Easter is such a wonderful event that it cannot be contained in just one day. Easter is one of our feasts that has an octave (8 days) April 1-8, and a season of 50 days (April 1—May 20) for us to explore the meaning of Christ raised from the dead. The message of Easter is meant to “overflow” and fill the earth. Today we focus on God’s great Divine Mercy. Like the disciples gathered behind locked doors, the Lord still stands in our midst and gives us the Spirit, and speaks words of peace and forgiveness. Like Thomas, may we profess our faith and trust in the Lord and God of that mercy!
Because March 25, the usual day to celebrate the feast of the Annunciation, was Palm Sunday, the feast of the Annunciation is transferred this year to April 9. You note, no doubt, that the Annunciation is usually celebrated 9 months before Christmas, but I have it on good authority that Christmas will not be similarly postponed this year. I guess Jesus will just be a little premature!
I’d also like to remind you of several upcoming opportunities and events meant to deepen our understanding of and connection to one another and the Lord. I would be thrilled if you would be willing to participate in these.
There will be a “Listening Session” for parishioners from African countries today at 1:15 in the parish meeting room. There will be another next Sunday (April 15) for parishioners from countries of Asia. I chose these because it seems we have significant numbers of peoples from those areas. A third will be held for parents of pre-teen children on Thursday, April 26, at 6:15 pm at the home of a parishioner. These will be an opportunity for me to hear about the particular needs, experiences, and hopes of these groups of parishioners so that I and the parish can serve you better. Please call the office to let us know if you will be coming so that we can make adequate preparations.
Please take advantage of the opportunity to have your photo taken for the Parish Pictorial Directory. So far we are at about 25% participation. I see this as an opportunity for us to get to know one another and to deepen our spirit of community.
The Parish now has the ability to send out periodic group emails or texts through a service called Flocknote. You can sign yourself up by texting good2Bhere to 84576 and entering your information. We don’t intend to pester you, but this will enable us to remind you of events, send inspirational messages, or even inform you of cancellations. Our sign up phrase is an allusion to what the apostles said to Jesus at the Transfiguration, “Lord it is good for us to be here.”
Earth Day is Sunday, April 22. Pope Francis has recently reminded us in his encyclical Laudato Si that the dearth is our common home, and stewardship of the earth is part of our Christian calling. Care for the environment is near and dear to all with a Franciscan spirit, since St. Francis too, recognized everyone and everything is related as brother and sister, and celebrated “Brother Sun and Sister Moon”! How might we as a parish honor this privilege and task?