Thomas Becket, who served as his high and mighty Chancellor. Hoping to bend the Church in England to conform to his royal will, King Henry, on the earliest opportunity, nominated Chancellor Becket to concurrently serve as the Archbishop of Canterbury, an inarguably influential position. As Primate of all England, the Archbishop of Canterbury was the spiritual authority in the kingdom.
The Fifty-fifth World Day of Prayer for Vocations once again proclaims this good news to us, and in a decisive manner. We are not victims of chance or swept up in a series of unconnected events; on the contrary, our life and our presence in this world are the fruit of a divine vocation!
Pope Francis delivers his Easter message in the Urbi et Orbi from the balcony of Saint Peter's Square. (Photo from Reuters / Stefano Rellandini)
The following is the full text of Pope Francis's homily during the Mass of Easter Day held on April 1, 2018 at St. Peter's Square. The text has been provided by Vatican News.
Dear brothers and sisters, Happy Easter! Jesus is risen from the dead! This message resounds in the Church the world over, along with the singing of the Alleluia: Jesus is Lord; the Father has raised him and h e lives forever in our midst.
Jesus had foretold his death and resurrection using the image of the grain of wheat. He said: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (Jn 12:24). And this is precisely what happened: Jesus, the grain of wheat sowed by God in the furrows of the earth, died, killed by the sin of the world. He remained two days in the tomb; but his death contained God’s love in all its power, released and made manifest on the third day, the day we celebrate today: the Easter of Christ the Lord.
Salubong at UST (Photo by Basilio H. Sepe, published by ABS-CBN News on March 27, 2016)
Here is the Easter message of our spiritual director and parish priest, Fr. Louie R. Coronel, OP.
The Gospel of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ begins with the journey of the women to the tomb at dawn on the day after the Sabbath (Mt 28:5). An angel told them “Do not be afraid!” for “He has been raised from the dead, and indeed He is going ahead of you to Galilee” (v. 7). The women quickly departed and on the way, Jesus Himself met them and said: “Do not fear; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there, they will see me” (v.10). There is a sense of urgency for the Lord went ahead and the women quickly departed. It is a compelling journey from doubt into faith, from desperation into hope, from fear into love. And it all began with God’s immeasurable love for us and our willingness to take the first step towards the tomb no matter how painful it might be.
Our former spiritual director, Fr. Filemon I. dela Cruz Jr., O.P. (fondly called "Fr. Deng"), was assigned to Surabaya, Indonesia last year. In this brief sharing, originally posted on March 15, he speaks about the power of God's love as experienced in the Sacrament of Reconciliation... and he speaks to us from the other side of the confession box.
We concluded tonight our scheduled Lenten confession at our Parish Church, Gereja Redemptor Mundi. For three (3) evenings we administered the Sacrament of Reconciliation and heard confessions of the penitents for 3.5 hours on the average each time.
Tiring, admittedly yes! But always, it is an experience of grace not only for the penitent but for the confessor as well. This is my experience from the time I was a young priest and remains to be true till now, after 25 years. I hope this is true for all confessors.