It’s good to stay regular: Easter news + insights

Not really talking about Metamucil here, but more about regular blogging…especially when the blogger has felt the energy and creativity sucked out of her lately. (Me.) So here we go, folks!

1. Didja hear? Pope Francis got a new personal secretary — and it’s not just anyone.

As usual, our trailblazing pontiff has chosen another “first”: The first non-Roman Catholic personal secretary to the Pope, Monsignor Yoannis Lahzi Gaid is a Coptic Catholic priest from the Patriarchate of Alexandria in Egypt. RomeReports:

This is big news, y’all. Pope Francis has demonstrated his desire for unity among all peoples, including Christian groups. These past few years, I’ve been longing to see greater cooperation between the various Catholic churches / rites within the one Catholic union because — although we are technically ‘united’ under Pope Francis, how often do we get to share with one another? How often do Byzantines and Coptics and Latins and Maronites, etc., pray together, minister together, or evangelize together?

I love that Pope Francis has done this…particularly so close to his Holy Land pilgrimage this May.

A couple of weeks ago, I told my husband, “Man, this guy (Msgr. Yoannis) must know a lot of languages; he’s always with Pope Francis during meetings with dignitaries!” And batta-bing: Papal personal secretary. Go Msgr. Yo! I have been an admirer of his since he began delivering the Holy Father’s Wednesday messages in Arabic. He’s apparently on Twitter @AbunaJohannis (“Abuna” means “Father” in Arabic — one of the few words I know), though it appears he tends to either RT @Pontifex or tweet news.

2. Via @AbunaJohannis: Pope Francis has accepted an invitation to visit Egypt! No date yet.

3. Easter Greetings from the heads of Jerusalem churches — Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelicals — where the Lord himself rose! They ask a special, timely favor:

We call upon all Christian people, people of other faiths and in fact all people of goodwill – to pray earnestly for a good outcome from the current Peace Process in the Holy Land, conformity with International law and indeed for peace throughout our troubled world. (Read their full message here.)

4. Awesome photos of Easter Vigil Mass celebrated at Jesus’ tomb in Jerusalem!

5. My Lent has been a trip! I’m so looking forward to Easter.

You know how Jesus went from Galilee to Jerusalem for his death, and then met the guys in Galilee for breakfast? I remember going to the Holy Land and discovering how right that was. I mean: Jerusalem is so rocky and harsh. You have to cross the Judean desert to get there from Galilee. It’s a long walk.

But Galilee is probably my favorite place on earth. (Sorry, Oceania: You’re other-worldly gorgeous, but Galilee takes the cake.) Lush green grass, cool breezes, blue lake and humble shores, rich farmland, fishing boats, mountains… I can see why the Lord wanted one, last visit.

6. The first witnesses to the Resurrection — no matter what Gospel — were women. We could joke, ‘Of course…Jesus knows: If you need to spread the word, tell a woman!’

Yeah, yeah, there’s that.

But of course, there’s a deeper reality. The men were locked up together out of fear, and the women who were considered less-than men in their day, these women ventured out into a potentially dangerous world. How powerful. I may begin praying for those women’s intercession when life begins to scare me.

7. St. Mary Magdalene

How many Easter eggs have you collected so far? The early Christians dyed their Easter eggs red, a tradition that Eastern Christians continue today.

According to legend, Saint Mary Magdalen once dined with Tiberius Caeser (she was, after all, a wealthy woman), and began speaking of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Tiberius scoffed at this, saying that a man rising from the dead was no more possible than the egg in her hand turning red. You guessed it: At once the egg turned blood-red.

Hope you all have a blessed Easter. Fifty days to party hearty…enjoy!



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