March 31st – Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord

My Dear Friends,


This is the rallying cry of the Christian. This is the central mystery of our faith. St. Paul says it
very clearly in his first letter to the Corinthians: “…if Christ has not been raised, then empty [too] is our preaching; empty, too, your faith (1 Cor 15:14).” We gather today to celebrate the greatest event in human history. St. Augustine said: “The resurrection of Christ is God’s supreme and wholly marvelous work.” 

The liturgy itself acknowledges that we are overcome with paschal joy. Sin and death no longer have any power over us because of Christ’s great victory, and he has made us sharers in this glorious victory. For forty days we have been going through the disciplines of Lent to die to ourselves so that we can rise to new life with Jesus. The tomb could not contain our Lord, and nothing on this earth can contain the joy that we feel on this day. For forty days, we have also kept hidden the song of an Easter people: Alleluia! Through the desert of Lent, we looked forward to this cry of Alleluia. St. John Paul II once famously said:  

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, that grows through unselfish love, that respects the “fundamental duty of love of neighbor, without which it would be unbecoming to speak of Joy”.
We realize that joy is demanding; it demands unselfishness; it demands a readiness to say with Mary: “Be it done unto me according to thy word”. (11/30/86) 

This joy that we experience today is not fleeting. It is the joy that Christ wishes to give us, and that he wants us to abide in. As St. John Paul II said, joy can be demanding because it requires unselfishness, a total giving of ourselves to the other. This is what the Risen Christ teaches us. There is joy in love of God and love of neighbor. Let us spend our Easter doing good and, like Mary, attentive to the will of our Heavenly Father. 

Today we are also experiencing a communal joy as a parish for during the Easter Vigil we welcomed 10 new members to the Body of Christ. I had the honor of baptizing 10 catechumens who are now neophytes in our faith. The youngest is 13 years old and the oldest is 61. They hail from Cuba, Brazil, and one was born in Vladivostok, Russia. Those born in this country come from right here in Florida, and also from New Mexico and New Jersey. I ask you to please pray for them as they embrace the Catholic faith and are on fire and ready to proclaim the gospel of the Risen Christ to the world. 

To those who are visiting us today for Easter Sunday, the Church of the Little Flower welcomes you. No matter where you come from, we pray that you feel at home in our church as you join us in
celebrating the Resurrection. And to our parishioners, thank you for the prayers you offered for your priests during this past Holy Week. Yes, we are tired, but our hearts are filled with joy for all the numerous confessions we heard and the souls we brought back home to our Lord. On behalf of all the priests and deacons, our dear Carmelite Sisters, and the incredible staff and ministers of Little Flower, we wish all of you joyous and blessed Easter Sunday! “Jesus Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!” 

God bless you all,

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