MESSAGE FROM YOUR PASTOR
Easter Vigil 2023
The Gospel tells us that after the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. They want to see the dead body of Jesus. They think that they will find Jesus in the place of death and that everything is over, forever. But the angel told them ‘He has been raised from the dead, and he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ The two women went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce the news to the disciples.
We have heard several readings today-- from the account of creation to the Epistle of Paul to the first Christian community in Rome. All the readings remind us that God from the very beginning want his people to have life and to seek life for God is not a God of the dead but of the living.
Sin contaminated the beautiful creation of God because of the weakness of our first parents , and the effect of sin is death, but God restored us to life in the death and resurrection of Jesus, his Son, the Christ that defeated darkness and bring humanity back to light. Jesus triumphed over death, the last effect of sin.
Tonight we are reminded again that as followers of Jesus, we must always proclaim life in our lives. We must be life-giving people because we are Easter people. We cannot seek Jesus in the tomb, for he is no longer there. We must walk away from the tomb and ran to announce the good news of life to others. What are those tombs in our lives that are not giving us life? What are those tombs in our lives that is not helping us to become life-giving to others? We heard in the Gospel reading on the last Sunday of Lent , Jesus calling out Lazarus " Lazarus, come out of your tomb" There are so many tombs that are keeping us from being alive-- tomb of selfishness, of arrogance and pride, of hypocrisy, tomb of bigotry , of racism, of being prejudice, of being judgmental and condemning, of pretentious religiosity, of spiritual arrogance, there are so many tombs where we dwell and disconnect us to life and make us death giving people instead of life-giving. Let us quickly walk away from those tombs-- and ran to announce the triumph of life over death to others.
Tonight we rejoice because we received new members into the Catholic faith. In the waters of baptism, they were told that they are no longer slave to sin, they are washed clean. They received the light of Christ from the Paschal candle, the light that reminds us that Christ defeated darkness and his light will never be extinguished. It is our prayer, that you, brothers and sisters who will be received into the Catholic faith , may always seek the God of life. That you may always give life to others, in your words and in your conducts. A good guide for the examination of conscience before we rest at night is to ask ourselves : Were my words and actions today gave life to people? Were they uplifting and encouraging? Did I give them hope? Did they become more alive because of me?
These are questions that we must always ask ourselves-- because we profess our faith in the one who, in his Rising restored us to life. One of my favorite psalm is Psalm 116 where it says " I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living. "
Happy easter everyone and may you always walk in the presence of the Lord and seek him, not in the tomb but in the Galilee of Life. Amen.
On behalf of Fr. Steve, Deacons Mark, Armando, Vic and the whole Parish Staff , Councils and Ministries Leaders , I would like to thank you for your love and care to our parish. May we all continue to always choose what gives life, what brings peace and unity ! May we always bring the peace of the Risen Lord to our families, community and society.
" Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." ( Phil. 4: 4-7 )