Happy Easter, everyone! Once again, the Gospel Story of the first (and second) Resurrection appearances of the Lord Jesus takes a central place in our Liturgy (John 20:19-31). His greeting of “peace” to the 10 Apostles (and the others who were with them) quells the storm of His Passion and reveals to them a new way of walking in resurrected life. While one of the Apostles was missing from this first encounter, the presence of Thomas, even after his bold claims of belief only after he can “touch the mystery,” are challengingly answered by the Lord who invites him to partake of the fullness of the Paschal Mystery by reaching into his side (to touch his heart) and to his hands to feel the nail wounds. Even though we were not there at the first Resurrection appearance, there are many others in which we have participated in when we have been touched by the heart of Christ and have been healed by his wounds!
God of life, source of all faith, through the waters of Baptism you have raised us up in Jesus and given us life that endures. Day by day refine our faith, that we who have not seen Christ may truly confess him as our Lord and God.
I thank all those who, in the past weeks, have worked so hard to provide a prayerful experience of Holy Week and Easter with our larger parish family! I thank those who gave up their usual seats for those who are with us less frequently. I thank the Ministers of Hospitality, of Liturgy and of Music for their generosity of Spirit, their willingness to be here with us for several Masses over the Holy Days, and for the great amount of preparation which enabled us all to celebrate the Paschal Mystery with joyful hearts and minds made pure! As one parishioner pointed out, “Father, the Church is beautiful!” and I replied “yes, the sanctuary was beautifully decorated, too!”
As we now begin to journey through these glorious 50 days which will lead us to Pentecost, we pray the Spirit of the Risen Lord will deepen with us and that, renewed in the “watery” grace of Baptism, all Christian people may be a refreshment for the world around us.
May the week ahead be filled with countless graces and blessings!