From Our Pastor
I have two aunts who are Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Both taught in schools for decades. My Aunt, Sister Eleanor, taught generations of first graders mostly in Dorchester and South Boston. Great care was always taken to have beautiful and colorful bulletin boards for the students to learn about and to celebrate the seasons. When they would return to school after Easter Sunday, invariably a student would raise his/her hand and exclaim, “Stah, Eastah’s ovah!” (For those not afflicted with a Boston accent we could understand the student to say, “Sister, Easter is over!”) Easter Monday, Easter Tuesday, the Octave, and the Easter Season were very foreign concepts to the young students. Easter to them was a day and that day was over. Do we not run the risk of making the same mistake?
It is a common fault in our society. We are always anticipating holidays, events, special times, but we seldom savor the celebration. For example, we seem to anticipate Christmas earlier every year. From before Halloween we are being bombarded in the stores with “Christmas!” Yet, by noon on December 25th things are being packed away for next year. I remember driving to my brother’s home for Christmas dinner one year and turning on the radio to listen to Christmas Carols. On the way home I wanted to hear the Christmas songs again, but the station had returned to Country Music by 8 p.m. on Christmas night! Christmas was over.
Christmas and Easter are more than two days in our calendar. They are the defining moments of our lives. The Incarnation and the Resurrection are the foundation for every day of our lives. Without the reality of Christ suffering and dying on the Cross for us and His Resurrection, our lives are void of meaning. Because of His Saving Death and Resurrection our lives have eternal value. “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead though the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Rom 6:3-4)
We have new life in Christ! That life is something that we celebrate for all eternity. It is the cause for our JOY! Pope St. John Paul II wrote: “We do not pretend that life is all beauty. We are aware of darkness and sin, of poverty and pain. But we know Jesus has conquered sin and passed through his own pain to the glory of the Resurrection. And we live in the light of his Paschal Mystery - the mystery of his Death and Resurrection. ‘We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!’ We are not looking for a shallow joy but rather a joy that comes from faith . . .”
Because Jesus lives we have joy deep within our hearts and souls that the world can neither give nor take away. This joy is not and cannot be confined to a day or a season. The joyful celebration of Christ’s Victory over sin and death echoes through all eternity. The fourth verse of the song Amazing Grace expresses the reality of eternal happiness so well:
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun.
Jesus is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!
Rev. Richard F. Clancy, Pastor