My dear Parishioners, welcome to this unprecedented Easter!! Our Lent started with the Gospel passage of the temptations of Jesus in the desert that taught us to be faithful to the Father, to his word and his grace; to be faithful to him. This year; we have come to this day maybe not with the same joy but uncertainties, fears and few or no answers to the great tragedy that we are living in our world today, but our Lord Jesus since the begging of Lent had invited us to remain in the God of life. Easter is the celebration of that God of life and Easter is not just celebrated one day. Easter is celebrated for fifty glorious days beginning today culminating on the Solemnity of Pentecost. This is the “mother of all feasts” because we remember the great love of the Father for us, whose Son, Jesus Christ, by dying destroyed death and by rising restored all of us to life. This is the feast of the Passover of the Lord; the new day; the new creation; the new life; the eighth day. Easter reminds us that there is light ahead of us and darkness and fears are to be left behind. This year’s particular Easter should also remind us of the beginnings of the Church when the disciples were still hiding at their place for fear of persecution and uncertainty about life, but the Risen Lord was calling them out to meet again in Galilee. Therefore, this Easter should challenge us to continue what Jesus taught His disciples and to live by His example. It teaches us to take courage that despite the challenges we face in our world, the Risen Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, should be more present and active in our lives than ever. Let us make Him live that he came to save us! On the Easter Vigil, which we hope you celebrated with us through our media websites, we recall God’s story – in our story of salvation. The liturgy of the Word re-enacts that story and we joyfully celebrate the risen Lord in our midst as He offers Himself anew in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We do this in a spirit of thanksgiving to God who gives His own Son to die in order to rescue us from the slavery of sin and death and fear. I invite you; may we live as people deeply touched by the resurrection and proclaim: Christ is risen, Alleluia! We may not be able to go out and physically gather yet but may our encounter spiritual encounter with the risen Lord on our journey of faith touch us deeply and transform us as He did for His Disciples. As we have more time for personal reflection, more time for our families at home, may the resurrection lead us to be the best version of ourselves; committed to live out our Baptismal promises that we just renewed.
When we live the new life of the Resurrection, there where we are, taking the advantage of having more personal time, may we become the best version of ourselves. I invite you to become what St Augustine referred to as an “Easter People”, a people transformed into disciples and stewards who commit to give their time, talent and treasure in witness. My prayer for you this Easter is that you live as people deeply touched by the Resurrection and proclaim that: Christ is risen, Alleluia, Alleluia!
As we celebrate Easter, I’d like to thank the many people who have shared their time, talent, and treasure with Fr. Giopre and myself and so be able to broadcast and celebrate with you and for you. Thanks to all the unseen volunteers who sacrificed to make our Holy Week as prayerful, enjoyable, and inviting as it has been even though through the screen. To our office staff who was like a life jacket of communication for us, the environment committee who decorated our church, to the choirs who brought life to our Triduum celebration, to the altar servers, to the lectors and our extraordinary media crew as well as to the many donors that still continue supporting in many ways, and to all of you - Thank you! I’m sorry that we could not welcome physically our visitors this year, but I hope that you did celebrate online with us from wherever this special circumstances made you stay. We extend an invitation to you to become a regular part of our Parish community thorough our Facebook page, our website but above all, here with us whenever you could be back in town. The Sunday bulletin and media websites lists our Mass times and contact information. Please call us, if we can help. Welcome, again, and a Happy and Blessed Easter to all of you.
Fr. Rafael Hinojosa