My dear friends in Christ:
At this Easter time, and indeed throughout the year, it is important for us to remember that when our Lord rose from the dead, death ceased to be the end of life. Our Lord was born, and yes, He died. But our Lord died in order to live, and this was something not just new, but something almost unbelievable for people to conceive. For this reason, when we read the accounts of Easter morning, we have some sense of the confusion of those involved on that day of Resurrection – that first Easter morning.
For those who lived and worked alongside our Lord, their duty was to believe that He would rise from the dead. For each of us, who live thousands of years after our Lord returned to the Father, we understand that Christ’s resurrection is at the core of our faith. Do you have questions about this? Please read the bulletin, as I have included information for everyone on this subject.
Remember, God the Father has given us the proof in the only way that He could, and in a way that respects our freedom – our freedom to love Him or not, our freedom to believe or not, our freedom to accept His Son and our Savior, or to eat the forbidden fruit of pride and try to come up with an answer on our own – an answer that will take from us the labor of life, and the fear of death. And that freedom is the freedom to believe – to believe what Jesus said, to believe what Jesus did, and to incorporate His teachings in our daily lives. It simply means to follow Him – Jesus, who leads us to eternal life.
Jesus said, at the Last Supper, “This is my body, this is my blood.” And the next day, He did die, to make the sacrifice real. And though spilled and broken once on the Cross, they are now, the Risen Body, the Risen Blood of Christ. And they are upon the altar, to be worshipped and adored, and to be embraced with love by all who wish to say with Mary “I have seen the Lord” and by all, who like the women, wish to fall and embrace Him and hear Him speak the words that dispel all the darkness and anxieties of human fear: “Do not be afraid.”
There is nothing that I or anyone in the Church could ever say or do to force anyone to believe. Our belief is founded in our faith. But each of us can receive what has been told to us, by those who saw Him in His Risen flesh – the Body and Blood of Christ. And from that gift, that grace, that love of God poured out for us and upon us, I can be given the strength to feel in my heart what is true, what is the only answer, what is the only choice worth making – the choice to believe.
My sincere thanks to all who did so much during Lent to prepare for the Risen Christ. Our increased attendance at the daily and Sunday Masses, the increases at the two Weekly Holy Hours, the number of penitents, those who prayed the Stations of the Cross.
Sincere thanks to those who not only heard the call, but responded by becoming fully-initiated members of the Catholic Church. Their journey of faith is only the beginning — we welcome them, embrace them, and support them as our brothers and sisters in the Catholic faith. Their journey would not have happened, also, had it not been for all involved in our RCIA program – Mr. Paul Davis and our many parishioners. Heartfelt thanks to all involved in making the liturgies of Lent, Holy Week, the Sacred Triduum, and Easter Sunday so beautiful and smooth running – especially Dr. Paul Thornock, Mr. Robert Wisniewski, and the Cathedral Choir; the Cathedral MC’s; the extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, the lectors, altar servers, and hospitality ministers and all who volunteered to clean the Cathedral before Holy Week and the decorate the Cathedral so beautifully for all of the Holy Week liturgies and for Easter. Many thanks to Fr. Paul Noble, Fr. Hilary Ike, Deacon Gorski, Deacon Johnston, our dedicated office staff, our dedicated maintenance staff and sacristans who kept our Cathedral church sparkling through the increased traffic during this time of year, and all who did so much heavy lifting during Lent and Holy Week. Special thanks to our Master of Ceremonies during Holy Week – Mr. Paul Davis, and the seminarian MC from our Cathedral parish, Mr. Chris Yaekkel.
May you and your families experience abundant and choice blessings and true Easter joy!
– Fr. Mike Lumpe