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HE IS RISEN SONG ALBUM

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SCRIPTURE AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION FOR EACH OF THE TWELVE SONGS IN MY "HE IS RISEN" SONG ALBUM ARE COVERED BELOW:

 

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1.  LOVE THE LORD - The Refrain of this song repeats the MOST IMPORTANT COMMANDMENT of the Old Testament : "Love the Lord, your God with Heart and Soul"  Deut. 6:49, and was later reemphasized and made New by Jesus. The refrain also quotes Jesus's reassurance to each of us to Not Be Afraid,  because our hopes and dreams are first inspired by heaven.  The verses of this song address the age-old questions and meanings of human existence:  of the challenges and problems we all face during the intervening years between the two major events of birth and death. To get the answers to the meaning of these inquiries, we are invited to be reborn in the life giving waters of Baptism and to believe in the Rising Power of Jesus, who, through his Life, Passion, Death and Resurrection has obtained for us an unending life of peace and happiness. As believers, we are destined to that New Life, if we keep our hearts firm in this Love Of God (through prayer and worship) and in the Love of Others (by helping our less fortunate brothers and sisters.)  Let us keep our heart and soul focused on Jesus - our Guiding Light.  

 

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2.  SURRENDER YOUR SOUL, YOUR HEART - As followers of Christ, we are called to Love God and Serve Others. To do so, we must surrender our souls and our hearts - in fact, our very being - and put our faith in Christ!  But how?  By giving up the old ways of darkness and by living a new life in Christ, who is the Light of the World. This total surrender is the paradox of Christian belief.  We are weak as humans, but in Christ we are strong and brave to the point of being  ready to "give our lives" to show our love for Him. This song gives answers and encouragement to all who dedicate their lives to Christ, who first loves and gives His Life for us.  It is this acknowledgement of the intimate connection between us and Christ that  as children of God, our lives and deaths are in and with Him.  By the waters of rebirth, we are given additional graces to live our earthly lives in order to glorify him by carrying our daily cross through faith,  perseverance, and a certainty that we do not have to face life alone;  and when our life ends, we will rise with Him. This conviction should fill us with hope, peace, joy, and gratitude.   

 

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3.  THE HOUR HAS COME - The Gospel of John describes the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus as "The Hour" through which He is glorified by the Father. This "glorification" took on the nature of  a celebration even though pain, suffering, and death are what Christ had to "go through." The lyrics of the verses in this song repeat the words of Jesus comparing his passion as the "grain of wheat" that died in order to be the food to feed us during our earthly pilgrimage.  His suffering was willingly born in order to Free Us from the deadly effect of our Sins.  Lastly, He also proved his Love by Laying Down His Life for us.  Jesus  tells us that He has overcome the world, so that we can live our lives with its many challenges and problems without fear.  This is a joyful song -  a song of hope and assurance that inspires us with a deep sense of gratitude and love in return.

 

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4.  LAST WORDS OF THE LORD - The lyrics of this song's Refrain invites us to "listen" with our hearts - to let these precious words of the Lord Jesus penetrate our minds, our souls, and our entire being.  These last words, spoken by the dying Christ, hanging on the cross, his bloodied body wracked with the deepest pain a human can feel;  while the rest of the refrain tells us to "feel" the love of this God Made Man in our hearts and let this love rise as "the dawn" of Hope.
 

The verses of the song show the compassion that Jesus has for our sins and transgressions (represented by those who crucified him and inflicted that unspeakable pain.) He asked the Father to forgive (us) them - "for they know not what they do."  It is this absolute, unconditional love that gave the   "repentant thief" (and us) the assurance that we will be with Him in paradise.  To show that he is the most caring and attentive Son, Jesus took care of His mother Mary, by entrusting her to the "beloved disciple" -  an act of loving trust expressed toward John. 

What care!  What tenderness!  What thoughtfulness!  With his body wracked with pain and "distressed" of spirit, the humanity of Jesus cried out to His Father the heart wrenching cry "..why have you forsaken me?" (or was He praying Psalm 22?)   Whatever the case may be, Jesus the Man gave us permission to lament, to cry from the depth of our being when we feel crushed in body and spirit.  When Jesus declared that "It is finished!" He gave us the Assurance and Hope that any and all of life's trials, earthly pain and suffering, WILL have an END!  Let us allow ourselves to "feel and keep" in our minds, but especially , in our hearts, this unshakable Trust and Confidence that when life comes to an end, we will be able to say with Jesus "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit!"    

 

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5.  HE IS RISEN - A very joyful song !  Our Lord has passed from suffering and death to RISE victorious.  All the witnesses of this happy, joyful, astounding , beyond belief "event" were mentioned in the lyrics:  the women who went to the tomb where the stone is "Rolled away," the empty tomb, the angel in a snow white garment who announces that HE IS RISEN!  What Joy!  What Wonder!  What a message!  "Don't look for HIM among the dead!"  Furthermore, we also experience the overwhelming sentiments of that Easter morning:  Jesus showed his care and tenderness to the women and to Mary Magdalene.  Jesus, however, after reassuring his "disciples and followers" gave them a "mission" to carry-out, as he does to each and all of us who are given the gift of Faith and are reborn in the Baptismal Waters:  Go and spread the Good NEWS of the Resurrection,  NOT only of our future Everlasting Happiness, but also of Faith, Hope, and Love, while living our lives on earth. The assurance of future blessedness will strengthen us to face the challenges, trials, and tribulations with perseverance, because we are NOT alone in our "Passover" to where Jesus IS.

 

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6.  FIRST BORN - The lyrics of this song suggest that all the Followers of Jesus, whether baptized as infants or responding to the invitation of Faith as adults,  should take the time to ask and find answers to these "soul searching" questions. These questions put us in direct contact with the coming to earth in human form of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.  Jesus is the Visible Image of the invisible God, the First Born of all creation (Colossians 1:15.).  Christians often take for granted  the Incarnation of Jesus, His Redemptive Passion, Death and Resurrection;  yet, given the age of the earth /world (with millions of people being born, living and dying) and the historical "appearance" of this God-Man (a little over Two Thousand Years ago!) Christ also had a very short life (33 years) and a very short  public life (about 3 years) during which he preached a NEW message of LOVE  (God) and SERVICE (to others, especially the poor and less fortunate.) This Message of HOPE and SALVATION was SO NEW, SO DIFFERENT from the accepted belief and practice of the Religious Authorities of the time that they ended up crucifying Him, thereby fulfilling the Predetermined Plan of God for the human race.  More than two thousand years have gone by, can we say that this Good News is still vibrant: that death is not the end, but a new beginning...that there is a WAY to everlasting life.  Or has the MESSAGE become viewed as burdens and obligations with excuses given for failures , or totally ignored all together?"
   

The verses of this song remind us that without Christ's coming and showing us the concrete Way to LOVE,  we would still be living in darkness without hope and the means to conquer our slavery to sin - a life that ends in despair and death.  The belief in Jesus and the Love of and for Him has inspired countless followers through the ages to give their lives in selfless service to others.  The questions and the ensuing answers should inspire us to renew our gratitude for these tremendous gifts of Faith, Hope and Love.  They should also give us new incentive to be "bringers" of this Good News to others by our words and deeds. 

 

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7.  LORD OF THE LAST SUPPER - The Refrain of this song is a petition to Jesus, our Lord, Savior and Redeemer to bring us back to the Table of the Last Supper where he showed his disciples (and us) his loyalty, commitment, and tenderness.  St. John (the beloved disciple) had the unique, profound insight into this love "Jesus loved his own in this world and he loved them to the end" Jn.13:1b. The gifts of Christ Body and Blood - under the forms of Bread and Wine - are the most visible, concrete proofs of his care for us. 

Faith teaches us that Jesus, as God and human, is not confined by space or time.  He is always WITH US and is Nearer to us than we are to ourselves, but He also wants us to be nourished as members of the worshiping  community.  He has promised us that when we gather as a Faith Community, we give and receive support to and from or brothers and sisters.

 

The verses of the song repeat the two main themes of the Supper/the Eucharist: To Celebrate and to Remember. Jesus told us to Celebrate His Redemptive Love by Recalling and Remembering these Acts of Supreme Sacrifice:  His Passion, Death, and Resurrection.  In this Meal of Love, we Praise and Thank the Father for giving us his beloved Son Jesus.  We also hear and let ourselves be nourished by His Sacred Words in addition to his Body and Blood.  We show our solidarity with other members of this Mystical Body of Christ by praying with and for their needs throughout the world.

This is a song of Hope, Sharing (Communion), Faith and above all, LOVE.  We remind ourselves of the tremendous grace and privilege of being given the Gifts of Faith, Hope, and the Food for our journey (Bread and Wine) for our souls.  In thanksgiving for this most tender proof and assurance of the everlasting life to come, let us avail ourselves of the food frequently and live our lives as joyous, hopeful, loving followers of this GOD OF LOVE. 

 

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8.  CHRIST IS OUR BRIDGE - The Refrain of this song is based on Jesus's statement from John 14:6 "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through me." Christ is truly the bridge that enables us to cross from HERE to ETERNITY.  Because of his LOVE for each and everyone of us - his creatures - he invites us to accept his Love and Forgiveness, to cross from  the darkness of death into the Life everlasting.  St. John says God is Love (1John 4:16), and because of this love, his "invitation" to us is extended as from a friend, NOT a judge.

The verses of this song offer a reflection on the "briefness" of our lives.  We are here and gone like the grass of the field or the flowers in the garden. How this life ends is also a  reflecting question for us:  are we ending "it" like a sigh, in an instant or is it preceded by prolonged health challenges and other difficulties?  Other questions relating to our earthly existence include: relationships, successes, failures, the very meaning and purpose of this life..etc.  The philosophers of all major religions have all attempted to answer these very fundamental questions.  For us followers of Christ, the answers start with responding to the "invitation to Faith" by being reborn in the Waters of Baptism, by dying and rising with Christ. This rebirth enables us to " take up our cross daily and follow him." As people of Faith, Hope and - above all - Love, our lives should be a "constant celebration of gratitude and joy".  We are  at peace, because our heavenward journey is being made with Jesus as our Guide, our Mediator, and our Bridge.  It is Through Him that we reach our destination where there will no longer be tears, pain or suffering! 

 

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9.  LORD, REMEMBER ME - The inspiration for this song comes from the Gospel of Luke 23:42 "..Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." The faith filled request from this repentant "good thief" earned him the "only known" promise of immediate entering into heaven by Jesus!  While this Scripture Verse fills us with hope and assurance, the lyrics of this song are a prayer of one who is faced with difficulties and challenges, someone who calls out to the Lord, "reminding" him of his/her efforts to live the life of a follower of Christ; who was also reborn through the Waters of Baptism, of dying and rising with Christ, of carrying the daily cross, of "wandering off into the darkness of sins and failures," but also of conversion, returning to Jesus - "the Light, the Truth and the Way."  It is a heartfelt prayer from one who experiences joy, sadness, failures, unhappiness, repentance, and ultimately the gifts of peace and love from above. This "prayer" speaks for us, through the experiences of all humans. The over-all sentiments are that of confidence, hope, and trust.  We come to the Lord to ask for the gift of "being with Him," not only in Paradise, but also for now, while we are "preparing the way!"          

 

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10.  SOMEONE WAITS - During the "Last Supper Discourses," Jesus told his disciples there are many dwelling places in his Father's House and he is going there to prepare a place for them (John14:2).  This song is based on the understanding that Jesus is "waiting" for us there. This assurance and promise are followed by his instruction that while we are "on the way" there, we are to live our lives on earth with meaning and purpose.  We are to prepare for this reunion with him and our loved ones - who have gone before us - by Loving God through worship and prayer;  and by serving others with words and deeds, especially those who are in need.  The lyrics of this song remind us that our lives with all its challenges, difficulties, joys and sorrows are the preparation and purification that are needed for that longed-for encounter with our Loving Redeemer and Savior, Jesus Christ.  This song should inspire us with the Hope and Trust necessary to spur us on through this life with renewed gratitude for the Gift of Faith.  Let us be more aware of this tremendous generosity of God, who loves us into being from nothingness and continues to keep us in his care until we are safely "HOME" with HIM.  When we draw our last breath and close our eyes to all that is earthly, we will "see" and "be" with and "in" what is  Everlasting.      

 

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11.  OUT OF THE BLUE - The lyrics of this song are based on the two passages from Matthew 24:42-44 and 25:13 through which Jesus admonishes us to "be prepared, awake, and alert" for we neither know the hour, nor the day when Christ will come.  As followers of Christ, how do we "prepare" for his eventual coming, while "living" a meaningful life?  This same Savior and Redeemer also tells us that our "final destiny" of Life Everlasting with him and other members of this Heavenly Household - in Light and Gladness vs. ongoing darkness and separation - depends solely on HOW we LIVE our Earthly Life. The choice is ours to make:  we can respond to the Call Of Christ to have a NEW LIFE through the Waters of Rebirth and to live our life with acts of Love to others and Service to the poor (the lost and the least.)  We are to show our Love for God through Prayer and be parts of the Eucharist Meal at which we share the Heavenly Food of the Body and Blood of Christ. 

This song is also a reminder that we are not only creatures of the human family, but we are also chosen to receive the Call of Being Reborn as God's children through the gift of Faith. Through Baptism, we receive additional graces to help us on our pilgrimage to the Life that never ends.  Let us persevere in Faith, Hope and Love.  Let us thank God daily and keep our focus on Jesus, who is our Guide, Helper, and Confidante.  As God , Jesus is Powerful and Almighty, but as one of us, he experienced  sorrows, joys, weakness, success, failure, pain and suffering, except he never sinned.  Let us come to him often, in trust and in confidence, because HE LOVES US! 

 

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12. TWO THOUSAND YEARS OF THE CROSS - The Refrain of this song uses "the cross" (the most painful and severe punishment for criminals during the time of Jesus) as symbol of our belief and as the path for the "crossing" from the deepest longing of the human existence into the reality of spiritual fulfillment.  Historically, the coming in the flesh of Jesus, his public ministry to preach the NEW Commandment of LOVE (Love One Another as I LOVE YOU) his Passion, painful Death and Glorious Resurrection occurred more than two thousand years ago. This same cycle with similar elements is still "going on and repeated" on a spiritual and invisible manner at every moment in the life, soul and spirit of every human being who was willed into being by our Heavenly Father, Creator God.

The verses of this song remind us of the Scripture passage from Isaiah 9:1:  "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shown" to compare the Birth of Jesus in Bethlehem as a "Light" that came into the darkness -  not only of the Land of Israel, but of the whole world.  The Gospel of Matthew 2:2,9 describes the Visit of the Magi to pay tribute to the New Born King (and the negative reaction of king Herod.)

 A reflection on the Mystery of the Incarnation of Jesus, the Son of God, and his influence on the world during the last two thousand years should fill us with WONDER and GRATITUDE.  Wonder, because, Christianity (or the historical coming to earth of Jesus) is relatively recent compare with other main stream religions, yet, the spread of this "Good News" is truly worldwide.  This is the result of the ever present Graces of the Holy Spirit, the Labor of Love of the Twelve Apostles and the multitude of believers, who, through the ages, have devoted time, energy and - often - their very own lives to bear witness to this God of Love.  We are Grateful , because, not only are we given the Gift of Faith, but we are also called to share this Saving Work by letting Christ to act IN and THROUGH us to reach others.  By the Waters of Rebirth in Baptism, we are given the assurance of the Life of Grace on earth, while journeying toward the Heavenly Promised Land.  We are not alone in this "crossing." Let us serve one another with kindly deeds and words of comfort, healing and peace.  Let us avail ourselves of the Eucharistic Food and Drink since it is our source of strength, as we assemble to Celebrate and Remember what Jesus did and still does for us and for the world.            

 

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