FROM THE PASTOR'S DESK:

My Dear Parishioners
 
Today we celebrate the glorious Feast of Easter. This celebration brings to completion the one continuous liturgy which began on Holy Thursday. It may be a challenge for us to think in terms of one great liturgy occurring over three days. The key to understanding is to view these days through the lens of divine mystery. The passion, death, and resurrection,  onstitute one great reality, the Paschal Mystery. Holy Thursday is not devoid of Christ’s passion and death; his resurrection is not absent on Good Friday; the Cross is not missing from the Easter Liturgy; all are present in the whole of the mystery. While each of the three days has a dominant
focus, the three days form a whole that brings us to encounter Jesus in his passion, death, and resurrection. Through this great, extended liturgy we are invited to die and rise to new life in Jesus.
 
Like the disciples who journeyed with Jesus, we, too, have been on a journey throughout Lent. Like them, we may have stumbled along the way, yet, we have arrived to encounter the Risen Lord. Our thoughts and feelings today may be similar to those of Mary of Magdala, the first to arrive at the empty tomb. We may wonder where Jesus is in today’s world of war, poverty, and illness. We may question whether or not our Lenten preparation for Easter was all that it could have been. We may be struggling to believe that Jesus really did all of this so that we could overcome those things in our lives that separate us from the love of God. Such thoughts and feelings are normal even on Easter Sunday. Yet, Jesus calls us to let go of these and to freely give ourselves over to him so that he can make us into someone new. Jesus invites us into the tomb to die to our old selves so that we can rise to new life in him. 
 
While we cannot be eyewitnesses to the resurrected Christ as were Mary and the others, we can still believe in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The disciples believed though they did not fully understand. Some of us may hesitate outside the tomb, not yet ready to enter because we are waiting until we fully understand the Christian message. Others may be paralyzed by fear of the unknown. Maybe we are among the doubters who are not yet able to believe the amazing testimony of those who saw the Risen Lord. Can we begin to take the leap of faith from doubt to belief, even though we do not fully understand everything about dying and rising with Jesus? This Easter day and every day we have the opportunity to step out of our comfort zone and into the tomb and begin life anew with Jesus. Are you ready to take this step of faith with Jesus?
 
On behalf of the parish staff, the deacons and the priests, I want to wish you and your families a Blessed Easter. May the Joy and Love of the Risen Christ live forever in your hearts.
 
God Bless, Msgr. Maresca