On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning and saw the stone removed from the tomb. She ran to Simon Peter and told him they have taken the Lord as the tomb was empty. Simon Peter and the other disciple came to the tomb and found it exactly as she said…..empty! On the first day of the week, two disciples of Jesus, Fr. Mark and Fr. Don, came to the church early in the morning, and found it just like the tomb….empty!! What a strange feeling overcame them! All due to an invisible virus that has stopped us in our tracks.
Easter 2020 will be remembered by all of us as the most surreal Easter ever! We’ve had snow on Easter, we’ve had storms on Easter, we’ve even had wars raging in different parts of the world on Easter, but we’ve never had no crowds on Easter! We all look forward to coming to Mass on Easter….the joyful music and choirs, the flowers and decorations, the signs of spring, the message of joy and hope, and most of all receiving the very body and blood of Jesus, the ultimate sacrifice he made for us on Good Friday to wash away our sins! And yes, the Easter bonnets and being all dressed up! Much of that we miss today. Yet, none of this changes the fact that Jesus rose from the dead and IS with us – even during this medical pandemic. When we started our Lenten “journey to the heights” none of us realized that the journey would be as challenging to our spiritual and physical life as it has been! We understood that as we undertook the journey, that the goal was to be a transformed person by the time we reached the heights of Easter. The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to change not only our physical routines by staying at home, but spiritual routines as well. With churches locked, how was I going to be able to pray? During this time God has challenged us to grow closer to Him, but perhaps in new ways. Some created altar and prayer spaces in their homes. Keep them – even after the pandemic subsides. Some have taken more time to read the scriptures or other spiritual reading – keep doing it after the pandemic subsides. Some have experienced God by being more in tune to neighbors, family, or by taking walks in nature – keep doing that after the pandemic subsides. And never lose hope…..the risen Lord is always with us no matter how often we think not. After His resurrection the disciples did not immediately recognize Jesus when he appeared to them. We do the same. But perhaps this time of worldwide pandemic will open our eyes to recognize Jesus in ways we never saw him before! ALLELUIA!!
Blessed Easter to you All!
Father Don, Father Mark, the Deacons and the Parish Staff