Christ is risen Alleluia! Happy Easter! This is the joy of our Easter celebration, the joy of the resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. For the past 40 days we have been spiritually preparing for this great feast, for 40 days we have been working on transforming our lives through a deep personal relationship with Jesus through prayer, fasting and now we have entered into the greatest celebration of the Church, the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We went from a cold wet winter with the experience of floods, mudslides, power outages and fallen trees to the beautiful spring-like weather that is so typical of California. We have all experienced darkness; we have experienced cold; we have experienced weariness. We have experienced these things even if the skies are sunny and clear, the breeze soft and warm. Life has brought to all of us, at one time or another, dark times, and there are days — like this winter — when we almost fear that they will never end.
But Easter gives us hope! We — you and I — are Easter people, a people of hope. Because of what happened on that first Easter morning when Jesus rose from the dead, we know that there is always the empty tomb. With the tomb empty, the grief and tears of Good Friday, as well as the grief and tears of our personal dark and cold winters, give way to the incomparable joy of Easter.
As Easter people, as people of hope, we understand the true meaning of that word. Hope is not wishing, hope is not dreaming. Hope is our serene confidence that God will never abandon us, no matter what trials we face in this life. Hope is at the heart of our faith, and Easter marks the greatest hope for all humanity.
Let the hopeful message of salvation embrace us as we become ambassadors of this hope to those around us. This is a day of joy, a day to celebrate. Christ is alive! Christ is risen! Alleluia!
Together with Fr. Enzie, Fr. Ron, Dcn. Charles, and our Pastoral Staff, I wish you a very grace-filled Easter. May this Easter season be a time of renewed faith for all of us and a celebration of the hope that burns brightly in our hearts.
Rev. John L. Poncini