Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Forty days ago, we set out on our Lenten Journey with a firm resolve to walk with Jesus as he journeyed toward Calvary and prepared to embrace the Cross. Some of us have been very successful and some did not quite make it as planned. Yet, we have arrived at this Sunday and found surprises galore. It is Easter! Jesus is truly risen! Alleluias are on our tongues once again. What a joy! We experience once more God’s unconditional love and His faithfulness to us.
The Sacred Triduum Liturgies brought us those gut-wrenching reminders of how low God can stoop to lift us all up and make us sharers in the glory of the Resurrection. The new life that shone forth from the grave almost two thousand years ago has been given to us, to all who believe in Christ. He trampled down death by death and made us partakers in His Resurrection. This is why at the end of the Paschal Matins we say: "Christ is risen and life reigneth! Christ is risen and not one dead remains in the grave!"
What could our response be? Does faith in this “new life” – given to us as a sheer gift – permeate and impact our lives? Does it change how we go about our daily lives? Do our lives reflect the truth of the Resurrection of Jesus?
Or do we live as if He never came? Do we live as though that spectacular and earth-shaking event has no meaning whatsoever for us? Have we become victims of what’s called “nominal Christianity?” Living as though Christ never came is the only real sin for a Christian, the sin of all sins. This is the bottomless sadness and tragedy of nominal Christianity.
In his book, Great Lent: Journey to Pascha, Fr. Alexander Schmemann offers a reason why we fail to believe and consequently to live our lives differently:
“All this because of our weakness, because of the impossibility for us to live constantly by "faith, hope, and love" on that level to which Christ raised us when he said: "Seek ye, first of all, the Kingdom of God and His righteousness." We simply forget all this, so busy are we, so immersed in our daily preoccupations—and because we forget, we fail. And through this forgetfulness, failure, and sin, our life becomes "old" again, petty, dark and ultimately meaningless—a meaningless journey toward a meaningless end. We manage to forget even death and then, all of a sudden, in the midst of our "enjoying life," it comes to us: horrible, inescapable, senseless.
But fear not! Christ is Risen! He has destroyed death and made us partakers in His Resurrection! Hence, “Alleluia!” is our marching song. Sing out this irrepressible, uncontainable, and uncontrollable song all day long!!! Let your hearts be filled with the spirit of the Risen Lord.
ON BEHALF OF FR. VINCENT, THE DEACONS, AND THE STAFF, I WISH YOU AND YOURS A VERY BLESSED AND HAPPY EASTER!