A Message from
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Peace and all Good!
Happy Easter! This grand day of Easter is to be a happy day. We should try to put aside at least for today our troubles and our worries and to open ourselves to a spirit of joy which is expressed in the one great word of Easter, “Alleluia.” This Hebrew word need not and should not be translated. It is an expression of the heart more than of the mind. It suggests feelings which transcend the intellectual and represents euphoria, a sense that all is right after all, that God is good and he is our God.
These last three days we have agonized with Jesus at his last meal with his disciples and then the cruel suffering and torture of his crucifixion. So that we may see the whole story, the Church does not take down the cross or hide it on Easter Sunday. We are not ashamed of the cross, nor are we embarrassed that Jesus had to die on it. When Jesus died, his life flowed out from him into his disciples of all times. He gave the gift of life to his mystical body—the Church! And so, today we rejoice that the Chosen One is truly alive—that he has overcome all this destruction and pain—that he is raised!Last night, at the Easter Vigil, ten Elect of God were baptized. Others will be received into full communion of the Catholic Church on next Sunday, Divine Mercy Sunday. These “seekers” give all of us new excitement about our own faith in Christ. Easter is the springtime of the Church, the time for the great sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. Let us rejoice with these newest brothers and sisters to our faith and thank them for giving us renewed joy in the resurrection of Christ who brings hope where things seem hopeless!
One of the key factors of the catechumens’ preparation for the Easter Sacraments is the participation in the Church’s mission through prayer and work. These new Catholics will be invited into the public worship of the Church in the Divine Liturgy and then to give of their gifts for the service of this parish community. As these “neophytes”—new lights—discern the way in which they will be of service to St. Mary’s, this would be a good time for us to examine our own commitment to the community. Has God gifted me with a singing voice to offer my time and talent to help provide beautiful music for our liturgical celebrations? Can I offer some time to help serve at Coffee and Conversation on Sunday mornings? Can I spend a few minutes before and after Mass at the Welcome Booth to greet new parishioners and visitors? Can I give some time to our St. Vincent de Paul Society’s ministry to the poor and hungry? Can I take some time out of my busy schedule to visit the sick at Good Samaritan Hospital? What are your gifts? Do your gifts shine and light the way? If you need some help to discern your participation in our parish community, please do not hesitate to call on me. Thank you.
Next weekend at the Vatican Basilica, Pope Francis will preside over the ceremony of canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II. This is truly a milestone of Church history—two popes being canonized at the same time! Each of them brought their gifts to the service of the Church. Pope John XXIII gave us the renewal of the Church in the Second Vatican Council and Pope John Paul II renewed our hearts in his many travels to the church throughout the world and through his staunch protection of the rights of the poor! We at St. Mary’s were blessed by his presence here in our Basilica on September 14, 1987. Now we are blessed by the powerful prayers of these two holy men! Thanks be to God!
On behalf of the friars and staff of St. Mary’s, I wish all of you a Blessed and Happy Easter!
(from left to right) Fr. Luis Baldonado, Fr. Vincent J. Mesi, Fr. Micah Muhlen
and Brother Tito