As we celebrate this Easter Day and as we are sprinkled with blessed Easter Water at Mass, it is my prayer that each of you will have an abundance of grace to understand more fully the mystery of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ! The more fully we are incorporated into this great mystery, the more fully we are able to grasp the truths of the Faith that follow from it.
We know that Jesus suffered and died to free us from our sins – by His stripes we are healed. We also know His intention for the human race – “it is the will of my Father,” He says, “that I should lose nothing of what He has given me; I am going to prepare a place for you so that where I am, you also may be.” It is His every desire that, when our earthly pilgrimage has come to an end, He will take us to Himself. I want to be a part of this great plan, don’t you? Is this not why we are drawn to love Him so much? Is this not why we are drawn to obey Him in this life? Is this not why we are drawn to forsake all things so as to follow Him as faithful members of His Church? This is the virtue of faith at work in us!
We can look forward to being reunited with those who have gone before us in faith, to being with family and friends who have passed from this life. Our prayers assist them even now as they prepare to enter the eternal kingdom – and we shall see them again. This is the virtue of hope at work in us giving us this great and glorious expectation that will surely be fulfilled for the faithful on the last day.
On this Easter Day let us rejoice that the victory over sin and death has been accomplished in the Lord Jesus. Let us continue to follow Him unreservedly in this life so as to be with Him forever in the life to come.
I wish to thank all of those who contributed to the celebrations of Lent, Holy Week and Easter. I am grateful to all who decorated the church; the musicians that made all of our celebrations so beautiful, including the celebration of Vespers each Sunday; our faithful lectors, Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, and ushers; our devoted and much beloved altar servers and our church sacristans. In a particular way I want to express my thanks to the young people of the parish who brought together the Passion Play that was presented to the parish on Good Friday. It was a joy for me to work with them and the play itself was an exquisite display of Our Lord’s suffering and crucifixion for the salvation of souls. I thank, too, the many adults who assisted in this effort.
I wish to thank Father Lewis for his continued good work in our community. He is a gem to be with and to have in the parish rectory. I am grateful for the continued presence of Monsignor Kane with us. He is as much a part of the fabric of the place as any one of us. I thank him for his support, for his wise counsel and for his priestly encouragement. I thank too Deacon Dan Abeyta for his goodness and for his presence among us. He is always ready and willing to assist me and to give of himself to the parish whenever and wherever he can.
Most of all, I thank each of you for your kindness, for your faithful witness to the truth, and for all that you do to make Sacred Heart the great parish that it is!! May the Lord bless and protect each of you in the week ahead.