May 23, 2021

With this Sunday’s Solemnity of Pentecost, we bring the Easter Season to a close. The sending of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles was the explosion of life that propelled the early followers of Jesus out into the world filled with hope. So, even though this is the end of the Easter Season, it is really the beginning for the Church.

Today we celebrate the culmination of what started on Ash Wednesday, February 17, as we began to prepare for the great celebration of Easter. Those days of Lent , through prayer, fasting and almsgiving, helped us to set aside those distractions that could get in the way of accepting the new life that God wants to give us.

On the evening of April 1, we began our great Three Days of the Triduum by celebrating the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. The next evening we commemorated the Lord’s passion and death, and on Saturday evening, April 3rd, during the great Easter Vigil, we welcomed new Christians among us and renewed our own baptismal promises. Our celebrations continued the next day, Easter Sunday, as we heard the wonderful stories of the too-good-to-be-true news that Jesus has been raised from the dead.

For these past seven weeks we have been unpacking the profound depth of God’s love for us in the Resurrection of Jesus. During these days we have celebrated First Communions at Sunday Masses and last Saturday, celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation for some thirty of our young people.

These sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist are the initiation rites that are deep in our tradition. It is in and through these sacraments that we encounter the presence of the Risen Christ among us through the power of the Holy Spirit.

These ninety days of the Paschal Season – 4o days of Lent and 50 days of Easter – are a quarter of the whole liturgical year and the heart and soul of each year. We are truly blessed each year to prepare for and then celebrate the saving death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And now, as we enter into Ordinary Time, we celebrate two important feasts over the next two weekends.

Next week we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, and the following week, The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord. These two great feasts continue to delve deep into the mystery of God’s love among us. In the Feast of the Trinity we see how God, in God’s very essence, is a community of love. And in the Feast the following week, we celebrate how God comes to us over and over again to nourish us in the Holy Eucharist.

As the days continue to grow warmer and we lean toward late spring and early summer, the liturgical calendar invites us to look back with gratitude for all that has been and to look forward with great hope to all that is ahead.

This year, above all, invites us to a place of reflection and gratitude. There is much that has happened that we lament and ask God’s strength to endure with faith. There is also much to be grateful for as we look forward with hope to a summer that is better than last summer – in a world slowly healing from the pandemic.

May the power of the Holy Spirit enliven all of us and help us to lean into the future, a future that, for people of faith, is filled with hope.

God Bless,
Fr. Gary Lazzeroni