April 2013

Dear Parishioners:

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! The Lord is Risen Indeed! Alleluia! We are in the fifty days of Easter. It is a time of celebration and thanksgiving for everything our God has done for us through his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. He has broken the bonds of sin and death. We too can die to sin and be raised to life in Jesus Christ and in Him only.

The Good News of the Gospel is that there is an alternative to the same old things in our worldly lives. Jesus’ resurrection is the source of an immense gift, the gift of eternal life. And Jesus didn’t mean something is going to happen after we die, He meant something is available here and now.

Eternal life doesn’t happen in a magic way, by accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior or by believing in Him. We need to remember that even Satan believed in Jesus. Eternal life is participating in the very life of God himself. We participate in the life of God by allowing Him to transform our lives. This is what happens, if we allow it, in the Eucharist.

In the Eucharist, we do not just believe more firmly or be more convinced. The Eucharist at the deepest level means we are consumed by God’s love. It is not a matter of believing or what we know in our minds, conscious mind–it is the whole person in the deepest level: conscious, subconscious, mind, intuition, emotions and will. Put all those together and we have what Scripture and the Church Fathers meant by the heart.

This is where the Divine Liturgy, the Eucharist reaches. It is also where music helps. This is why the hymns of our Church and more particularly those chosen week by week are to fit the Scripture or season of the Church Year. They take us beyond the songs of our childhood, songs of the campfire, or of the pep rally with its slogans. Our hymns take us to a deeper spiritual level where, if we are open, we may find God himself dwelling within us.

In the same way Scripture reaches into the depth of the whole person, not as a magic book or a law book with its “thou shalt” and its “thou shalt not’s”. Scripture communicates on the level of the heart. Scripture reveals Jesus to us not in the literal surface meaning of the words but in a kind of dialogue in which the Lord is made known to us as we respond to the Church’s understanding of Scripture and to the Holy Spirit’s whispering in our heart that intimate personal message of who Jesus is and what he has done for us.

Easter, Salvation, Eternal Life is the penetration of God into the heart of the individual who is supported by our Lord’s community, the Church, nourished with the bread of heaven and who is in constant dialogue with the Word of God which points us always to Jesus. It is Jesus himself, in whom we are transformed from a life of sin and death to a life eternal, here and now–not just later.

Have a Blessed Easter Season for the Lord is Risen! The Lord is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

In Christ,
Fr. K+

Permanent link to this article: http://www.saintalbans.org/2013/04/01/april-2013/

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