I want to extend wishes of a beautiful and happy Easter to all parishioners and staff and visitors who gather this weekend at Blessed Sacrament Parish, Throop and Holy Cross Parish, Olyphant. We have prepared for 40 days, how we enter into the joyful season of Easter celebrating Jesus’ Resurrection and our participation in His Risen life.

We celebrate with Crystal and Steven, Stephen and Heather who celebrated the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil. Their desire to know, love and serve the Lord is a gift and grace reminding us all of the blessing it is to share our faith and to invite more and more to experience with us the love of Christ we encounter in Word and Sacrament.

We enter into these fifty days of rejoicing preparing our second graders to come to communion for the first time and our eighth graders to complete their initiation on Pentecost Sunday as they take ownership of and responsibility for the living out of this Resurrection faith we celebrate today.

We have so much to celebrate, so many reasons to be hopeful. We do not dismiss the hardships of life or the crosses we carry, do not diminish in any way the sufferings of the wounded Body of Christ in our midst, but we, in the midst of a broken world cry out “Christ Our Light,” Alleluia! We carry the hope and share the message of Easter—that we can move beyond darkness and doubt, that love is possible, that all people are imbued with sanctity and dignity as cherished children of God.

“Do you choose this day to reject sin so as to live in the freedom of the children of God?”... I do!.. We do! “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.” Christ has won the victory for us. The Church in her wisdom asks us to keep this festival alive for 50 days. Let’s reflect on this and just how much our Lord loves us. Flowers, Easter eggs, candy, keilbosi and butter lambs, beautiful music and so much more! The victory has been won in Christ who gives ultimate purpose to our lives.

We welcome all who join us this Easter. Pope Francis writes: “I invite all Christians, everywhere at this very moment to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them: I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step toward Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms.”

I am grateful to our parish staff and to all who have helped us to celebrate Easter—Judy Novak, Tom Pearce, Ed Bush, Steve Senko, Deacon John Musyt, Karen Doyle, to Mary Therese McKane, Ned Dructor and our music ministry, John Kilker, Michele Malewicz, Jeannie Commadario, Sally Dziedzic—and to the army of volunteers who help us to live our Easter faith with joy and in hope.

May the Peace of the Risen Christ be with you all United in His Service,

Monsignor Delaney, Pastor