On this day that the Lord has made, I want to wish each and every one of you the joys of this holy season. I will remember you and your loved ones at all my Easter Masses. May we all experience the full life that the Risen Lord brings! Let us continue to hold our parish community in prayer. We rejoice at Easter because death is swallowed up in victory. Death has lost its sting and we are assured of eternal life. The sadness and gloom of Good Friday make room for the triumphal joy of Easter morn. Easter always arrives in spring when life is in full bloom. This is not a mere coincidence. It reminds us of the profound significance of this feast. If we are filled with the Easter spirit, we must be full of life.
We rejoice with our brothers and sisters who are receiving this new life through the Easter sacraments. We congratulate our sojourners who will be baptized; we applaud those who will receive the Eucharist for the first time; we cheer those who will be anointed in the sacrament of confirmation; and, we are delighted that some of them will enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. Our parish is being filled with new life through their faith journeys and we lift them up in prayer.
There is an ancient legend about the Phoenix. Only one of those mythical creatures could live at any given time. The Greek poet Hesiod, writing in the 8th century BC, said that the Phoenix lived nine times the life span of the long-living raven. When the bird realized it was about to die, it would build itself a pyre of wild cinnamon and die in the flames. From the ashes arose a new Phoenix. It tenderly encased the remains of its parent in an egg of myrrh which it would deposit on the Altar of the Sun in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis. The ashes were said to have the power to bring the dead back to life. In Christian art, the Phoenix became a popular symbol of Christ risen from the grave. Easter is all about life.
At St Paul of the Cross Parish we exult in our new life by our liturgical singing. During the Holy Week we experience powerful, prayerful music. The great St Augustine summons all Christians not only to sing a new song to the Lord but also to transform their lives into the Easter song. Let me conclude my column by quoting from one of his Easter sermons:
[A]ll you who have been born again in Christ and whose life is from above, listen to me; or rather, listen to the Holy Spirit saying through me: Sing to the Lord a new song. Look, you tell me, I am singing. Yes indeed, you are singing; you are singing clearly, I can hear you. But make sure that your life does not contradict your words. Sing with your voices, your hearts, your lips and your lives: Sing to the Lord a new song.
May our lives become an endless song that celebrates the new life that the Risen Lord has given us!
God love you!
Born in India to deeply-committed Catholic parents, Fr Britto is one of seven children. He joined the Salesians of Don Bosco as a young man and was ordained a priest in 1981.
After he completed his priestly formation and his early education in India, he came to the US for his graduate degree in Journalism at...Read more...