April 12, 2020
May the grace and peace of our Risen Lord be with you! After a Lenten journey like we have never experienced before and the subdued but faith-filled prayers of Holy Week, we come to the most important Christian celebration of the entire year – Easter Sunday. It’s always challenging to put our whole minds and hearts around the magnificent miracle of the Resurrection of Jesus and our words often falter. But the Easter gospels give us an insight how Jesus Himself wants us to perceive and experience His Resurrection.
On the evening after He arose, his disciples were huddled together in a locked room terrified and dissolutioned about His death on Calvary. Doesn’t this scene sound very familiar to us? For several weeks now, we have been cloistered in our own homes wondering, questioning and fearful about how the Coronavirus pandemic situation will play out. And when Jesus appears to the disciples – what were His first words? “Peace Be With You!” More than ever that is Christ’s Easter message to us this year. We have been intensely sharing in Jesus’ suffering and passion in so many ways because of the virus, but now Christ wants to assure us that he is with us and will bring His life and healing to a very wounded and hurting world. Of all the beliefs that we as Catholics hold sacred, the ultimate tenet of our faith and from which everything else flows is our belief in life after death; for it is through Jesus’ death on the Cross and His glorious Resurrection that God gives us by His wonderous mercy the promise of eternal life. God so loved the world that He sent His Son Jesus to give us so great a gift! The ultimate experience of Resurrection will come when God calls all of us home to be with Him in Heaven, but our lives here on earth provide many previews of what is to come. In the most trying of times there are often “God waves” that renew our hope and trust in God’s providence.
Easter cannot be restricted to just one day so the Church gives us fifty days to breathe and take in what the mystery of hope and faith is all about. Ultimately it leads to the celebration of Pentecost – the coming of the Holy Spirit which occurs this year on Sunday May 31st. My sense and fervent hope is that the Easter season will be a time when we see God’s gift of healing and protection begin to take effect in each of us personally and throughout our country and the world. The sacrifices that we have been making to help keep each other safe are acts of love and compassion and truly ways that we bring the spirit of Easter into the world.
Already many moments of Resurrection have been happening in and through our “domestic churches.” The prayers and rosaries that have become more a part of our family life are ways of Jesus appearing to us. Our works of charity and the ways that we may be strengthening our relationships with one another out of concern and compassion make Christ’s Resurrection very visible. Where there has been a lot of darkness and despair, words of encouragement and prayer help us call forth one another from the tombs of fear and anxiety. We see this too in the dedicated service of the medical community along with those who are working day after day to provide us with protection, put food on our tables, parents working with teachers to continue our children’s education and all those who through their talents and gifts keep our communities functioning. The Resurrected Jesus reminds us “that where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them”.
As Catholics, we have all been very hungry these days. Hungry for the Lord’s precious Body and Blood in the Eucharist. Again, in the Easter gospels we read that the disciples recognized Jesus after the resurrection in “the breaking of the bread.” So many of our parishioners have told me how much they miss the Eucharist and how they are looking forward to being back together with our St. Martin Parish Family on Sundays. Meanwhile, let’s continue to pray fervently for one another through our spiritual communions until once again we come to the Lord’s altar.
These April days we are surrounded with the marvelous miracle of Spring as the world of nature comes back to life in so many beautiful ways. May we let Jesus renew in us His gift of Hope and Healing as we take to heart His Easter words – “Peace be with you!”
Easter Blessings from all of our Pastoral Staff!
Rev. Terence J. Hamilton Pastor
P.S. Just a word of sincere thanks to all of you who have blessed us with your parish stewardship. We have been receiving your offerings in the parish office mail slot, through the mail itself, and also online. We are most grateful. These are very difficult times for many people financially but if you are able to give a special Easter gift to our parish it will be deeply appreciated.
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