Every year I look forward to Lent and I promise God to make it a special time for conversion. This year I wanted to make each day of Lent special, to reflect on my relationship with God. Now that it has ended, I find that it is the same as previous Lents, without much impact on my spiritual life. It wasn’t different and personally, I felt that it wasn’t as successful as it could have been. I didn’t make much effort to bring my spiritual well-being to greater heights.
Then came Holy Week, and there wasn’t much joy and peace. I thought I could recommit once again to amend certain areas of my life but unfortunately, I have fallen short of my Lenten promises. As we conclude Lent and Holy Week, I realise that all my attempts to make this season a meaningful one, has failed. I feel a little upset and now it is greatly disturbing me. These are feelings and emotions that perhaps some of you might be going through too as we come to the end of Lent and Holy Week.
I recall the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24). These disciples were walking away from Jerusalem and going back to Emmaus after the bitter and painful experience of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial. It was a long and difficult walk for them. They were heartbroken and confused, and even though Jesus was walking with them along that road, they didn’t recognise Him. They only expressed their disappointment and hopelessness.
We may be feeling upset or perturbed that we didn’t keep this Lent and Holy Week as a special time for repentance. It doesn’t mean that we will not have an opportunity to celebrate Jesus, who is now risen and alive today. Jesus is alive! He is risen as He had promised (Matt 28:6). He is with us despite whatever feelings and emotions we may encounter now. This is true because Jesus Christ is risen in our midst and one with us. He is not gone from our sight. He is seen through our faith.
We are in Easter season now and it marks the end of Lent and Holy Week. Easter begins on 21 April, marking the end of Lent and Holy Week. Easter will last through to the celebration of the Ascension (30 May) and it will end with Pentecost Sunday (9 June). All in all, it will be 50 days. Easter is the most important season for us Christians. It is also known as a “Feast of Faith.” As St Paul says, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and our faith is in vain… and you are still in your sins.” (1 Cori 15:17).
During the next seven weeks of Easter, we shall continue to reflect on God, who raised Jesus. His abiding and intimate presence of the Risen Lord brings life in us. As we know, our life is filled with many ups and downs, joys and sorrow and moments of confusion, but let us continuously be committed to live our Christian faith and say “Yes” to His plan this Easter.
This year the novena and feast of St Joseph our Patron, falls one week after Easter Sunday. We will celebrate a 3-day novena, starting from 28 April and the main Feast Day celebrations (with Mass followed by procession with the Blessed Sacrament) will take place on 1 May 2019. We have set our theme for this year – “St Joseph, the Father of New Evangelisation” in line with our parish vision and the Holy Father’s theme – “Extraordinary Mission Month of October 2019.” We invite all parishioners and friends to join us, as we pray together to St Joseph for his intercession. May the Risen Lord bring success to all our missions and evangelisation work in our families and in our community. May the Lord bless our faith in the Risen Christ.
Blessed Easter to you and your loved ones. Let us celebrate the gift of our Risen Lord with joy, praise and thanksgiving.
By Rev Fr. George Packiasamy