Last Sunday we had the joy of celebrating Easter. The restrictions we face as a result of the covid-19 pandemic challenged us to find new ways of celebrating this great feast and, by all accounts, we 'rose' to the challenge. Families celebrated Mass virtually in their homes, enjoyed meals together, called and face-timed with relatives and took advantage of the beautiful spring day to simply enjoy time outside.
Fr. Bonke, Deacon Michael and I celebrated the liturgies of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday's Easter Vigil quietly and peacefully in our parish church. Certainly for Fr. Bonke this was the most unique Holy Week in his fifty years of celebrating Holy Week liturgies as a priest, and for Deacon Michael, who is just a weeks away from his ordination to the priesthood, Holy Week 2020 is one he will never forget. For me it was a privilege to share this unique moment in history with both Fr. Bonke and Deacon Michael. That said, we all look forward to celebrating next year's Holy Week and Easter all together again!
While the limitations of social distancing kept us from being together physically for our Holy Week and Easter celebrations, from what parishioners have shared with me, the joy of Easter and the promise it holds for us were not diminished.
We now enter the Easter Season. We have seven weeks to take in the reality of Jesus's resurrection and to reflect on its meaning for our lives. In Jesus' resurrection is the hope of our resurrection. Jesus' victory over sin and death is the reason for the hope with which we live our lives. Easter Sunday announces to the world that life has a wonderful future for the horizons of human life have been extended into eternity! We are called to live our lives in the light of this hope and to be messengers of this hope.
Every day I hear stories of how parishioners are doing just that by reaching out with acts of kindness and mercy to help others during these challenging times. I cannot tell you how proud I am of the wonderful spirit with which the people of Christ the King are living this moment in history. May we continue to encourage and help one another, knowing that not even a pandemic can take away the peace that the Risen Lord has given us. May we live in this peace and be messengers of peace to the world around us.
See you at Mass - virtually!