Easter Letter from Fr. Severine to Parishioners

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Dear parishioners of St. Vincent de Paul and Blessed Sacrament: On behalf of your parish clergy:  Msgr. Dick Kopp, Deacon Daniel Stevens and Deacon Mike Colabufo and on behalf of all the staff and all who minister in different ministries in our parishes, I would like to take this time to wish you a HAPPY EASTER 2020. May the joys and the power of the Risen Lord of glory fill your hearts as we listen to the angels says, “He is not here; He has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee….” Lk.24:6.

Thank you for the gift of your faith in God which continues to help us to navigate through these hard and challenging times of Coronavirus pandemic. It is this faith which continues to help us to make sense out of senseless and allow us to move on. It guides us to navigate through the huge darkness of what is happening today. The presence of Covid-19 is teaching us to do things differently as we avoid public gatherings to maintain social distance, learn new ways of washing our hands and sanitizing them, avoid touching our faces to prevent the virus entering our bodies. Our churches, schools, malls, and many other public places are closed and now we are learning new ways of doing church, school, mall, bank, restaurant, and so on. We are blessed to have technology in our side which provide us with live-streamed, recorded, and televised holy masses, virtual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, live-streamed Recitation of the Holy Rosary, and so on. Our children are able to do on-line classes to catch up with learning. Many restaurants have taken the path of “take-out” only and many groups now are doing virtual meetings through Zoom.com or many other apps. With all these good innovations still, we are clouded with understanding this pandemic which continue to claim the lives of many, destroying the ways of our lives, and prevents us even to walk into our own churches to celebrate our faith? We ask ourselves thousands of questions with no answers. Are we going to have palms, celebrate Holy Week, etc? How can we bring this pandemic to the end and be able to claim our freedom? How will life be in post-Corona era? While we used to live day-by-day, it seems now we do so hour-by-hour.

Reading the Holy Scriptures especially the Gospels brings us to the story of our salvation in Jesus Christ. The story of our salvation is full of narratives which show us how the people of different times were challenged to fully comprehend what was going on in their times. Just let’s focus on the story the Passion of Jesus during the Holy Week and the whole of Easter Season. The people of Jerusalem cheered the entry of Jesus in Jerusalem with palms and songs of Hosanna son of David. They thought of him as the King who came to throw away the Roman Empire. Was he? Shortly, the disciples were confused of the Last Supper which transforms the Old Passover into the New Passover. Was it old or new? They were even confused to hear that one of them would betray Jesus. The disciples were completely confused when Jesus was caught and sentenced to death. There was no enough time to comprehend what was going on. They all entered into the Passion of their master in different manner. Peter denied Jesus three times. Mark cut the ear of the servant by the knife. Veronica wiped the face of Christ. Simon the Cyrene helped Jesus to carry the cross. Mary the mother of Jesus and John are stood under the foot of the cross. Jesus was hung on the cross. Jesus died on the cross. Joseph of Amalthea buried the body of Jesus. Three days after his death and burial, while disciples gathered in seclusion for the fear of being destroyed like their master, the all hear the story of Jesus’ resurrection. What is all this about? Life-death-life again? What does it mean? Is it sensible? Fears and doubts? For forty days after his resurrection, Jesus remained into the world as he makes appearance to his disciples. He reminds them of what he had taught them about himself and how all the holy teachings of the prophets spoke about him. Slowly by slowly, the disciples’ darkness was transformed into light. They were able to understand that Jesus is the way, the life, and the truth. He is the Lord. He is the Savior of the world.

As God walked the children of Israel from the house of slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land, as Jesus walked the disciples through the story of his life, death and resurrection, the same God will walk us through the darkness and uncertainties of COVID-19 into the light he intends us to experience. Let’s walk in this darkness with faith in him alone. Being Easter people means celebrating the Good News of the Risen Christ and opening our hearts and eyes to the signs of new life within and around us. Happy Easter 2020! Truly He is Risen, Allelua! THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT to our parishes!