Easter has begun on 16 April and it will end with Pentecost Sunday on 4 June. These 50 days of the Easter season between Easter Sunday and Pentecost is a time to rejoice and a time to experience what it means when we say Christ is Risen. He is very much alive in us, among us and through us. In these seven weeks, we are also called to celebrate and ponder the birth of the Church (Acts 2) and gifts of the Holy Spirit and how we are to live as faithful disciples of the Risen Christ.
This sacred period of fifty days makes it the longest liturgical season in the liturgical year, longer than both Christmas or Lent. It is a time to celebrate new life in Christ. Coming to Church throughout this time is very important. The Risen Christ will change us and transform us always. We need not be afraid of change. He gives us hope and encouragement through faith.
Eastertide reminds us even as we fail, that God will never fail us and His love is always new and never fails.
As we celebrate new life in Christ and the gift of peace in this season of Easter, let us remember the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi to be “instruments of Christ’s peace”. Peace of Christ grows when we live as reconcilers and in harmony with all of God’s creatures. I am very much inspired with his prayers which goes: “Where there is hatred let us bring Your love. Where there is injury, let us bring Your pardon. Where there is doubt, let us bring faith. Where there is despair, let us bring Your hope. Where there is darkness, let us bring Your light. Where there is sadness, let us bring Your joy.” It is a very fitting prayer for peace after the celebration of Easter Sunday.
Now, we are in the midst of celebrating our Novena to St Joseph, the Worker which starts on 22nd April and will end on 1st May with our feast-day celebration. We, as “Easter People”, shall carry the joys of Easter with us in every aspect of our lives especially during our Novena and feast of our Patron Saint. I pray that during this nine-day novena period, every parishioner and pilgrim to our Parish may obtain special graces for all your petitions. May our celebrations during these days bolster the faith of the individual and our community as well. I hope this Easter season, our novena period and feast day celebration will bring new life, new strength and
freshness in your faith.
During the Easter Vigil, our parish community welcomed 10 new Catholics (6 from the Tamil-Speaking community and 4 from the English-Speaking community) through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). They have gone through a period of enquiry, searching and contemplating since June last year and also through a Lenten time of enlightenment and purification towards the Easter Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. They have just begun their life-long journey of a faith as Catholics. They have also come to the final period of the RCIA journey. It is called mystgogy, a Pentecost experience of mystery. It will last for 50 days until the Pentecost feast. It is a time for deepening your spiritual experiences in order to enter more fully in the life of the Church. Stand firm in your faith and be courageous!
Fr. George Packiasamy