Voices of Faith

The Second Sunday of Easter

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Dear Friends,

The joy of Easter Sunday overflows into an entire season to contemplate, celebrate, and appreciate the mystery of the Lord’s victory over death in his Resurrection. There is simply too much there to contain in a single day, so our liturgical calendar designates 50 days to celebrate. It is fitting that it is a longer period than the 40 days of preparation we had in the season of Lent!

It took the disciples some time to understand what was happening. They saw the signs at the empty tomb but did not immediately realize what they meant. Today we meet Thomas, who would not believe in the Risen Lord without being able to see him and to touch the wounds. The Lord gave him that opportunity, and his heart overflowed with Easter joy: “My Lord and my God!” We, too are invited to that kind of transformative experience as we encounter the Risen Lord in our lives. In his Easter homily last week, Pope Francis reminded the Church that we need to be open to the Lord’s presence and what that means for us:

To celebrate Easter is to believe once more that God constantly breaks into our personal histories, challenging our “conventions”, those fixed ways of thinking and acting that end up paralyzing us. To celebrate Easter is to allow Jesus to triumph over the craven fear that so often assails us and tries to bury every kind of hope.

On behalf of all who participated in our prayer and worship during Holy Week, the Sacred Triduum, and Easter Sunday, I want to express thanks to all who planned, prepared, and assisted in our celebrations. It was only with the efforts of a great number of volunteers along with our parish staff that we were able to celebrate with such beauty and reverence. In particular, I want to acknowledge the dedicated ministry of Dr. Lynn Trapp, Director of Liturgy and Music, and the members of the Liturgy Committee the Liturgical Environment Committee, whose thoughtful planning and many hours of work bore fruit in our praise of God.

At Masses during the Easter Season this year we will make us of the Apostles’ Creed rather than the customary Nicene Creed. The Apostles’ Creed is the more ancient form of the Profession of Faith. It is known as the “baptismal profession of faith” because it is based on the ancient Roman baptismal formula (which is still part of our Rite of Baptism and the renewal of baptismal promises). The Nicene Creed, on the other hand, is a fourth-century statement of faith from the Council of Nicea, with later additions from the Council of Constantinople. The link between baptism and the Death and Resurrection of Jesus is articulated in Saint Paul’s letter to the Romans, and this is why we often make use of the sprinkling rite and focus on the baptismal font during the Easter Season, and the Church also suggests the use of the Apostles’ Creed during Easter as well. The text of the Apostles’ Creed is found in our hymnal (on the page following the Nicene Creed), and the presider will announce the page number each week as an aid.

God’s peace to you this week,

Fr. Rick