The 40 days of Lent are behind us, and now we rejoice with 50 days of Easter as we journey with the Risen Christ toward Pentecost Sunday. For the past week, we’ve been celebrating the Octave of Easter. For those of you who pray Morning and Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours, each day since Easter morning has been a re-celebration of Easter.
Speaking of celebrations, we had some wonderful liturgies that helped draw us deeper into the Pascal Mystery; the dying, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. On Holy Thursday, Fr. Paul received the Holy Oils that were blessed by Bishop Ricken at the Chrism Mass, and will be used throughout the coming year. We also recalled how Jesus washed the feet of His disciples at the Last Supper by highlighting ministries in our parish which live out the Corporal Works of Mercy. Later that evening, we were blessed to have Bishop Ricken, and about 25 other pilgrims from throughout our diocese, join us as we kept vigil with Jesus in the Trinity Room. On Good Friday, we re-lived the Passion of Jesus, according to John, lifted our prayers with the ten solemn intercessions, and venerated the cross.
At the Easter Vigil, Fr. Paul began the liturgy by blessing the new fire from which our new Easter Candle was lit. From the Book of Genesis, we recalled how God created all that we have, “and God said that it was good!” After the new water in the baptismal font was blessed, Nathan, our Catechumen, received the Sacrament of Baptism. Later, Owen and Adam were welcomed into the Catholic Church, and then these three men, plus Kent and Jason received the Sacrament of Confirmation. It was a joy to welcome them, plus many visitors, to join us in Eucharist… sharing the very body and blood of Jesus.
Although I enjoy all of the parts of the liturgical year, the Triduum and Easter Season are especially fulfilling. As Deacon Steve mentioned in his Easter homily, we are an Easter people. We live in joy, not sorrow! We live in hope, not despair! And we live with faith and trust in the Lord, knowing that in the end, love prevails!
There’s one other thing that I really look forward to this time of year… it’s saying the word that we don’t use during the Lenten season. It’s a word that sums up the joy of this Easter Season. And, hopefully, it’s a word that brings a smile to our face every time we say it…
That word is ALLELUIA!