We are blessed by the resurrection

By Fr. Michel Mulloy

I think a little rejoicing is in order. After all, it is Easter! Jesus has risen. The joy of this holy season is beautifully expressed in the opening prayer for the Third Sunday of Easter. The opening prayers of the Mass are rich in history and theology. Taking the time to read and reflect on them, which is easy to do these days with the worship aids available, can enrich the experience of Mass.

The prayer states: May your people exult forever, O God, in renewed youthfulness of spirit, so that rejoicing now in the restored glory of our adoption, we may look forward in confident hope to the rejoicing of the day of resurrection.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ            This text comes from two prayers that date back to the 400-600s AD. It begins with a prayer over the people taken from a final blessing. It continues with part of a prayer for the dead. The complex history of how these two texts were brought together is beyond the scope of this article. However, it is significant that this prayer has been used by God’s people for centuries.

The verb tense in the prayer indicates that the renewal of our youthfulness of spirit has happened. It is a done deal. When I looked in the mirror after Easter, I saw the same old face. But this is about a youthful spirit. The prayer attributes our renewal to the restoration of the glory of our adoption. In other words, the resurrection of Jesus has canceled out the debt of our sins and restored us to the status of beloved sons and daughters. Like the prodigal son who is swept up into the love of his father and family, we are also renewed in the resurrection of Jesus. That awareness causes rejoicing. Even if our bodies do not comply, our minds and hearts are dancing and singing a song of joy.

The prayer then goes on to ask that we may have hope for the future because of that renewal and joy — hope for the coming day of resurrection. This is a reference not to Jesus’s resurrection, which has already happened, but to our own. We are speaking here about our own death. That is generally not seen as a moment of joy. Yet for those who are faithful, who have incorporated into their own spirit the joy and the resurrection of Jesus, death is welcome. It is the goal of our lives as stated at the end of our diocesan mission statement. Everything we do in life is “leading to eternal life.” This prayer on the Third Sunday of Easter expresses that simply and clearly. We look forward with joy to our own resurrection.

So, put together, this prayer says that we are grateful for the resurrection of Jesus. It has renewed us and restored our youthful spirit. We rejoice because we are back in the loving embrace of our faith family. God is our Father; Jesus is our brother and we belong to each other. We also know that this relationship is not temporary. This renewed bond of love is meant to be forever. We have the promise of sharing in the fullness of eternal life. This exciting reality causes us to rejoice. In addition, we hear, unspoken but clear, the invitation to live in this youthful spirit preciously because we want to go and be with God forever in heaven.

This prayer expresses the blessing we have received in the resurrection of Jesus. It sets the course and calls us to live in the joy of this newfound path to eternal life. In this prayer we have faith expressed and the road map for living in that faith clearly stated. So, when the priest presider invites your participation with the words, “Let us pray…” you now have a better awareness of the joy and hope of the prayer. That awareness gives you the opportunity to join more fully in this moment in the Mass. You can allow the joy of your own heart to rise up in the resurrection of Jesus. You can offer thanks and, as the words are prayed, resolve to rejoice in this hope of a new life in Jesus leading to your own eternal life. 

Without struggle, joy would be meaningless

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Two days ago, almost a month into this social distancing reality, I looked out the window of my house onto my snow-covered patio. I envisioned myself sitting out there, at a table with a fully extended, bright-colored umbrella (which I don’t have) sipping a glass of wine (which causes indigestion in me these days) and reading a good book. What has happened to me?

Later I looked past the patio to the standing gardens in my newly rejuvenated backyard and imagined them covered with beautiful wildflowers or garden greens, which I longed to lovingly place in the rich, black soil newly wetted from the spring snows. These are disturbing images of a desperate man!

Well maybe that is too strongly stated, but for those who know me, these are indeed unusual if not downright bothersome thoughts from a man who prefers the inside to the outside.  These present measures to keep us safe from this deadly disease are challenging, to say the least. If I am experiencing this, I suspect you are too. I never thought I would say, “I miss going to the office.”

What is perhaps more evident on the spiritual side is the struggle to say the often-repeated prayers that I hope many are offering, beseeching God to end this scourge. Honestly, these prayer rituals can become monotonous at times.

Then the governor says that June or July will be the peak and the weight is suddenly heavier. The old rebellion that is born into the children of Adam and Eve surfaces. “I don’t want to do this anymore!” I feel inside like a petulant child, stomping my spiritual feet and saying, “NO!” Then my adult self takes over and I sulk for a while and begin praying again.

These moments of resistance and yielding are important to the spiritual journey. I have often said to people I advise that 90% of the spiritual life is showing up. By that, I mean a significant portion of our relationship with God in Jesus is putting in the time and making the effort. We go to Mass (or watch it on TV, as unsatisfying as that may be compared to the real thing), we stop and say our prayers and we treat others kindly.

The fruits of our faithfulness to this relationship with God in Jesus are not always evident and, quite frankly, sometimes at the end of a prayer or even Mass or some gesture of charity all I can muster is, “well, I got that done.” Yet I firmly believe that our faithfulness in making ourselves present to the Lord in these ways, no matter how it may feel or what benefit we may experience, is at the heart of our encounter with God in Jesus.

I compare this to marriage. To be faithful to your spouse means you are present in their lives. The effort to live together, to do the ordinary things that are necessary and to spend time together is crucial to sustaining and building the marriage bond. Every encounter is not wonderful. Sometimes it is an endurance and other times it is a joy-filled coming together that is enriching and renewing. However, without the moments of struggle, the joy would be less meaningful. Twenty years from now, what will bind us together and fill our hearts with gratitude will not be the trip to Disneyland that we had to put off. Rather, it will be the struggle we are currently in and efforts we have made to make it through to the other side, still in love and still together.

This is true in our spiritual lives as well. God in Jesus is our ever-present spouse, the husband to his bride, the Church. There are wonderful encounters and joy-filled moments with the Lord in prayer and in our charity toward one another. There are also moments of quiet assurance; moments of simply being there in the presence of one another. There are also moments when a commitment to doing the right thing is the only motivation for continuing.

Through it all, God in Jesus is there, loving us and inviting us to love him in return. Jesus suffered through the darkness of human existence in total fidelity to God his Father. Jesus, in his time on earth, invited us to be perfect in our relationships with one another as God is perfect in his relationship with us. He also accepts our begrudging compliance. God in Jesus is using these difficult moments to invite us into that deeper fidelity which will cement our union in ways that times of joy and happiness cannot. We are called to embrace a radical change in our hearts toward God.

This might be one of those moments. We are invited to embrace God when daily living becomes difficult, when we look out the window and wish to be anywhere other than where we are, when we look at the rosary or the prayer book or the prayer corner and feel like running the other way. In these moments we are reminded that our faithfulness to Jesus is what he is asking of us right now. We don’t know when this will end and how it will end. What we do know is that our faithfulness to God in Jesus will result in victory. Through it all, we will grow and discover anew, and even for the first time, what God, in his infinite love for us, wants to teach us. We will be the better for it.

I might even find myself running to the garden to plant the flowers. Anything is possible.     

Employment Opportunity — Director of Native American Ministries

Applications are being accepted for the position of Director of the Office of Native American Ministries for the Diocese of Rapid City.

FUNCTIONS: To serve the Native American people within the Diocese of Rapid City. To bring the richness of the Native American community into full participation in the life of the diocese. To serve as a source of support to local Tekakwitha Circles, Sioux Spiritual Center, Pastoral Teams and any other Catholic Native American organizations. To serve as an advisor to Catholic Social Services personnel in matters related to life skills or leadership programming for Native Americans as generated by CSS including the Lakota Circles of Hope. To serve as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors of the Sioux Spiritual Center. To coordinate and oversee the Canku Wakan weekends. Click here for a complete job description.

QUALIFICATIONS: Practicing Catholic; Enrolled member of a Native American Tribe.  College studies and/or a background in pastoral ministry, religious education, liturgy, and lay leadership reflecting Vatican II and the contemporary church; Experience of traditional tribal life, culture and religion. Excellent office management skills.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Interested individuals should submit via e-mail or regular mail, a cover letter along with a completed application form to msimonson@diorc.org or
Office of the Chancellor
Diocese of Rapid City
PO Box 678
Rapid City SD 57709

The Diocese of Rapid City offers a competitive salary and benefits package. Open until filled.

 

KNBN Sunday Mass Schedule/Channels

Sunday Mass Schedule

KNBN/NBC

Sunday 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
*Cable channel 10 or over the air on 21; on Dish, Channel 21

My TV

Sunday 10 a.m.*Over their air channel 21.2; Golden West channel 12; not available on Dish

ONLINE

Website – newscenter1.TV
Twitter – @newscenter1
Facebook – KNBN Newscenter1

KNBN News Center 1 has graciously agreed to televise the Sunday Mass for the Diocese of Rapid City for as long as we need this service. This comes at no cost to our diocese. We are grateful for this offer. Unfortunately this televising will not reach far beyond the Black Hills area. Wall is the farthest east the signal goes; Custer is the southern point and Belle Fourche the northern point. (Click here to see a coverage map.) However, the mass will also be provided on New Center 1’s website, Facebook page and Twitter account. Those with internet access can join in that way. I am hopeful that individual pastors as well and television and radio stations that reach to all area of the diocese from Bismarck and Sioux Falls as well as Rapid City, will carry televised Masses as well. Below is the information for accessing the KNBN Mass.

Mary Mother of the Church – pray for us!

Joseph Protector of the Church – pray for us!

Father Michel Mulloy

Helping you live this Catholic Way of Life

Parish and Ministry Support

Support Your Favorite Parish, or Ministry today in this time of need!

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3…

  1. Click donation button at the bottom of this page to visit the Diocese of Rapid City giving page.
  2. To Donate, scroll down to the donation form and select the parish, or ministry you want to support.
  3. Enter your donation amount and payment method.

Your gift makes a difference helping to build the body of Christ in our community. We whole-heartedly thank you.

 

Holy Week

Holy Week Retreat from the University of Mary with Msgr. Shea

For Families

Liturgies, Activities, Prayers, Recipes, and Resources: —Holy Week at Home from Sophia Press

A Journey Through Holy Week with Families, from the Diocese of Phoenix
Spanish version, from the Diocese of Phoenix

Good Friday Prayer, 10/11 a.m. MDT/CDT

Click here for a link to join Archbishop Jose Gomez, Los Angeles, April 10, 10 a.m. MDT/11 a.m. CDT for a “Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus” for an end to the Coronavirus


President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Releases Message for Holy Week 2020

April 3, 2020

WASHINGTON – Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued the following statement for Holy Week. Archbishop Gomez’s full statement follows:

“Future generations will look back on this as the long Lent of 2020, a time when disease and death suddenly darkened the whole earth. As we enter into Holy Week, these most sacred days of the year, Catholics across the United States and the world are living under quarantine, our societies shut down by the coronavirus pandemic.

“But we know that our Redeemer lives. Even in this extraordinary and challenging moment, we give thanks for what Jesus Christ has done for us by his life, death, and resurrection. Even now, we marvel at the beautiful mystery of our salvation, how precious each one of us is in the eyes of God.

“These are times almost without precedent in the long history of the Church. In the face of this worldwide contagion, bishops here and in almost every country have been forced to temporarily suspend public worship and celebration of the sacraments.

“My brother bishops and I are painfully aware that many of our Catholic people are troubled and hurt by the loss of the Eucharist and the consolation of the sacraments. This is a bitter affliction that we all feel deeply. We ache with our people and we long for the day when we can be reunited around the altar of the Lord to celebrate the sacred mysteries.

“In this difficult moment, we ask God for his grace, that we might bear this burden together with patience and charity, united as one family of God in his universal Church.

“On Good Friday, on behalf of the bishops in the United States, I will pray the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for an end to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I ask you to join me in this prayer, which will be livestreamed over the internet at 9 a.m. on the West Coast and 12 noon on the East Coast. Let us join as one family of God here in the United States in asking our Lord for his mercy.

“The Holy Father has granted a special plenary indulgence to those who pray for an end to this pandemic. To receive this indulgence, you need to pray the Litany of the Sacred Heart on Good Friday, be truly sorry for your sins and desire to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation as soon as it is possible, and you need to pray for the intentions of the Pope.

“In the heart of Jesus, pierced as he hung on the cross on Good Friday, we see the love of God for humanity, his love for each one of us.

“This Holy Week will be different. Our churches may be closed, but Christ is not quarantined and his Gospel is not in chains. Our Lord’s heart remains open to every man and woman. Even though we cannot worship together, each of us can seek him in the tabernacles of our own hearts.

“Because he loves us, and because his love can never change, we should not be afraid, even in this time of trial and testing. In these mysteries that we remember this week, let us renew our faith in his love. And let us ask our Blessed Mother Mary to intercede for us, that he might deliver us from every evil and grant us peace in our day.”

CSS and Diocese establish COVID-19 Fund

Catholic Social Services, in collaboration with the Diocese of Rapid City and with the blessing of Diocesan Administrator Father Michel Mulloy, announces the establishment of a COVID-19 response fund for western South Dakota families. CSS will allocate the funds, prioritizing applications from households anywhere in western South Dakota that meet one or more of the following conditions:

  1. A household member who has a positive test for COVID-19, which has adversely impacted the family’s income.
  2. Temporarily lost employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has adversely impacted the family’s income.
  3. Health care providers in the family whose employment has resulted in financial hardships for the family.
  4. Lost income due to a lack of childcare.
  5. Members with pre-existing medical conditions that has caused them to self-quarantine, resulting in financial hardship for the family.

At this point, CSS has limited financial resources to assist with this effort and the amount of assistance per household will depend on available funding and the number of applicants. To apply for assistance, please visit the Catholic Social Services website at cssrapidcity.com to access the application form, or call CSS at 605-348-6086 for information.

Anyone interested in contributing to these efforts, please send donations to:
529 Kansas City St Ste 100
Rapid City, SD 57701
or go to cssrapidcity.com/relief webpage and click on the ‘donate here’ button.

Fr. Mulloy encourages all Catholics in western South Dakota to pray for all those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and to continue to support their local parishes that depend on financial contributions normally collected during Sunday Mass.

CLick here for a printable PDF

Televised Mass and Online Resources