Easter and Passover
April 18, 2011
This week is Christianity's holiest of weeks, beginning with Palm Sunday, journeying through the Passion of Christ, and culminating in the Easter event of Christ's resurrection. The Christian faithful celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus as the New Passover. Just as the early followers of Jesus understood His death and rising in the context of their Jewish faith, so too do the Christian faithful of today recognize Christ as the new Paschal lamb offered for all people as a path from death to life.
At sundown tonight, Jews around the world begin the eight-day celebration of Passover, or Pesach, commemorating the departure of the nation of Israel from Egypt and their liberation from slavery. Passover marks the birth of the Jewish people as a nation led by Moses over 3000 years ago. It is a joyous time during which Jews celebrate both spiritual freedom and the physical liberation from slavery.
To honor this holy season, the University will be closed on Friday, April 22 (Good Friday). I invite you to take part in services at the Mission Church throughout the Paschal Triduum.
The Jewish and Christian faith traditions are united by the one true God, and in that tradition, I wish all our Jewish sisters and brothers a joyous Passover. To members of our Christian family, have a blessed Easter season, and I pray you experience new life in the Risen Lord. May we all share in the peace that comes from God.
Michael E. Engh, S.J.