Dear Parishioners:Happy Easter! “He has risen as He said, Alleluia! Alleluia!” We pass over from darkness to light, from death to life! Jesus passed over from the cross to the resurrection! “This is the day the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it!” This is the act of faith we profess Easter morning: our God is alive, present, active, with us, here and now. He is alive! Alleluia! On this Easter morn we shout out alleluia! We sing with joy Christ is Risen! We rejoice that even death on a cross could not stop Him; even a boulder in front of a borrowed tomb could not keep Him down. All our fears and tears, heartaches and hardships can be summarized in one word: death. Dying can seem the ultimate end. But, not this Easter morning! That Good Friday afternoon did not have the last word; that Easter Sunday morning did! That tomb is empty! It’s spring, not winter! We live in light, we go from death to life!
Each week at Sunday Mass in the Creed we recite: “I believe . . . he rose again on the third day.” The Resurrection is a real, historical event. The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that it was “attested to by the disciples, who really encountered the Risen One.” It is also a transcendent event which the Catechism states: “is mysteriously transcendent insofar as it is the entry of Christ’s humanity into the glory of God.” Calling it transcendent does not mean it was somehow “unreal,” or “mystical,” or, worst of all, “a delusion.” No, this real event was transcendent in that it went beyond any natural human or material power in creation. We can easily forget how significant the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ truly is. In fact, it is the solution to the greatest mystery that mankind has ever faced. And only Christ has revealed it to us. Only Christians know for sure what comes after death.
Christ’s Resurrection is also a joyful event. We can cultivate joy by being close to the risen Christ. Because he is God he is every happiness and joy. Pope Francis reminded us of this last Easter Sunday in his homily when he stated: “We share a joy, a joy full of wonder, a joy that comes from within because Jesus has risen from the dead. We share the joy of the disciples to whom the women had brought the news that ‘Jesus is risen; we have seen him.” Let us experience this joy, and let us radiate this joy in our lives, in our thoughts, in our looks, our deeds and our words.”
This Easter I am reminded of the story of the great scientists Marie and Pierre Curie. They were two of the most brilliant scientific minds in the world during in the early modern period. In 1903 they received the Nobel Prize in physics. Sadly, however, in 1906 Pierre died tragically in a street accident. Marie was overcome with grief and every day wrote in her diary a message to her late husband, Pierre. One day she wrote: “Your coffin was closed and I could see you no more. We saw you go down into the deep hole. We wanted to see it to the end. They filled the grave and put flowers on it. Everything is over. Pierre is sleeping in his last sleep beneath the earth. No, science does not have the answer. The answer must come from the other side, God's side. It comes from the life and lips of the Man of Galilee. Into the darkness of death He brings light. Into the midst of our doubts He comes with His voice of promise: ‘I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.’"
We have greater wisdom than the science of this world can ever give. We know death does not have the last word. We know what comes next! Christ has told us, Christ has shown us. This is our hope; this is our faith; this is the joy of Easter. St. Augustine said it best in the 4th Century: “We are an Easter people and alleluia is our song!” Fr. Connors, Deacon Dowd, and I wish you a Blessed Easter Sunday and a joyful Easter Season! May the celebration of Easter truly be a time of joy, faith and hope for you and your loved ones! Alleluia, the Lord is Risen! Alleluia, He has Risen indeed!