Strange as it may seem, in these strangest of times, with this Easter greeting I share with you the joy I palpably experienced celebrating both the Easter Vigil mass Saturday evening and Sunday mass, and hopefully will beyond the 50 days of this Easter Season.
** “…living the spirit of the Easter season mean(s) … Live with Joy…a deep-down gladness that cannot be taken away, even in the midst of sorrow,” even amidst pandemic, lock-down and uncertain futures. “With this faith, we are able to hold on to an enduring sense of joy even in the midst of the sadness we experience…” (Fr. Lloyd Baugh, St. Monica’s NDG http://www.stmonica.ca/pastors-corner/be-fearless-be-joyful-be-renewed-living-the-spirit-of-easter )
1. The attached photo shows chanting the Easter Proclamation on the church steps, at 8pm with all the other priests and our Archbishop doing the same, in solidarity and communion with you and all the faithful confined to quarters around the world, and the man who stopped his car, hopped out and devotedly knelt on the church steps for the duration (I blessed him with the Paschal Candle before returning inside).
3. Our Episcopal Vicar’s Easter Message 2020: “Resurrection in a Time of Pandemic”
4. A photo of the Good Friday Veneration of the Cross
5. Easter Egg hunt: The egg, in some cultures (including mine) decorated by Christians at Easter, is an ancient Christian symbol of new life. Where to hunt for them: What makes a Gospel a Gospel (Good New) is that it ends with an account (or accounts) of the Resurrection of Jesus to new life. Two rather different and beautiful ones, with reflection questions:
a. John 20:1-18, ending with Mary Magdalene as the Apostle to the Apostles
Where do we encounter the Risen Christ in our life? How do we share this Good News with our families and others?
b. Luke 24:13-35, including the Risen Jesus celebrating the Eucharist with disciples
How would my life be different if our hearts would “burn within us” such that we truly no longer fear death? Do we recognize Jesus in the Sunday Eucharist?
I wish you and pray that you, in the midst of all the confusion, uncertainly and restrictions, experience and live the joy of Christ Risen from the dead, with His gift of new life, new hope, and new vision beyond what we can ask or imagine.
He is truly Risen! Alleluia!
In the Risen Christ,
St. Thomas More Parish, Verdun