Brothers and Sisters in Christ. May the Lord Bless You and Keep You. I greet you in the name of our Beloved Patron Saint, Patrick of Ireland. Our Church provides so many wonderful opportunities for us, her children, to grow in grace. One of the most wonderful is the fact that our Church Year, what we call the Liturgical Year, has seasons. The seasons mark not only the passage of time, as our secular seasons of Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall do, but they reflect the Paschal Mystery. We have been celebrating for the past 5 weeks, the Easter season. The week that fell between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday is a transition time between the two seasons of Lent and Easter, and it is the Holiest of Weeks – hence its name Holy Week.
This week makes present to Catholics in a most profound way the reality of the Paschal Mystery: Jesus’ Life, Death and Resurrection. We participated in liturgies, the public worship of the Church, more profoundly with devotion that focused on each of the steps our Savior took to Calvary. We shared in His joyous entry into the Holy City of Jerusalem by waving branches and proclaiming Hosanna in the Highest. On Holy Thursday we celebrated the institution of the Eucharist at the Mass of the Last Supper and also the institution of the ministerial Priesthood. As Christ washed the feet of His disciples, the foundation of a priesthood of service was confirmed and it is remembered by the Priest-Celebrant’s actions of love, mirroring our Lord. During Good Friday we cried out for Jesus’ blood as we joined the angry crowds before Pilate.
Beside Mary Magdalen and the faithful women who ministered to Jesus, we sat outside the tomb as the Tabernacle was emptied and the Eucharistic Presence of Christ was removed. We waited in hope for a New Dawn. And finally on Saturday at the Easter Vigil, we gathered in darkness and began our worship by sharing in the story of the History of Salvation told through the readings of the Old Testament and the igniting of the Easter Fire.
This holy light signals the fulfillment of all of God’s prophesies. The night is set ablaze and the Light of Christ is manifested once more through the illumination of the Easter Fire and the hearts of the faithful.
We have been spending the next 50 Days celebrating the Easter Season and the New Life bought to us through Christ’s Resurrection. It is a time for us to truly celebrate what God has done for His people. It is a time to embrace our faith more fully: in our families, in our churches, in our divisions. We are an Easter People. Death has no victory over us. We live in Christ and so we have eternal life.
May the remainder of this Easter Season 2015, fill you with the power and hope of New Life. May the Risen Lord, lift you up to reign with Him in Glory. Let us pray for one another, that we may reflect the Light of Christ in all we say and do this Easter Season.
May the Lord Bless You and Keep You.
Fr Timothy J. Harris, T.O.R.