Sunday, April 14, 2013

Continuation on the Sunday Bulletin Pastor's Blog "Learning to praise and worship the Lord in The Easter Season"

Learning to praise and worship the Lord in The Easter Season

The Easter season is a continued meditation of the glory of God and Christ’s victory. The Lord lives and is raised from the dead and, as He said in John 12: 32, " when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” Christ is raised, and He raises with Him those who believe in His name. Christ is raised and His victory gives unity to all creation so that He can present it as an acceptable offering to the altar on high.

Easter is the most proper time to join our voices with the choirs of Heaven. This is our chance to ask our loving Mother to wrap up in her maternal mantle all that we are doing in our family here at St. Mark’s. We have the Centennial Celebrations events, the new baptized & confirmed members of the parish, the Bible Study, Catholic Studies @ St. Mark’s, etc. This ought to be a time when we become more aware that we only have one Church: the Body of Christ.

During Lent we learn to train ourselves in fasting and repentance of our sins. Now during Easter the Church invites us to exercise and practice praising, worshiping and thanksgiving. One thing is true: our hearts need to reject sin as absolutely evil and learn how to rejoice in the good.
The apostles certainly learned these lessons. After being punished unjustly and cruelly, as related in the First Reading this Sunday, they, fortified by the Holy Spirit, were able not only to give testimony with their suffering but also to rejoice in the midst of their suffering, which is the greatest testimony possible to the One who gave them strength and joy.
Thus we see that everything depends on the quality of love that moves us. Three times Peter denied Jesus during the scandalous Passion of our Lord; after the storm was past, three times Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him. That explicit testimony of love had one specific purpose: to heal wounds caused by fear, vanity and pride.

I want to close with one final theme of the Easter season: finding love worthy of that name. Easter is the time that connects the Resurrection of the Lord and Pentecost. These chronological boundaries have a purpose: the Resurrection and Pentecost are the greatest expressions of a love that destroys and defeats sin and death. During this time, let’s devote some of our prayer to meditating on that love.

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