Deacon Eric Easter Message 2016

“Exult, let them exult, the hosts of heaven.  Exult, let Angel ministers of God exult.  Let the trumpet of salvation sound aloud our mighty King’s triumph!  Be glad, let earth be glad, as glory floods her, ablaze with light from her eternal King.  Let all corners of the earth be glad, knowing an end to gloom and darkness.”  Rejoice, the darkness of the tomb is banished, death has been conquered, for our Lord, Jesus Christ, has risen!  Alleluia!

So it bursts forth our Easter Proclamation, that we all should rejoice and be glad. For our Father has fully shown his love for us through his Son, Jesus Christ.  No one is denied a share in the victory of the cross.  We are all invited to share in the riches of paradise.  But when, if not right now?  “For what profit is it to you, if Christ came once in the flesh, unless he also comes into your soul?” (Origen)   For indeed what profit is it to live a life without the love of Jesus, only to look forward to our salvation at the end of our lives.

Sherry Weddell says, “the Catholic understanding of salvation is incorrigibly communal.  We are all in this together, because none of us are saved by ourselves alone: we are saved as members of the Church, the body of Christ.  The hand cannot say to the foot, ‘I do not need you.'” (Forming Intentional Disciples, p 254) Surely, this love that was so freely given to us is to be shared communally with all our family, friends and neighbors.  In this way our love draws others together, building up the Body of Christ.

But how?  Where do we begin?  Are we even called?  Indeed, we are already empowered  through our Christian baptism to be effective channels of the Father’s love.  We are empowered through this love to build Christian community by nurturing the relationships and long-term spiritual growth of our brothers and sisters.  This message is the essence of what we wish to share in our Parish Mission, “Better Together: The Art of Being Community,” being held on April 10 – 11 – 12.  An opportunity to learn how to thrive as a family, as a team, and as a Church! (See attached)

Our Easter Season has not yet ended with Easter Sunday, but is celebrated with joy and exultation until Pentecost Sunday, as one festive day.  This “Great Sunday” feast of fifty days allows us to receive the blessing of knowing the presence of Jesus Christ intimately in our lives.  It allows us to see the presence of Jesus in our brothers and sisters and in all God’s creation.

So, rejoice, and “let Mother Church also rejoice, arrayed with the lightning of his glory.  Let this holy building shake with joy, filled with the mighty voices of the peoples.”  Alleluia, ALLELUIA!

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