Looking Forward To Our Easter Joy
The season of Lent is meant to highlight our spiritual senses. We are called to pray, fast and share with others a bit more intensely in this season so as to bring into sharper focus what the Lord Jesus has done for us.
What is it that the Lord has done? He has given his life for us that we might know beyond a doubt how much our God loves us, forgives us, and wants to share his own divine, eternal life with us.
The Scriptures and symbols of the Lenten season help us enter into that spirit of prayerfulness which helps us remember the Lord’s saving work. In particular, the readings from Lectionary Cycle A for the Third, Fourth and Fifth Sundays of Lent present to us the symbols of water (The Samaritan Woman, John 4); light (The Man Born Blind, John 9); and life (The Raising of Lazarus, John 11).
At the Easter Vigil, we welcome new Christians into the Church through baptism, and all of us who are already baptized renew our baptismal vows. The water of which Jesus speaks, which wells up inside a person to provide eternal life, clearly references the Holy Spirit which we receive in baptism and which we ask the Lord to renew within us. Baptism gives us new life in Christ and is the key, the gateway to the sacramental life of the Church. It is through the sacraments that we are nourished in the Life in the Holy Spirit which guides us on our way to the Kingdom of God.
Jesus in the Light of the World, the one who helps us overcome the darkness and sin of this life on our way to the Kingdom. The one who lives in Jesus has the light of life, the Lord says, and that person will not stumble. Spiritual sight to see the Lord’s presence and be guided by him is even more important than physical sight in our relationship with Jesus.
Finally, Christ is the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever lives and believes in him will never die, and that is the lesson we learn in the account of the raising of Lazarus. All of us must one day die in our mortal bodies, but for the one who believes in Jesus there is life after this life, a life that will never end and in which there is no more sorrow, sin, pain or darkness.
Sit with these symbols and pray during these last days of Lent and during the days of the Easter season. God who is faithful has raised Christ his Son from the dead, and in his goodness he will also bring to life all those who believe in him and in his Son Jesus.
Once again, thank you to everyone who has made a gift or pledge to our capital campaign, A Tradition of Faith, Held in Trust for the Future. I am happy to report that as of this writing in mid-March, we have nearly $1.5 million in pledges. I am grateful for the generosity of our parish family. However, if you have not yet responded to the campaign, we are still in need of your support. We want to continue the vision of our parish and provide for the future growth of our ministries, programs and facilities. More importantly, your gift is an investment in the people of OLPS, and helps hand on tradition of faith we have received to future generations.
May God bless you with peace and joy in this Easter season.