May 2014

Dear Parishioners:

Where do we find Easter in our lives? Or have we ever experienced Easter? Isn’t the experience of Easter in reality what it means to be saved?

Some people live their lives in Good Friday. Good Friday is more real to some than Easter. Suffering is what they experience in life. For affluent Americans, Good Friday is not so real, but neither is Easter. And yet with all of our affluence our lives are empty, very much a Good Friday. Material goods and running up and down the toll-ways don’t produce happiness.

The Good News of the Gospel is that there is an option, an alternative to the same old things. Jesus’ resurrection is an immense gift, the gift of eternal life– and He didn’t mean something that just happens after we die– He meant something that is available here and now.

But eternal life doesn’t happen in a magic way, by accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior or by believing in Him. After all, Scripture states even Satan believed. Eternal life is participating in the very life of God by allowing Him to transform our life. This is what happens (if we allow it) in the Eucharist.

In the Eucharist, we do not just believe more firmly, at the deepest level we are consumed by love. It is not a matter of believing of what we know in our minds. Nor is it a matter of emotions or the conscious mind. It is the whole person in the deepest level: conscious, subconscious, mind, intuition, emotions, and the will. Put that together and we have what Scripture and the Church Fathers meant by the heart.

This is where the Most Holy Sacred Liturgy reaches. Here is where music helps. This is why the hymns of the Church are chosen to fit the season and Scripture themes, and take us beyond the songs of childhood, songs of the campfire or the pep rally with its slogans. The 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 depths of the whole person, not as a magic book or a law book, with its “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not’s”. Scripture communicates on the level of the heart as the Church Fathers meant. 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 whispering in our heart that intimate personal message.

Easter—Salvation—Eternal Life is the penetration of God into the heart of the individual who is supported by participation in community of the Church, nourished with the bread of heaven and in constant dialogue with the Word of God, pointing us to Jesus himself, in whom we are transformed.

I want to personally thank all those who participated in the events of Holy Week and Easter. Our Altar and Flower Guild had a very active week with all the various liturgies. Our Choir, directed by Thomas and accompanied by Michael did a fantastic and beautiful ministry. Our acolytes, ushers and greeters did fantastic. Randy Sparks receives a big thank you for the bulletins as well as all the Office Staff. There is a large amount of ministry, time, energy and use of God’s gifts and I believed we are so blessed to have such wonderful and active ministries given to us at St. Alban’s. Thank You!

There are also some activities I would like to call to your attention. On Friday, May 2nd, The Brotherhood of St. Andrew will host a dinner and a program on the Shroud of Turin. Tickets aremnecessary due to limited space but they are free. All you need to do is to ask for one from a member of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew. It should be an educational, spiritual and fun evening.

May 18th will be the last day of Christian Education. The following weekend is Memorial Day Weekend and the Church Office will be closed on Monday. We will honor our Sunday School Teachers on Sunday, 1st at the 10 am Eucharist. They have done a fantastic ministry and I hope all will be present to express our gratitude to this group of faithful teachers teaching our youth about our Lord and Savior.

We tried to see if having Christian Education following the 10 am Eucharist was beneficial this past year. It did not seem to make a great difference. We will continue with the 10 am Eucharist until further notice and most likely return to our schedule of Christian Education at 9:15 am, Holy Eucharist at 10:30 am in the Fall.

May 18th also starts our Pro-life Baby Shower. We are collecting all kinds of baby items—clothes, bibs, bottles, diapers, blankets all items to help new mothers and their babies have a great beginning of life. The items we collect on Mary 18th and 25th will be donated to the Arlington and Mansfield Pregnancy Centers which offers free pre-natal medical services, education and counseling to women in our area. Don’t miss this chance to help.

Remember that Easter lasts 50 days. On the 40th day we celebrate the Ascension of our Lord and Savior. The 50th Day we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. Plan to participate in these great Feast Days of our Lord and the giving of the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Fr. K+

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