Dear Sacred Heart Family,
It is a funny thing- we can have a hard time knowing exactly how to celebrate Easter. We just spent 40 days of Lent. That is a season that has clearly outlined parameters to enter into a penitential season to help us prepare for Easter through a renewed focus on fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. But now that we are here, at Easter, the Church doesn’t give us specific guidelines. They are simply to celebrate Jesus alive and present in our hearts, victorious over the realities of sin and death. The cues for how we are to celebrate this Season are to be found in the stories and encounters we will hear in the Gospel’s throughout Easter.
Immediately after Jesus’ resurrection He began showing up to the Apostles and disciples, often in times of their own fear or confusion. In a way that surprised and shocked them Jesus addressed people’s hurts, their fears, their lack of belief. All things that seemed insurmountable until they could be surrendered to His presence. Often, He was not recognized at first but He came and spoke the words each needed to hear. Over time they came to realize exactly who was present with them giving them the comfort and direction they needed. Even when the doors were locked, He would come in. We will meet all of these people as we move through Easter- Mary Madelene, the disciples on the road to Emmaus, the twelve in the upper room, Thomas who wouldn’t/couldn’t believe, Peter on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
This is exactly how we are meant o celebrate Easter. It is exactly how Jesus longs to come to us. Some of the graces of the Holy Season of Lent is that is brings us face to face with our wounds, our hurts, our sins, our fears, our doubts, our questions. Far from being a discouraging reality let this be the very foundation for celebrating Easter. Just like Jesus did after His resurrection invite Him into those places Lent highlighted that He might heal and make new. This Easter time invite Jesus intentionally again into your life, your heart. Like those who walked with Jesus and didn’t recognize that He had actually been with them for a while may this season be a time to realize just how close He is to us.
I will be gone this April 22nd-30th for my yearly retreat. My twin brother and I are going to a retreat center outside the twin cities for the week long retreat and then we will spend a couple days visiting our brother who is in seminary in St. Paul along with the other seminarians for the Diocese of Lansing studying there. Please keep us in your prayers and I will be praying for you!
Several times in recent months, parishioners have been contacted by someone claiming to be me and asking them to buy gift cards or to just send money. This is a scam! All of our local pastors have experienced the same thing. From what we gather, people overseas read church bulletins online and look for advertisers or parishioners whose contact information is in the bulletin. They then use it to perpetrate this hoax. It goes without saying: I do not ask parishioners to give me money personally, only for support of the parish. Disregard these messages if and when you receive them and encourage others to avoid them as well. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.