Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Resurrection of the Lord. In the name of the parish Staff, Father Jim and myself, I wish you and your families a Blessed Easter and a grace-filled Easter Season. Easter is the Sunday of all Sundays in the Liturgical Year. We feast for fifty days, beginning with an octave (8 days ending on the Second Sunday of Easter) in which we continue singing the Gloria, singing the Easter Sequence and making a Profession of Faith. The octave of Easter Sunday ends with the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday, officially promulgated by our patron, Saint John Paul II in the year 2000. (His beatification took place on Divine Mercy Sunday in 2011). Throughout the fifty days of the Easter Season, we rejoice in the wonders our God has done for us, who, out of great love, has given us his Son who suffered and died for us and who was raised from the dead that we might have eternal life. Throughout these joyous days, we sing out our alleluias, and we boldly proclaim our faith, a faith filled with hope and the assurance that God is with us and will always be with us.
In today’s Gospel, we hear John’s account of the empty tomb. Mary of Magdala arrives at the tomb of Jesus, discovers that the stone has been rolled away, and runs to tell Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” The disciples run to the tomb, and find the burial cloths and the cloth that covered the head of Jesus laying there. Probably a bit confused, but filled with hope, they don’t yet realize what is to unfold from this “empty tomb” experience. We know that ultimately they meet the risen Christ. Sometimes we ourselves feel we have encountered the “empty tomb,” and only later realize that in the midst of that experience Christ was present to us. In faith, we know and believe that we meet the risen Christ each day and continue to meet him each time we celebrate and receive Eucharist. We meet the risen Christ each time we hear the Word of God proclaimed. And we meet the risen Christ each time we serve one another or are served by another. Let us take some quality time this Easter week to reflect upon the resurrection stories of Jesus in the Gospels this coming week (listed in our bulletin), allow them to touch our hearts, to stir up the joy within us, and to move us to proclaim boldly the wonders our God has worked among us!
I would like to extend special Congratulations to our newly baptized: Belia Lisa Torres and Matheo Ray Torres! Both Belia and Matheo were fully initiated into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil, having received the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist! We pray for God’s continuing grace and blessing in their lives. May all of us be a source of encouragement and support to them as they continue their faith journey and deepen their relationship with Christ and the Church.
As I noted last week, Tuesday evening Masses will continue to take place at 6:30 PM at Saint John the Baptist Church throughout the Easter Season. See the parish calendar and bulletin for the schedule. Please note that Father Jim has graciously agreed to celebrate Mass on Tuesday evenings as his calendar permits. [Also note that there are Tuesdays when Evening Prayer will be celebrated instead of Mass, on the dates that Father Jim is unable to be with us]. Please join us this Tuesday evening (within the octave of Easter) for Mass.
Little White Book are available for your spiritual enrichment this Easter Season. They can be found at each of the Church entrances. Please feel free to take one. The reflections begin with the Monday of Easter week (April 6).
Blessings on your Easter days!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ