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Fr. Ron's Blog

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Dear Friends,
A brief step backward – to Palm Sunday, most especially the Palm Sunday procession from Veterans’ Field to the church and the celebration of the 12:30 Mass. I’m never good at estimating the number of people in church and I would be even worse to try to estimate the numbers who joined for the procession, but I do know it stretched for several blocks. Someone ventured a number between two and three hundred. Whatever the number, it was a moving experience of faith, this re-enactment of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. It gave testimony to Jesus and to faith in Him and to a continued commitment to live that faith, publicly, in a world that sometimes seems to have lost its faith.

Faith is so often hidden in our churches. As I walked up Ridgewood Avenue and glanced to my left, I could see Mount Carmel on the other side of Van Neste Square Park. As I looked at it, I imagined myself one of the people coming out of the Pancake House or Raymond’s. I wondered if they even noticed the church (or United Methodist, for that matter). I wondered, if they did notice, if they ever stopped to ask themselves – “what’s happening in that building?” Last Sunday, they noticed. Last Sunday, they didn’t have to ask, they found out. It’s a place where people of faith celebrate their God, where people of faith celebrate that faith. And they found out – they do it in the streets as well.

Coordinating all that had to happen, the procession, the arrival at the church at just the right time, the readiness of everything for the Mass, the music, the readers, etc., etc. was an enormous job. And we managed to be only three minutes late in actually starting the Mass. Thank you to all who made that happen.

As I write this, on the Monday of Holy Week, I’m looking at the ten-day forecast on my iPhone. Predictions for Easter Sunday are for a cloudy day with a chance of late day showers, with temperatures in the high 70’s. If we can believe it – since this has been a roller coaster year of temperatures, up one day, down the next. I hope, at least, that the timing of the showers is correct.

Throughout Lent, we have remembered our sinfulness, the shortfalls of our lives and the need for God to bring us the fullness of life, both now and in eternity. On Good Friday, we commemorated the moment when Jesus’ heart stopped, when, like all of us “humans,” He died. But Jesus did not stay dead. Why? Because, as the late Bishop Kenneth Untener reflects, when God became flesh (“in-carnate”), it was a permanent union between the “God” and the “human.” Jesus could not stay dead because God-life ran through Him.

And in the power of that death and Resurrection, washed over us in the waters of baptism, as it will have for Gail Julian, Luis Chacon Jimenez, Destiny Handy, Sadie Handy, Charles and Joey York, baptized at the Easter Vigil(s), we cannot stay dead either, for the God-life now flows through us, as well, a God-life you especially share in the Eucharist you have come to celebrate today. And so, even if the day doesn’t turn out as nice as predicted, today is a day to celebrate – for the God-life that has been freely showered on you and me.

And the Church says to us to celebrate LIFE today. And that LIFE is so stupendous that you can’t stop celebrating just because the sun goes down and the calendar flips a page. No, the celebration of that LIFE, which is now our life, needs to continue throughout the Easter Season. We need to Catch the Spirit, and let the good news sink in, our God-life is here to stay. While the Church fasts and sacrifices for the forty days of Lent, the Church celebrates for the fifty days of Easter. Make the seven weeks of the Easter Season really the beginning of a new time for the God-life in you. It’s a shout-out-moment for our God. Don’t let it slip through your fingers.

A blessed, joyous and lasting Easter to all.
Fr. Ron

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Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Sunday
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,
3 p.m. (Spanish), 6:30 p.m.
Weekday Liturgies
Monday thru Friday,
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.,
and 12 noon
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. only
Holy Days
Eve: 7:30pm (anticipated)
6:30am, 8:30am, and 12noon 

 

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