Dear Holy Family Catholic Community Parishioners,
Today we celebrate the Third Sunday of Easter, which continues the Easter Season that lasts seven weeks until the Feast of Pentecost (where the apostles received the gifts of the Holy Spirit). Unlike the famous Gospel from John last week, where Jesus appears to the disciples (minus, at first, St. Thomas), Luke (Lk 24:35–48) tells us the continuation of the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus who have now returned to Jerusalem. (Remember, these disciples had left the fold after the women told them that they saw angels who said that Jesus was resurrected.) As the disciples begin to relay their encounter, Jesus appears to the disciples as a group. Once again, we hear Jesus offer them peace. He shows His wounds and even now asks to eat with them. In this passage, He relates to them that He has fulfilled the promise in Scripture of God’s gift of salvation for all His children. This passage is another reminder for us of what the Resurrection of Christ gives to all of us! We are called, during this time, to reflect on what this means to us personally, how it must affect the way we live, and how we respond to it in this world. We know the outcome of our lives by accepting and believing in Jesus’ resurrection. Are our lives and the way we live reflecting that belief?
This Sunday we are celebrating the first of several First Communion Celebrations for our young children. The others will be celebrated over the next few Sundays. They have to be smaller celebrations this year due to distancing required for the safety of everyone during this pandemic. Please keep these young recipients and their families in your prayers as they receive the Lord Jesus for the first time in the Eucharist. Pray that they and their families may nurture this great experience so that that they will find fulfillment and strength of Jesus’ resurrection throughout the rest of their lives by their reception of Christ on a regular basis. Also this weekend, our confirmation students will participate in their second confirmation retreat, getting them ready for their celebration with the Bishop on May 23rd. In the next few weeks, The priests of the parish will interview them to determine their readiness to receive this sacrament. At confirmation, they will be initiated as true defenders of the faith and, as some of you may remember, “Soldiers of Christ.” Please keep these candidates in your prayers as they prepare for this important sacrament.
I appreciate the caution many are making during this pandemic, as I want you to know that I am still concerned for your well-being. Although many are now receiving vaccines, there is still much concern out there. If you are at risk and do not feel comfortable attending Mass in person, please stay home for your own safety and that of others. The bishop continues granting the dispensation from the requirement of attending Sunday and Holy Day Masses, so the Church at this point, does not consider your staying at home sinful. However, the dispensation is not to be taken as an opportunity to completely ignore your religious obligation to enrich your faith and prayer life during these days. Our Sunday Mass can be viewed on CCTN, TV45 at 2:00PM on Sundays (followed by our other programs) as well as on YouTube and Facebook. All Masses can be seen via our livestream in real time from our website. Weekend Masses are celebrated on Saturday evening (Vigil) at 5:00PM and on Sundays at 7:00AM, 8:45AM, 10:30AM, 12:15PM, and 5:00PM. The daily 8:30AM Masses (Monday–Friday) can be seen on CCTN, TV45 at 4:30PM.
We continue to practice safe distancing in the Church, which restricts the number of people we can have in the Church, and we require attendees to wear masks during the entire service. I pray that your Easter Season will be filled with many blessings and a new awakening to God’s love for you. May Good health and the grace of the Love of God touch us all.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Very Rev. John C. Giel, V.G Pastor