Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Today we find ourselves entering the last week of the Easter season. It’s hard to believe that six weeks have already passed, but more than that it’s hard to think back to Good Friday and Lent. I know for myself, I couldn’t wait to break the fast and indulge a bit. I couldn’t wait for the rigors and the somber tone of the season to give way to the beauty and the joy of Easter. It seemed like it was never going to end!
It’s no accident, however, that the Easter season is substantially longer than the Lenten season. There’s something very profound in our faith that we take more time to feast, than we do to fast; we have 50 days of joy compared to 40 days of sorrow. It reveals what Easter is all about: the fact that through all the trials and sufferings of this life, we look forward to something far greater, something eternal next to which those sufferings seem as nothing. And this is something we need to be reminded of often. Because when we are caught up in difficult times, when it seems like nothing can go our way, we can lose hope. We can think there will never be an end. But with faith, even if that end is death, we never despair because Christ gives us hope in something beyond this life. We are ok with suffering in this life, because we know we weren’t promised joy here, we were promised a cross that would merit for us our own resurrection.
Hopefully throughout these weeks then, as we have celebrated the joy of the risen Christ, we have also realized that the joy Christ promises us is far beyond any sufferings the world can put in our path. Hopefully we have realized that as much as we may even find incredibly good times here, we’re not meant to be attached to this world, we’re not meant to hold on to all the stuff, because it will pass into nothingness. All that will remain is the love we shared with others, the ways we laid down our lives, the ways we united ourselves with Christ on the cross so that we may rise with him. If being an Easter people means anything, it means accepting that we are only pilgrims on this earth, journeying toward an eternal destination.
Therefore let us pray for that transcendent perspective in all things. Though the Easter season may draw to a close, let us live with the joy of Easter in our hearts. Let us strive to find peace in trials, detachment from all that we enjoy, and above all a love of God which urges us to grow in holiness each day.
If I may add one more note. We are blessed this summer to welcome to our parish a seminarian: Dominik Weigel. During his time with us he will be training for hospital ministry, but on the weekends he will be present to the parish. This is a great opportunity to both show him our support, as well as get to know a young man who is ready to hand his life over to the Lord. I am grateful to the diocese for entrusting him to us, and I do not doubt that you will all show him the same warm welcome you have shown me over this past year.
Yours in Christ,