On behalf of Fr. Sanjai, Deacons Larry Farmer and Frank Campisi and our entire Parish Staff I want to wish you all a very Happy and Blessed Easter as we celebrate Our Lord’s conquest of sin and death in His Passion and Resurrection. As He once told His Disciples so now He reminds us: “You are witnesses of this.” (Luke 24:48) By our words and deeds, may we show that we are, indeed, children of God, followers of Christ, and heirs of God’s promise of rising to everlasting life with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
I am so deeply grateful for all of you who have shared with the parish staff your joy in this great feast with cards, gifts, and wonderful foods. As we reflect upon and celebrate Our Lord’s victory we must always remember that it did not come without sacrifice. As we observed during Lent, we too must sacrifice something of ourselves if we would be counted among His people; that we must “die with Christ so we may live with Christ.” (2 Timothy 2:11).
Sacrifice can take many forms, but the greatest is sharing in Jesus’ own sacrifice by participating in the Eucharist each and every Sunday and major holy day. Volunteering one’s services to the parish and wider community is another form of sacrifice, in keeping with the Lord’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 19:19) Financial support of the parish and other charitable works is also necessary, deeply appreciated, and greatly rewarded. Remember, the weekly offering isn’t a “cover charge!” It’s your sacrifice for the support of our parish’s mission, facilities and employees.
As we rejoice and give thanks for the gift of eternal salvation, let us remember all those who gave their lives that others might be free and safe, and commend them to the Lord to receive the fruit of His sacrifice. Let us remember and pray for all who serve our country, and those places still waiting for light to shatter the darkness of evil, particularly in the Holy Land, where peace remains so elusive and frustration and despair so rampant. Let us pray that those who embrace the evil of terrorism will be converted in mind and heart and resolve to settle their disputes peacefully.
Let us also keep in our thoughts and prayers the people in our nation and around the world still trying to recover from devastating natural and man-made disasters; migrants and refugees fleeing war, oppression and persecution; forced laborers and hostages; and all those young and not-so-young people battling drug, alcohol and other forms of addiction. May He who conquered sin and death bring freedom and new life to these and all who are so unjustly enslaved.
Sacrifice is difficult; but as this great feast reminds us, the rewards are out of this world! Happy Easter, everyone! And may God continue to bless our efforts in the glorious Name of His Risen Son!
Let’s Go Flyers. Sixers and Phillies!
In His Love,