A very blessed and joy-filled Easter to you! As we rejoice in the beauty of this glorious day, we recall the very reason that the Son of God took on a human nature and came to us in the flesh. In completing the Paschal Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday), we celebrate the fulfillment of everything that foretold of Christ in the Old Testament. We also discover anew, hopefully in a deeper way each year, that what was begun at the Annunciation and was revealed to us at Christmas, reaches its culmination in what we have been celebrating over the last few days. That is, Christ, in the flesh, offering himself in sacrifice on the Cross to open gates of heaven for us who have sinned against him. How beautifully the Easter Proclamation of the Easter Vigil liturgy expresses this reality: “O happy fault that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!” What is offered to us in the Last Supper and in Christ’s death and Resurrection is far more than Adam and Eve had before they sinned. The new life that is offered to us, and which we even experience here on earth, is far greater than anything we could have done for ourselves. The only explanation for all of this is the completely unconditional love that God has for us.
As Pope Benedict XVI once beautifully articulated in an Easter homily:
His Cross opens wide the gates of death, the stern doors. They are barred no longer. His Cross, his radical love, is the key that opens them. The love of the One who, though God, became man in order to die – this love has the power to open those doors. This love is stronger than death. […] Entering the world of the dead, Jesus bears the stigmata, the signs of his passion: his wounds, his suffering, have become power: they are love that conquers death. He meets Adam and all the men and women waiting in the night of death. […] In the incarnation, the Son of God became one with human beings – with Adam. But only at this moment, when he accomplishes the supreme act of love by descending into the night of death, does he bring the journey of the incarnation to its completion. By his death he now clasps the hand of Adam, of every man and woman who awaits him, and brings them to the light.
[…]Only the Risen Christ can bring us to complete union with God, to the place where our own powers are unable to bring us. Truly Christ puts the lost sheep upon his shoulders and carries it home. Clinging to his Body we have life, and in communion with his Body we reach the very heart of God. Only thus is death conquered, we are set free and our life is hope.
May the joy of what we celebrate today fill your lives with trust in Christ’s power to overcome our sinfulness and to bring us out of the darkness of this world, especially in its current state. May his victory over sin and death transform us and make us more confident witnesses to his Cross and Resurrection!
A few practical notes:
Latin Mass is cancelled this month; the next one will be May 1.
Please consider joining us next Sunday at the Paulding church for our celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday- our parish feast day! Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will happen from 1:00 until about 3:30. During that time, our relic of St. Faustina will be available for veneration. Although, because of COVID, we ask that veneration be done without actually touching the reliquary. I will also be hearing confessions during this time, until about 2:15. At 2:30, we will have sung vespers, followed by the singing of the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
Lastly, I am sure everyone noticed that the hymnals are back in the pews. We are able to do this because once they are used at Sunday Mass, they will sit in the pews for a week before they are used again. This gives plenty of time for germs to die before being touched again. Additionally, with the disinfectant spray that we are using on the pews now, this will also kill any germs that might be on them. Masks and social distancing are still required until the Bishop states otherwise.
God bless you all!