My Dear Parishioners:
We have begun this Holy Week, while like no other Holy Week in our existence, it can and hopefully will be a graced time. My call, your call, is to grow in Holiness (oneness with our God), this is more than an ethereal idea but is rooted in a daily lived experience of sharing of life and love with others. While we cannot gather physically in Church for prayer, our Church is not closed for we are the Church, we are the daughters and sons of our Lord, we are one.
I personally am taking this time to reflect and remember; to remember what love our God has for us and what love I have received in my life. I have been given this opportunity to take time alone in prayer with God. Time with God in prayer allows me to listen and learn God’s will for me, to learn to forgive, and to learn how to accept God’s will. Jesus shows me that tending my relationship with God is how I find peace, love and meaning in life.
I am taking this time of social separation to reflect on my life journey: the people, places, and experiences who have colored it. The overwhelming feeling that wells up is that of gratitude; of recognizing that I have been loved unconditionally; and that you have been a part of that love.
I am uplifted with the hope of a better time, in which we can be better, finally freed from evil and from this pandemic. It is a hope: hope does not disappoint; it is not an illusion, it is a hope.
I pray in solidarity with our families, living an unusual life to avoid contagion. I am thinking of the liveliness of children and young people, who cannot go out, attend school, live their lives.”
I especially pray for all those who have a loved one who is sick or who have unfortunately experienced mourning due to the coronavirus or other causes. I pray in union with all those who are alone, our shut-ins for whom it is more difficult to face these moments. I pray for all those who are sick with COVID-19 and those who will spend Holy Week in hospital, while also praising the example of dedicated healthcare workers. I am aware of the generosity of those who put themselves at risk for the treatment of this pandemic or to guarantee the essential services to society. So many heroes, every day, at every hour!
This Easter then let us celebrate that our God is Risen, Christ arose death could not claim Him. All of us have been forgiven and loved beyond belief. Let that sink in. Think about how you would want to return that love and how your life would be different if you lived from that reality. In the risen Jesus, life conquered death. This Paschal faith nourishes our hope.
Christ Is Risen Alleluia!
Msgr John Shamleffer
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