Easter Blessings to you and your dear ones!
This is our third Easter since the pandemic began. Each time of anxious waiting was replaced by another. But, thanks be to God, we are now experiencing a greater sense of normalcy all around us. More than the beautiful tulips and cherry blossoms in lovely colors beckoning us to new life, the Resurrection of Christ offers us hope and confidence to start all over again.
We are constantly reminded of the unjust Russian aggression of Ukraine that has created unimaginable horror and damage to life and property. We pray for an Easter experience for the Ukrainians and for millions of other people in different parts of the world where conflicts still exist.
I am fully aware that some of our parishioners are still hesitant to return to church in person. I respect that. I believe they are joining us in prayer online. Our homebound parishioners are so very pleased to connect with our livestreamed parish Mass. Many of them have thanked me for continuing the live-streaming as they love to see their own church sanctuary and their own priests celebrating the Mass. Parishioners who have moved away and webvisitors who chanced upon our site are all part of this wider parish community. Easter Blessings to all.
One of the greatest blessings is our ability to gather again with family and friends – be it in church or home, restaurant, gym, club or wherever we used to gather. This is integral to being human. Jesus himself did that during his life on earth. But we seem to forget that Jesus did the same even after his death and resurrection. The Risen Lord had at least three meals with his disciples: breakfast by the Sea of Tiberias (John 21:1-17); an evening meal in a village near Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35); and an impromptu snack of broiled fish with his apostles (Luke 24:36-43). Even though each of these appearances was to convince the doubting disciples about the reality of the resurrection, gathering around the meal table was very significant then and now.
The Risen Christ invites us to experience His presence at our dinner table as we gather as a family in unity and love. Esteemed study after study shows the nutritional, social, emotional, and spiritual benefits of the family having dinner together. But recent research suggests that between 10 and 40 percent of children never or seldom eat together with their family! Let us take it as a challenge and change it in our families.
There is another meal table the Risen Christ invites us to experience His presence. That is the Eucharistic table as we gather for worship especially on Sundays. In this holy meal, Christ takes us all in as we are, with all our uniqueness and diversity, our weaknesses and shortcomings, and strengthens us to create that family of God here on earth. Let us participate more fully in Sunday worship as the family of St. Matthias.
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Abraham Orapankal