Easter Greetings

04-17-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Chris Axline

Hello St. Mary Magdalene,

Happy Easter! On this joyous day we celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death. Our joy is made perfect in Him as He rises to new life showing us that we too are made for Heaven and eternal union with Him. Easter and Christ’s Resurrection becomes the lens through which we view the events of the past three days (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday) and we see God’s great victory as He speaks His final word: Life!

That’s the great joy of Easter, that the Lord leads us to new life. Christ has entered into the fullness of human suffering and shown His strength by bringing life where there was once thought only death. Christ shows His greatness not by avoiding suffering, but by redeeming it and giving it a purpose and meaning.

For example, I pray regularly with today’s Gospel text (John 20), specifically with Mary Magdalene and her thoughts as she walked towards the tomb on that first Easter morning. How will she get past the Roman guards set to keep watch over the tomb? How will she roll the massive stone away by herself? With all that she’s seen Christ do, how can He be gone? Did His enemies win? Did she waste this time of her life following this man Jesus? Yet, there’s also something that compels her to go, her great love to be with Jesus, even in death, bolsters her every step as she heads towards the garden. Then, upon her arrival at the garden, she sees an empty tomb and encounters Jesus in the flesh, alive once again! Quickly her doubts and fears are dispelled as she stands again in the presence of her beloved.

There’s a beautiful analog for each of us in Mary Magdalene’s story, confronting, facing, and mastering our fears for the opportunity to be in the presence of Jesus, we find Him there waiting for us. Just as He did for Mary Magdalene, so too does Christ overcome our fears; His Resurrection shows us that suffering leads to glory. The Cross becomes the means through which God shows His ultimate power that He can bring good even out of the most horrific evil. To celebrate this most perfect victory of Jesus the Church gives us a powerful prayer known as the “Easter Sequence” which we heard in today’s (Easter Sunday) liturgy. Pray with this beautiful text and celebrate Jesus’ victory in your own life! Happy Easter and God bless.

From the USCCB website:

Christians, to the Paschal Victim Offer your thankful praises! A Lamb the sheep redeems; Christ, who only is sinless, Reconciles sinners to the Father. Death and life have contended in that combat stupendous:

The Prince of life, who died, reigns immortal. Speak, Mary, declaring What you saw, wayfaring. “The tomb of Christ, who is living, The glory of Jesus’ resurrection; bright angels attesting, The shroud and napkin resting. Yes, Christ my hope is arisen; to Galilee he goes before you.” Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining. Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning! Amen. Alleluia. Happy Easter and God bless you!

From Our Priests

“Three days afterwards, God raised him to life and allowed him to be seen, not by the whole people butonly by certain witnesses” (Acts 10:40). We are the resurrection people. The resurrection of Jesus was avictory over death. The victory of Jesus over death was also our victory. Thus, in the words of St Paul,“We know that Christ has been raised from the dead and will never die again. Death has no power overhim anymore” (Rom 6:9). On Good Friday, it seemed that death had vanquished Jesus. But on EasterSunday, Jesus had the last laugh; and what a good one it was! May the resurrection of our Lord JesusChrist resonate in us hope, his goodness and love. Have a blessed Easter!

–Fr. Sylvester

Holy Week through the Triduum and ending with Easter is for me the Mt. Everest climb of the liturgicalyear. At this very moment, the priests, deacons, staff and volunteers are all bleary eyed lookingforward to the finish line of that final mass where we can take a deep breath and enjoy the great gift ofthe Passion and Resurrection as the liturgical work will be finished. The work of Christ is finished!Done! What Jesus accomplished through His Passion and Resurrection! Christ has defeated death forever!The tomb is no longer a place of suffering and pain but a place of patience waiting for reunificationof the body and soul! Eternal life with God has been restored for us! This great gift came at agreat price for Christ himself suffered greatly for us, freely and lovingly, so we can have eternal life!Holy Week is like climbing Mt. Everest and we only do this once a year fully walking with Christ thevia Dolorosa, however, every mass we return to three places, the upper room, the cross and the tomb tocelebrate what we have walked this last week! As we celebrate with our families, may our celebration ofthe Resurrection bring us great hope in the promise of eternal life given to us by Christ and help us tounite our earthly sufferings to Christ on the Cross so that in all things we give glory to God who hasdefeated death itself! May the Resurrection of Christ give us great strength and joy! Happy andBlessed Easter!

–Fr. Arthur