MID-WEEK FROM THE PASTOR’S CORNER by Father Jim Murphy
“’Were not our hearts burning inside us as he talked to us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?’ …. Then they recounted what had happened on the road and how they had come to know him in the breaking of bread.” [Luke 24:32, 35. Wednesday of the Octave of Easter.]
In the hopes of combating the separation we all feel from the people who are important to us – especially our parish, I am providing another “Mid-Week From the Pastor’s Corner” column. And so, to keep us connected with each other, here is edition #4 of “Mid-Week From the Pastor’s Corner.”
We really needed our celebration of Easter last Sunday! We celebrated the Easter Sunday we will never forget. We needed to hear the familiar Scripture readings. We needed to sing the familiar songs. We needed to hear the Easter message of God’s faithfulness to us no matter what and that death is overcome by life. We needed to see the familiar surroundings of our parish church and the stained glass image of the Risen Christ behind the altar. The only thing missing was our actual reception of the Eucharist. Our “Spiritual Communions” may have lessened our loss for a bit, but there is nothing like the real thing – being totally and completely joined with our Risen Lord through the Eucharist. And that time will come!
Even though we are still struggling with the effects of the Covid-19 virus and the “shelter-in-place” order, we moved with the Lord from darkness to light. Our Easter celebrations have taught us to be grateful for the many gifts God freely bestows upon us day after day – especially those gifts we take for granted. Our Easter celebrations helped to restore our hope that this will come to an end – and in the end, God will be victorious. We will see the day when we will be able to emerge from the tombs of our homes and truly stand in the light of our God.
Thank you to all who were able to join with us for our live-streamed Easter Triduum services and Easter Sunday Masses. The additional advantage was that these services and Masses were later posted on our parish website and were able to be opened at a time that was convenient for those who could not join with us “live.” We will continue with this practice of live-streaming the 10:00am (English) and the 11:30am (Spanish) Sunday Masses until we can return to our parish for actual “live” Masses.
There have been many social media stories and human interest stories on the evening news broadcasts that have focused a spot light on the heroic efforts of our first line workers. These are the first responders (EMT’s, police officers and fire fighters), health care workers (doctors, nurses, hospital staff, Immediate Care Center staff), essential service workers, food service staff, mail carriers, delivery drivers, gas station attendants and many more. They get up every morning and willingly put their lives in danger as they seek to serve our communities. From the greatest to the least, we have heard stories of the tremendous stress they are working under as they continue to do the jobs that they love to do in service of us all. At our Zoom parish staff meeting yesterday morning, we spent some time trying to understand and appreciate what these heroes among us are facing as they deal with this pandemic – and help us deal with it as well. We left that staff meeting with the resolve to express our thanks and gratitude to as many of these first line workers as we could, beginning with the message on our parish sign: “Prayers for all essential workers! You give us hope!”
Finally, thank you all who went the extra mile to mail in or deliver their Easter offering to the parish or have signed-up for on-line giving. At a time when so many things are uncertain, your generosity is deeply appreciated.
Let us continue to pray for each other. May God continue to bless us with everything that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy