A word from Pope Francis ~ “Faith is passed on by contact, from one person to another, just as one candle is lighted from another.”
Easter 2023 – What a glorious celebration of God’s life among us! The entire Easter Triduum, from Holy Thursday evening, all through our devotions and Passion Service on Friday, to the high point of our church year – the Easter Vigil on Saturday evening, to our capacity Masses on Easter Sunday, it was great to be together again celebrating the Lord’s victory over death. As a community, we emerged from the darkness of Lent and stood together in the light of our Risen Savior. Alleluia!
Congratulations and welcome to the newly-initiated members of our community – those who were baptized and received into Full Communion with the Catholic Church, and confirmed at the Easter Vigil. Welcome to our newest members – Baptized: Emily Bula; and Received into Full Communion: Mirela Nees-Mehmeti and Tyler Neher. All three received the Eucharist for the first time. We have been praying for them since they took the first steps in the OCIA process last fall. It is great to celebrate their full initiation into our church family. Special thanks go to Leonor Carvajal and our OCIA English and Spanish teams for their faithful efforts in personally sharing their faith and preparing our new members to take these steps in their lives.
Thank you to all who helped make our observance of Lent and the celebration of the Easter Triduum so prayerful. Emma Flores and Dr. Anne Sinclair coordinated our efforts. The Art and Environment Committee led by Zaira Defino guided us in the different seasons through their attention to the atmosphere in our worship space. Their faithful work behind the scenes contributed much to the tone of our celebrations. Thank you to all of our music ministers, Dr. Anne Sinclair, our Director of Music, and to our choir members, additional musicians and cantors. It was a great blessing to have the full choir at each of the different celebrations. Thank you to our Lectors, who proclaimed God’s Word with faith and conviction. Thank you to Father Rey, who presided on Holy Thursday, Father Dandu, who presided on Good Friday, and to our Deacons and Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist who assisted at the altar. Thank you to our Knights of Columbus, who provided an Honor Guard on Holy Thursday night. And finally, thank you to all of you, the faith-filled people of St. Isidore parish! As we joined together in our community prayer throughout these past weeks, we encouraged and supported each other in ways we will never know. It was great to have been able to renew our Baptism commitment at the Easter Vigil and at each of our Easter Day Masses together. All of our Lenten preparations led up to those moments.
With this Sunday’s celebration of the Octave (Eighth day) of Easter, we have completed the first segment of this 50-day season of new life. Since Easter itself is too great an event to be celebrated within a single 24-hour day, the entire first week of the season is treated as a one-day celebration – the Octave of Easter. The Gospel readings at the weekday Masses gave us the different resurrection appearances of the Lord recorded in the four Gospels. Today’s Gospel gives us John’s account of Jesus’ Easter night appearance to the disciples. With Jesus’ first words to the apostles, “Peace be with you!”, it was an incredible experience of reconciliation and forgiveness.
We spent 40 days fasting in preparation for the feast of Easter. Now we are called to spend 50 days feasting in celebration. We need to proclaim our Easter belief that God always leads us from death to new life.
Looking ahead, we will continue to celebrate Easter Season 2023 with our Confirmation Masses this week and our First Eucharist Masses at the end of the month. Our parish May Crowning celebration will take place the first Sunday of May.
Let us continue to look for ways to celebrate God’s gift of life among us. May God continue to bless us with everything that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy