This Easter Sunday morning I am experiencing the manifold fruits and graces of the Lenten journey, and most particularly of this beautiful Holy Week. My heart is filled with gratitude for God’s Goodness.
I am told that this year, the number of people seeking the mercy of God through the Sacrament of Reconciliation far exceeds any previous year of recent memory. The attendance, and just as importantly, the participation during the Sacred Liturgies of these past few days reflects a dawning understanding and appreciation the People of God are showing for a renewed relationship with the God of Life and Mercy.
I cannot thank enough all those who have shared of their many gifts to make this Holy Week and Easter Vigil such a grand celebration, and a true act of worship. Mr. Patrick Stoltz, our Cathedral music director works with many talented individuals and choirs to provide the musical backdrop for our liturgies. God only knows the time and energy he puts into this key ministry.
I also wish to recognize Fr. Thomas George, the associate at the Cathedral who is always present for episcopal liturgies to not only serve as the Master of Ceremonies, but who makes sure everything is prepared ahead of time. The underlying blessing for me is that I can focus on praying the liturgy, and leave the details to others, and this provides for such a prayerful celebration for all.
I want to acknowledge all of our priests and deacons who give so much of themselves during these holy days. Between tending to the liturgical preparations, working with liturgy committees and musicians, preparing homilies, hearing confessions and presiding at the various services, Holy Week can be quite demanding. Be sure and give a word of encouragement and thanks to your parish priests, deacons, and anyone else who helps them with all the details of Holy Week.
Last night at the Cathedral, we received 23 catechumens and candidates into the Church. I believe there were eight baptisms and everyone else made a profession of faith, and all received the Sacrament of Confirmation. These newest members always bring renewed joy and enthusiasm to the faith family. Be sure to seek them out and welcome them and help them find their ‘place’ in our faith-family. Congratulations to all who joined the Church this Easter!
Today, all of us renew our Baptismal promises. As we do, let us be mindful again of the Divine Life the Risen Lord won for us and shares with us. This truly is our reason for being.
Go! And LIVE the FAITH!