Letter from Pastor for Easter

Dear Parishioners,

Most of us will be celebrating Easter quite differently this year than we have in the past. We will be having meals but separated from those family and close friends with whom we have normally celebrated in these days. Many of you will be isolated at home alone, as I will be. Or you may be ill and need the isolation to recuperate and refresh your spirits. Some of you will be going to work on Easter, providing essential services for us. All of us are anxious and worried about what will come. 

In the midst of these lonely and dark moments, I hope that you will read the Gospel proclaimed at the Easter Vigil. Matthew’s gospel speaks of Mary Magdalen and the other Mary coming to the tomb. And there was a great earthquake shattering those early hours of Easter morn. Not unlike the “earthquake” of the corona virus shaking our lives now. In the Gospel, angels appear, break into the fear of that moment and say: “Do not be afraid!” Matthew goes on to say that the women went quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, to share the good news of angels who announced that Jesus was raised from the dead. As they returned to the apostles, there was an encounter with the Lord, who greeted them. They approached approached him, embraced his feet, and did him homage. “Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid’.”

The women, though shaken, allowed joy to overtake them in that dark and fearful time following the death of Jesus. I pray that we too will allow joy to overtake us in our own struggles in this time of the pandemic. The risen Lord speaks those words, “do not be afraid,” to us too. Most certainly, we have challenges now, and ahead of us. Yet, also allow the voice of the Lord to be heard in your hearts.  Be like the women at the tomb: “They then went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed…” Our fears are real but so too is our hope which we have through our faith in the Lord Jesus. 

Be at peace, for he is risen, risen indeed.

Fr Jim Hentges,