Pastor's Corner 042014

posted Apr 16, 2014, 10:43 AM by Music Director

Alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth! 

The kingdom of this world is become

The kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ,

And He shall reign forever and ever:

King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.  Alleluia!

 

These words are taken from George Friderich Handel’s immortal “Halleluiah Chorus” from his masterpiece, “The Messiah.”  On behalf of our parish clergy and staff, I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy and blessed Easter!  We sing and proclaim our own “Halleluiah’s” (a Southern U.S. rendering of the Hebrew “Alleluia” which means “praise God”) as we celebrate Our Lord’s conquest of sin and death in His Passion and Resurrection.  Again we hear Him call out to us as He once did to His original disciples:  “You are witnesses of this.”  (Luke 24:48)  By our words and deeds, may we show that we are, indeed, children of God, followers of Christ and heirs of God’s promise of rising to everlasting life with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

I am so deeply grateful for the many of you who have shared with the parish staff your joy in this great feast with cards, gifts, and wonderful foods, and on their behalf I thank you.  As we reflect upon and celebrate Our Lord’s victory we must always remember that it did not come without sacrifice.  Let us remember then that we too must sacrifice something of ourselves if we would be counted among His people; that we must “die with Christ so we may live with Christ.”  (2 Timothy 2:11).  Such sacrifice can take many forms, but the greatest is sharing in Jesus’ own sacrifice by participating in the Eucharist each and every Sunday and major holy day

Volunteering one’s services to the parish and wider community is another form of sacrifice, in keeping with the Lord’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself.”  (Matthew 19:19)  Financial support of the parish and other charitable works is also good, necessary, deeply appreciated and greatly rewarded.  Remember, the weekly offering isn’t a “cover charge.”  It is your sacrifice for the support of our mission, its facilities and employees.

As we rejoice and give thanks for the gift of eternal salvation, let us remember all those who gave their lives that others might be free and safe, and commend them to the Lord to receive the fruit of His sacrifice: eternal life in the world that has no end.  Let us remember and pray for all who serve our country, and those places still waiting for light to shatter the darkness of evil, particularly in the Holy Land, where peace remains so elusive and frustration and despair so rampant.  Let us pray that those who embrace the evil of terrorism will be converted in mind and heart and resolve to settle their disputes peacefully.

Let us also keep in our thoughts and prayers the people in our nation and around the world still trying to recover from devastating natural and man-made disasters.  Let us particularly remember the people of Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Nigeria and other places where war and terrorism shatter the Easter message of freedom, salvation and peace. 

Sacrifice is difficult; but as this great feast reminds us, the rewards are out of this world!  Happy Easter, everyone!  And may God continue to bless our efforts in the glorious Name of His Risen Son!

 

In His Love,

Fr. Mike

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