He Is Risen!
Praise the Lord, Jesus is risen from the grave! Praise the Lord, Lent is over! Praise the Lord, no more confessions to hear for another week! Praise the Lord we have so many generous people here at St Angela Merici who have made this Lent, Holy Week and Easter such a beautiful and spiritually moving experience. It couldn’t have been done without Dcn Mike Shaffer and our Liturgy Committee, Environment Team which is headed up by Irma Gonzales, Sue de Grasse, Javier Garcia, Nancy Peralta and all of our musicians and singers, Steve Allevato and our Eucharistic ministers and lectors, Ron Sled, Jason Padilla and our sound tech’s, Ric Ritter and our ushers, Ms Nina Baumgartner and students who led the Stations of the Cross, Andrea Draper, Leticia Garcia and all our teachers who did Sacrament prep, Fr Francis, Dcn Mike, Dcn Ben who celebrated our Liturgies and Parish Mission…..and the list goes on. Thank you all very much! Awesome job! Praise the Lord, Jesus is risen from the grave!
I don’t know about you, but I’m sure the fact that Easter falls on April First this year will not be overlooked by the most cynical of nonbelievers concerning the resurrection of Jesus. Saint Paul, in the first chapter of his first letter to the Church of Corinth, refers to the cross as a stumbling block for some and an absurdity for others (1:23). Those of us gathered here, however, embrace the cross; we see right through the pain and agony of the cross to the glory of the Resurrection. Like Mary Magdala, Peter and the Beloved Disciple, we have come to the empty tomb, we have peered deep inside and we believe. The power of love cannot be defeated. The power of love will never die!
Like Mary, Peter and the Beloved Disciple, we arrive at our understanding of the resurrection of Jesus at different times throughout our lives, each at our own pace. In Saint John’s account, Mary Magdala first thought someone stole Jesus’ body, and Peter was perplexed at what he saw. The Beloved Disciple is the first one to grasp what has taken place. Belief eventually came, for each in their own time, just as it is in our lives as well. Each of us making the decision to believe in the power of God’s love.
Every day, we have a decision to make as followers of the Risen One. Each day, we must decide whether we will be observed helping to roll the stone away or trying to keep the stone still in front of the tomb. By our actions – by our witness in the workplace, in our homes and among our neighbors – do we believe, or do we resist even looking into the tomb, choosing to ignore our faith? Every day we too must decide if we believe in the power of love.
Last night, all around the world, the universal Church grew by leaps and bounds as thousands of new Catholics were welcomed among us as they celebrated the Easter sacraments. Now, on this most sacred of days, each of us will renew our baptismal promises. Once again, we will reject evil and embrace the living God. Let us not doubt, let us not be perplexed. Let us instead come, peer deep inside the empty tomb, and believe in the power of love. Praise the Lord, Jesus is risen from the grave! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Much love and blessings in the Resurrected Christ Jesus!