The community in Jerusalem was stunned. Some had seen the Risen Lord – all were talking about it and there was a confused, frightened hope growing in the group that would soon become the early Church. The days before Pentecost were trying for everyone, for the gifts of God’s loving and powerful Spirit had not yet been received. And so Peter and the others could not see and grasp the big picture. After 2000 years we can look back on those days as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles and almost feel the excitement and turmoil.
Throughout all of this there is one indisputable truth: Jesus has Risen from the dead. He has been seen and He is continuing His teaching and forming of the community of the faithful. Everything is different for the Cross now stands at the center of our understanding of Jesus. That He had to suffer and die to complete His work on earth remains an enormous mystery and truth. There would be no Easter if there had been no Good Friday and throughout the centuries this truth continues to touch our lives.
Last Sunday our parish church was full of worshippers who came to Mass to celebrate and pray on Easter Sunday. They came to services and heard the Good News. The event of Jesus’ Resurrection is not only an historical fact, it is a present reality and touches our lives as much today as yesterday. In our baptism we are baptized into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
To say, “I am a baptized Christian” is to say that I am a follower of the One who suffered, died and rose from the dead. It is to say that I accept that I, too, will struggle and suffer in my life, that I will also die and that I too will be raised from the dead. To celebrate these days is to grasp, again, our destiny and the path to fulfilling it. Our destiny is heaven, and the road there is within the Church, the community of believers, the followers of Christ.
At the Easter liturgies and during these days it is a common practice to begin the Mass with a sprinkling of holy water recalling our baptism and the promises thereof. This is a simple gesture, yet one that can awaken in us a refreshing newness – a reminder of our dignity as God’s precious children.
In the midst of this early springtime with the harrowing issues of our times swirling around us, we need such a reminder and affirmation more than ever.
We Are Grateful
The liturgies of Holy Week, the Sacred Triduum and Easter Sunday were very beautiful. Many members of the parish came together to give of their time and talents to prepare this week to rehearse the music, proclaim The Word, distribute Holy Communion, take up collections, clean the church, arrange the flowers, livestream the Masses, and help in countless other ways.
To all of you, on behalf of a very grateful parish and pastor, a most sincere THANK YOU!