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 Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, WisconsinApril 2, 2004 Issue 

Praying with Sunday's Scriptures

Stewardship: A Way of Life logo

Editor's note: To help small faith-sharing groups, couples, individuals and others continue the Renew 2000 experience of praying with Sunday's Scriptures, a Diocesan Faith Sharing writing team has prepared a weekly series for Lent using the Renew model.

April 11, 2004 -- Easter Sunday

Reading I: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Reading II: Colossians 3:1-4
Gospel: John 20:1-9

By Jackie Staley

Focus: The followers of Jesus discover the empty tomb. Jesus is risen!

Opening Prayer:

Holy Week related articles ...

Bp. Zubik to preside at liturgies and bless food Holy Saturday

• Auxiliary Bishop Morneau --
    Experience the real, living Jesus

• Fr. Richard Ver Bust --
    Early hymns expressed belief in Jesus

• Editorial -- Passion goes on

• Editorial -- Reading and waiting

• Foundations of Faith --
    Devotion to Christ's Passion has a long history

• Tom Rinkoski --
    Cancel resistance and listen next week

Leader: Rejoice and be glad for Christ is risen, Alleluia!

All: Rejoice and be glad for Christ is risen, Alleluia!

Leader: O risen Jesus, you became flesh that we might draw nearer to God.

All: Rejoice and be glad for Christ is risen, Alleluia!

Leader: O risen Jesus, you're life eternal and we have found hope.

All: Rejoice and be glad for Christ is risen, Alleluia!

Scripture Sharing: What thought, line or image from the Scripture readings caught your attention?

 • Lent-related articles

Reflection: The empty tomb startled Mary Magdalene, Peter and John. They were afraid. Yet they took the leap of faith and believed that Jesus wasn't just missing from the tomb but had risen from the dead just as he had promised. They didn't keep that faith to themselves but began to spread the Good News of Jesus.

What about the 'empty tombs' of our lives -- the doubts, fears, discouragement, sickness, the death of loved ones? We can take heart from the disciples' reaction. We can move from the 'tomb' experience to trust in the risen Jesus who turns death, the final death or those daily crosses that feel death-like, into life. Jesus does have the final word over death-and that word is hope, hope through new, risen life.

Faith Sharing:

1. What 'empty tomb' experiences in your life have changed to new life? How did this happen?

2. Talk about a time when God seemed hidden from you. How did you deal with the experience?

3. When has God used you as a messenger to share the Good News?

Readings for the Week

Monday, April 5: Is 42:1-7; Jn 12:1-11.

Tuesday, April 6: Is 49:1-6; Jn 13:21-33,36-38.

Wednesday, April 7: Is 50:4-9a; Mt 26:14-25.

Thursday, April 8: (Holy Thursday) Is 61:1-3a,6a,8b-9; Rv 1:5-8; Lk 4:16-21. (Holy Thursday Evening) Ex 12:1-8,11-14; 1 Cor 11:23-26; Jn 13:1-15.

Friday, April 9: (Good Friday of the Lord's Passion) Is 52:13--53:12; Heb 4:14-16;5:7-9; Jn 18:1--19:42.

Saturday, April 10: (Holy Saturday Night: The Easter Vigil) (1) Gn 1:1--2:2 or 1:1,26-31a; (2) Gn 22:1-18 or 22:1-2,9a,10-13,15-18; (3) Ex 14:15--15:1; (4) Is 54:5-14; (5) Is 55:1-11; (6) Bar 3:9-15,32--4:4; (7) Ez 36:16-17a, 18-28; (8) Rom 6:3-11; (9) Lk 24:1-12.

Sunday, April 11: (Easter Sunday: The Resurrection of the Lord) Acts 10:34a,37-43; Col 3:1-4 or 1 Cor 5:6b-8; Jn 20: 1-9 or 41: Lk 24:1-12, or at an afternoon or evening Mass, 46: Lk 24:13-35.

Action Response: How do you live stewardship as your way of life?

1. Spread your Easter joy by bringing a flower to someone in need of hope and encouragement.

2. Spend fifteen minutes in silence some day this week listening to Jesus' love for you. Reflect on the signs of new life in nature that remind you of the new life won for you by Jesus' death and resurrection.

3. Send a card of Christian welcome to one of the newly baptized/received members of your parish.

Closing Prayer: (Individuals offer their intentions to bring to prayer.)

Our Risen Jesus, you have conquered sin and death -- which can no longer control us if we live in you. We lift our grateful hearts in thanks and praise for this gift of new life. May we find our 'tombs' of discouragement anger and despair forever empty. Fill us with your risen life which we can share with others. We ask this through the Father and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

(Staley is a member of the Diocesan Writing Team for Faith Sharing Sessions, 2004.)

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