ALLELUIA! Happy Easter! My dear St. Austin parishioners, this must be one of the most unusual, weirdest, and most uncomfortable Easters we have experienced in quite some time. No public Holy Week or Easter Sunday celebrations! No Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist of the Catechumens. No reception into the Catholic Church for candidates. No blessing of the Easter fire. No gathering with friends and family and neighbors. It is all just disjointed, out of whack, off kilter, and strange. The whole thing is just plain weird. There is fear of getting too close. There is sadness and grief over friends, family, co-workers, fellow parishioners, and neighbors who have fallen ill, and some have died. Who will get it next? The more we love, the more we worry.
Yet we also approach this Feast in a stance of faith. Jesus Christ has conquered sin and death. He is Risen! Alleluia! We know in the short-term things could be very bad indeed. But our faith tells us that in the long run Christ is triumphant, so much so that the troubles and travails of today are made bearable, for we bear them in HOPE. So to say “alleluia” in this difficult and painful time is an act of faith. We can not unthinkingly say “alleluia.” To say “alleluia” in the face of our current experience is an act of defiance against illness and death. It is an affirmation of Jesus’ Resurrection. It is a cry of hope that transcends the fear and pain we currently experience. Even with bitterness and sorrow, we cry in faith, “ALLELUIA!”
So this Easter, be intentional about your faith. We have ample reason to rejoice. ALLELUIA!