Easter Vigil 2024

Easter Vigil 2024

The Priory of St. Dominic celebrated Easter Vigil on March 31st at 10:00 pm. The great night was filled with joy and solemnity. After the mass, the community and the faithful gathered to share some refreshments. 

The Way of the Cross on Good Friday

The Way of the Cross on Good Friday

On this Good Friday in the Diocese of Macao, the Bishop, Religious Priests and Sisters, and the faithful gather together in a solemn procession of the Way of the Cross. Starting in Flora Garden and culminating at the top of Guia Hill, this annual tradition organized by the lay faithful in the Diocese of Macao holds deep significance for the faithful to enter into a spiritual journey towards Easter.

The Bishop, Religious Priests and Sisters, and the faithful united in the procession carry the weight of the Cross not just symbolically but with hearts open to the depth of Christ’s sacrifice.

In the footsteps of Jesus, they contemplate His suffering, His love, and His ultimate victory over sin and death. Each step taken in this procession echoes the journey of faith, inviting all to meditate on the cost of redemption and the boundless mercy of God. The Way of the Cross in Macao becomes a testimony of faith, a communal prayer of gratitude, and a pilgrimage of the heart.

On Good Friday, we reflect on the profound sacrifice that Jesus made for all of humanity as He walked the way of the Cross. Take us through Jesus’ journey to Calvary, where He bore the weight of our sins and endured unimaginable suffering out of love for us.

As we meditate on each Station of the Cross, we are invited to enter into the mystery of Christ’s passion and death, to contemplate His humility, His obedience to the Father’s will, and His boundless love for each one of us. We see Jesus’ unwavering resolve and His willingness to carry the Cross, knowing that it would lead Him to the ultimate sacrifice for our redemption.

The Way of the Cross reminds us of the reality of sin and the cost of our salvation. It challenges us to reflect on our own crosses, struggles, and sufferings and to unite them with Christ for the greater glory of God. Through the Stations of the Cross, we are called to embrace our own crosses with faith and courage, trusting in the promise of Easter joy and the victory of Christ over sin and death.

As we journey with Jesus along the Way of the Cross, may we be inspired to live lives of selflessness, compassion, and sacrificial love? May we find strength in Christ’s example and draw closer to Him as we contemplate His passion and death on this Good Friday. May we carry our crosses with hope and perseverance, knowing that through the Cross, we find redemption and eternal life in Him.

 

Holy Week Recollection

Holy Week Recollection

We begin our Holy week with recollection, which is an invitation for us to reflect on two questions (Fr. Fausto Gomez OP).

Who is Christ for you?

According to the Scriptures, Christ is revealed to us in Scripture as the Son of God, the Savior of the world, the Word made flesh who dwelt among us (John 1:14). He is the fulfilment of the Old Testament prophecies and the embodiment of God’s love and mercy for humanity.

In the teachings of the Church, Christ is acknowledged as the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, fully God and fully man, who came to earth to redeem humanity through His life, death, and resurrection. The Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms that Jesus Christ is the “one mediator between God and men” (1 Timothy 2:5) and the source of our salvation (CCC 846).

In our personal experience encounter with Christ, we are called to live in His presence, His grace, and His transformative power in our own life. Through prayer, the sacraments, Scripture reading, and acts of service, many people have encountered Christ in a personal and profound way, feeling His love, guidance, and peace in their lives.

Christ is our Lord and Savior, the source of hope and strength in times of trial, and the model of love and compassion that we strive to emulate in our own life. Through His teachings and example, we are called to love God and our neighbour, to seek justice and mercy, and to live a life of faith, hope, and charity.

Therefore, Christ is not only a historical figure but a living presence in our lives, inviting us into a relationship of love and communion with Him. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6), calling us to follow Him, to trust in Him, and to bear witness to His love and salvation in the world.

May our understanding of who Christ is deepened through the study of Scripture, the teachings of the Church, and our personal encounters with Him, leading us to a deeper faith, a stronger commitment to discipleship, and a greater love for the Lord who gave Himself for us.

Where is Christ Today?

Christ is present everywhere, and Christ is living among us, in our lives and in our deeds.

  1. “In the Eucharist”: One of the most profound ways that Christ is present today is in the Eucharist. In the Gospel of Matthew 26:26-28, Jesus institutes the sacrament of the Eucharist during the Last Supper, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body… Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” In the Eucharist, Christians (Catholics) believe that the bread and wine truly become the body and blood of Christ. Therefore, when we receive the Eucharist, we are in communion with Christ in a very real and intimate way.
  2. “In the Church”: Christ is present in His mystical body, the Church. In the Gospel of Matthew 18:20, Jesus says, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” As believers come together in worship, fellowship, and service, Christ is present among them. This presence is not just symbolic but real as Christ continues to work through His Church to bring about His kingdom on earth.
  3. “In the Word of God”: Christ is present in the Scriptures, as the Word made flesh. In the Gospel of John 1:14, it is written, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” When we read and meditate on the Bible, we encounter Christ and His teachings. Through the Scriptures, Christ continues to speak to us, guide us, and reveal God’s plan for salvation.
  4. “In the Poor and Needy”: In the Gospel of Matthew 25:40, Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Christ is present in the faces of the poor, the marginalized, and the vulnerable. When we reach out to them with love, compassion, and support, we are ministering to Christ Himself.
  5. “In the Sacraments”: Christ is present in the sacraments of the Church, which are visible signs of God’s grace. Through the sacraments, such as Baptism, Confirmation, Reconciliation, and Matrimony. 

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday 

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, a time when the Church solemnly commemorates the events leading to Christ’s Passion and Resurrection. The day is filled with contrasts, as joyful acclamations at Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem quickly turn into cries of “Crucify him!”. This twofold mystery reminds us of the humility and patient suffering exemplified by Christ, guiding us to follow His example. Jesus, through His obedient trust in the Father, teaches us to face difficulties with peace and confident abandonment of God’s will.

The liturgy of Palm Sunday emphasizes the paradox of Jesus willingly giving Himself up to His Passion out of love for humanity. He accepted His fate with free obedience and infinite love, demonstrating that His sacrifice was a conscious choice rather than a result of external forces. This act of self-giving love is a central theme of Palm Sunday, inviting us to reflect on our own response to sin and the redemption offered through Christ’s sacrifice.

As we enter Holy Week through the gateway of Palm Sunday, we are called to journey with Jesus towards the Cross, where He will offer the gift of redemption to all humanity. The crowds accompanying Jesus to Jerusalem, including the blind man, express Messianic hope and anticipation of God’s kingdom. This anticipation echoes in our hearts as we contemplate the significance of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem and the fulfilment of Scripture through His Passion and Resurrection.

The readings today invite you to reflect deeply on the passion of the Lord as presented in the readings of the day. The first reading from Isaiah 50:4-7 portrays the suffering servant who endures humiliation and physical pain yet remains steadfast in faith and obedience to God. This passage foreshadows the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus, the true suffering servant, will make for all of humanity on the cross.

In the second reading from Philippians 2:6-11, we encounter a profound reflection on the mystery of the Incarnation and the humility of Christ. Jesus, though in the form of God, emptied himself and took on human form, obediently accepting death on the cross. This self-emptying love of Christ is at the heart of the Christian faith and serves as a model for us to emulate in our own lives.

The Gospel reading from Mark 14:1-15:47 recounts the detailed narrative of Jesus’ passion, from the betrayal by Judas to the crucifixion and death of Jesus on the cross. This account challenges us to confront the reality of sin and the depth of God’s love for us, demonstrated through the sacrifice of His Son for our redemption.

As we meditate on these readings, we are called to enter into the mystery of Christ’s passion with humility, gratitude, and repentance. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, a time of intense reflection on the suffering and death of Jesus, leading to the joy of His resurrection on Easter Sunday. Let us walk alongside Jesus in His passion, acknowledging our own sins that contributed to His suffering and embracing the hope and redemption that His sacrifice offers to all humanity. May we carry the message of Christ’s love and mercy in our hearts as we journey through Holy Week towards the celebration of His glorious resurrection?

 

Many happy returns of the day!

Many happy returns of the day!

The Priory celebrated the birthdays of February-born brothers.

The celebrants were Br. Francis Therman, O.P and Br. John Theresan, O.P. The community greeted them with the warmest wishes.

It was a joyous occasion that brought everyone together in celebration of community life and fraternity.

Lent is a time to Practice Charitable works through Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving

Lent is a time to Practice Charitable works through Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving

Lent is a period of forty days before Easter Sunday, during which we are invited to prepare ourselves for the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. It is a time of penance, fasting, and prayer to remind us as believers of Jesus’ own forty-day fast before His Passion. During Lent, we are called to repent, believe in the Gospel, and focus on prayer, penance, fasting, and generous aid to others as means of entering into a renewal of spirit and community. The season of Lent precedes and prepares for Easter, serving as a time to hear the Word of God, convert, prepare for Baptism, reconcile with God and one’s neighbour, and engage in prayer, fasting, and good work. Lent is also a time for more intense prayer, interceding for those in need, and cultivating a lifestyle of sharing and responsibility.

Why Lent is Important for our Conversion?

Spiritual Preparation: Lent is a period of 40 days of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that mirrors Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in the desert. It is a time for spiritual preparation, reflection, and repentance in anticipation of Easter, the most important feast of the Christian calendar.

Repentance and Conversion: Lent is a time for believers to turn away from sin, seek forgiveness, and grow closer to God. Through practices such as fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, Christians strive for personal conversion and spiritual renewal.

Mourning Christ’s Passion: Lent provides an opportunity for Christians to reflect on and mourn the suffering and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. By meditating on Christ’s Passion, believers deepen their appreciation for the immense love and mercy demonstrated by his death on the cross.

Renewal of Baptismal Promises: Lent is a time for Catholics to prepare for the renewal of their baptismal promises at the Easter Vigil. Through prayer and penance, believers recommit themselves to living out their faith and following the teachings of Christ.

Preparation for Easter: Lent culminates in the celebration of Easter, the most important feast in the Christian calendar. By observing Lent, Christians are better prepared to fully participate in the joy and significance of Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Overall, Lent is a time for deepening faith, seeking reconciliation with God, and renewing commitment to living a life in accordance with Christian values. It is a season of spiritual growth, self-examination, and preparation for the celebration of the central mystery of the Christian faith, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

During the period of Lent we are encouraged to practice of:

Prayer: Lent is a time for intense prayer, where believers are called to turn to God with confidence, enter into communion with Him, and intercede for those in need.

Fasting: Fasting during Lent should not be a mere formality but a practice that challenges one’s sense of security, benefits others, and cultivates a lifestyle of sharing and caring for those in need. It involves choosing a sober lifestyle, avoiding wastefulness, and attuning hearts to the essentials and sharing.

Almsgiving: This practice represents a specific way to assist those in need, an exercise in self-denial to free oneself from attachment to worldly goods, and a means to respond to the needs of others through divine goodness. Almsgiving helps believers overcome the temptation of material riches and fosters a spirit of sharing with others.

The work of Charity: Alongside prayer and fasting, engaging in works of charity is emphasised during Lent. These works of charity are seen as pleasing worship to God and serve as a reminder of the need for a more just distribution of goods, allowing everyone to live in dignity and protecting creation.

Therefore, during the period of Lent, we are called to participate in prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and works of charity to deepen our relationship with God, grow in selflessness, and prepare our hearts for the celebration of Easter.