Approaching the Paschal Triduum, a work by Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, will help us to meditate first on the seven last words of Christ and then on the encounters with the Risen Lord. Two spiritual booklets available in English and French written by this Knight Commander of the Order, Scripture scholar and founding chief executive officer of the Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation and Television Network may accompany our journey from Golgotha to Emmaus and even to today with short stories of two contemporary witnesses of the Resurrection.
In his first booklet, The seven last words of Christ – whose foreword was written in the English version by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington and Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, and in the French version by Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, Archbishop of Quebec, Primate of Canada and Knight Grand Cross and Grand Prior of the Lieutenancy for Canada Quebec – Father Rosica helps us delve into the words Jesus uttered from the Cross:
- Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing
- Today you will be with me in Paradise
- Woman, here is your son… Here is your mother
- My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
- I am thirsty
- It is finished
- Father , into your hands I commend my spirit
As the author comments, “From the cross, Jesus breaks down the barriers between people and creates this new family by the power that flows from his death for humanity. May we learn from the words, phrases and example of Jesus crucified, for he is our bridge to the heart of God” (p.13)
In the booklet “Stay with us…”: Encounters with the Risen Lord, Father Rosica goes through each account of the Resurrection of the four gospels offering food for thought and suggesting questions for reflection imbued in the specificity of each of these accounts as core moments for our own faith. Then he ends with a reflection on Jerusalem, a city dear to the heart of each Knight and Dame of the Holy Sepulchre as the Knight Commander Father Thomas Rosica.
This precious text is introduced by a foreword by His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, the Latin Patriarch-emeritus of Jerusalem, Knight of the Collar of the Order who comments: “Every man and woman is sent to proclaim the Resurrection in our time. In the author’s words: ‘To speak about the resurrection is never an event only in the remote past or in distant future reality. It is best understood in the living community we call Church.’” (p.9)
With this call in our hearts we praise Father Rosica’s work who provides us this valuable instrument to sustain our prayer during Holy Week and Eastertide.
(March 27, 2018)