Fr. Carlos Macatangga said in order to live the newness of Easter, we must carry the lessons of Lent and the story of Jesus’ Passion. Photo by July Photography

Lessons from Lent to bring to Easter season

By 
  • April 18, 2019

MISSISSUAGA - Fr. Carlos Macatangga said that Christ died on the cross so that we might have eternal life.

“The mission of Jesus is one of mercy and forgiveness,” he said. “That’s why even on the cross, Jesus prays to the Father to forgive us — the guards, the scribes and the Pharisees — all of us sinners.”

As the Catholic Church transitions from the Lenten to Easter season, Cristo Rei Parish in Mississauga, Ont., held a family Recollection April 13 on the Seven Last Words, the seven times Jesus spoke while dying on the cross.

Macatanngga said in order to fully enter into the Easter season, one must carry the lessons of the Passion into the season of His resurrection.

More than a hundred parishioners of all ages were in attendance. The Recollection was organized by Macatangga of the Society of the Divine Word. He was joined by Fr. Jimmy Zammit, Fr. Manuel Antao and Fr. Phong Nguyen, giving individual reflections on each of Jesus’ seven last sayings.

In between the talks, songs were led by the children’s choir and adult choir. Prayers for each of the Seven Last Words were led by different parish groups, including St. Vincent de Paul, Grupo Tabor, the Legion of Mary, the Knights of Columbus, Couples for Christ and the youth group.

The seven times that Jesus spoke on the cross are a reminder that no matter how difficult life gets, never give up but follow the example of Jesus and have faith in God, parishioners were told.

“It was nice to hear each priest’s interpretation on each of the seven last words and to see all the groups in the community come together to help with the event,” said 20-year-old Breanna Azevedo, a member of the parish youth group.

Nguyen reflected on the words of the fourth time Jesus spoke from the cross, “My God, my God why have you abandoned me,” and related it to the importance of prayer and relationships in one’s life. He reminded the community that it was normal to feel like God is absent from time to time.

“Abandonment is one of the primal fears of any social being,” he said. “It would have been easy for me to give up on God and feel abandoned, but I knew He had a plan.”

He urged people to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and pray whenever they feel alone and abandoned by God or by anyone else in our lives.

Zammit talked about the importance of mothers, especially that of Our Blessed Virgin Mary and the strength and sacrifice she endured during her Son’s death.

“Being a mother, she felt every nail that was pierced into Jesus and every whip that He endured,” he said.

The Recollection ended with a moment of silence and reminder from associate pastor Antao.

“Repent and come back to the Lord. Our mission at the end of the day is to be with our God,” he said.

“I was able to learn about the Seven Last Words in a more contemporary way, and relate it back to my own life,” said Azevedo. “I think it is a really good way to enter into the Easter season.”

(Vaz, 17, is a Grade 12 student at Father Michael Goetz Secondary School in Mississauga, Ont.)


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Unlike many other news websites, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our site. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.