/ / From the Pastor’s desk—April 17, 2022

From the Pastor’s desk—April 17, 2022

Fr. Ray Smith, CMF
Parochial administrator

Dear Sacred Heart Family

Easter Blessings to you and your family! You may be used to hearing “Happy Easter”, but I wish you much more than a happy day. Today is a day of absolute joy and that joy is a blessing to us. Jesus blesses us with the promise that the evil forces of the world and death do not have the final word.

Marty Dybicz in her insightful article on [Catholic] Joy shares that “[Catholic] joy is a spirit or disposition of inner peace,strength, hope, confidence, and determination that comes from experiencing God’s love for us in spite of our sins, selfishness, and mistakes. [] joy does not always feel good, emotionally, or physically. [] joy is experienced during times of struggle and pain. Battles will be lost, but the war has been won. Christ has conquered evil, and we can share in His victory. [] joy strengthens us to face reality and not escape it.”

Is not this what we have walked through these last 40 days and more especially in the Triduum? Yes, evil is all around us, and sometimes it seems to win even in us, but today, Jesus reminds us, if we are willing to die to our self, as He did, evil will not win, evil cannot win. This is the sentiment that Jesus shared with the apostles at the Last Supper when He said, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” John 15:11

We will use many images to share this joy, for some it may be finding Easter eggs, for some chocolate bunnies, or for others Easter ham, but all of these images pale to the true image of Easter and that is the empty tomb and the Risen Christ. These two images keep us connected to what this day is about because if we lose them, today is just another day.

For all of human history death has haunted our lives. Various cultures and religions have created a sense of what happens next but what we Catholic Christians can never forget is that no one has ever come back from the dead in the fulness of the way Jesus did. Certainly, Jesus raised us Lazarus and the son of the widow of Naim, but they each faced death another day. Today Jesus’ rising is absolute, and it is not a metaphor or legend, but attested to and documented.

To think for a moment, in the millions of years of human existence, we have lived to see the fulfillment of God’s plan to bring us back to Him forever. How does that not fill us with joy? Perhaps if we have lost a loved one recently this day feels empty, as did the empty tomb, but our joy is to know that empty tomb is not that last word and Jesus’ rising has brought them that much closer to us and us to Him that our joy may be complete.

With a heart for Mission,
Fr. Ray