Whether it be with bright lettering on a banner processed into church, or the restored reverberations at the Gospel Acclamation at Mass, ALLELUIA has returned!

The dark powers of death, vengeance, destructive power struggles, ruthless and violent beatings, rejection and oppression – none of it can conquer the power of LIFE and LOVE that bursts forth as Jesus rises from the dead.

Do you remember the old Memorial Acclamation: “Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again”? No longer used at Mass, it remains a powerful and faith-filled proclamation of what we believe as a core to our faith. Remember, it proclaims, “Christ IS risen,” not Christ rose.

The power of Easter is meant for far more than a day, more than the Easter Season 2019. It is meant to flow out over all places and all times. This presence of God is meant for each of us and for the community of humankind again today.

At the beginning of Lent about six weeks ago, I suggested we all really needed Lent this year (as every year?) because we need a “course correction” in life—more toward the will of God and less toward our selfish needs. If that journey has been even the least bit successful, we now NEED EASTER. Not because we’re perfect or because we’ve conquered all those negative impulses mentioned above. We need Easter precisely because we CAN continue the effort to conquer what leads to death because we share in the victory Jesus has won for us.

I’ve long been impressed with the many time s during the Easter season that reference is made in prayers of the church to the Death of Jesus, to the Cross of Jesus. Also, if you might recall, the number of references during the Season of Lent to the Resurrection are surprisingly numerous, too.

So I can understand that some of us who gather on April 21, and the weeks that follow my feel as though they are still living on April 19, Good Friday. Bad health, family disintegration, financial worries, death or any loss of loved ones—any of these realities and many more may weigh heavy on some hearts.

For others, it may just be a time of waiting , worrying, dull sameness, questioning of ones worth or future direction – it may be more like the stillness of the tomb on Holy Saturday. For others, this Easter may find a mysterious renewal, restored hope, humbling gratitude, a deep readiness with an ALLELUIA welling up in one’s soul.

Wherever you may be this Easter, may you know your Good Friday, your Holy Saturday, will bring you to an Easter Season because you are precious to our Good God, you are being drawn more fully into life by the Risen Savior, you are enlivened by the Holy Spirit.

On behalf of the Pastoral Staffs of St. Catherine and St. Sebastian Parishes, HAPPY EASTER. You are part of the great Body of Christ. May you know the power of God’s life and love in you in a renewed way this Easter Season.

Fr. Larry Chapman

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