Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
Alleluia! He is Risen! Alleluia! With Fr. McCabe and our parish staff, I wish all of you a very Blessed and Happy Easter! Our Easter celebration of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the greatest of all celebrations and the greatest of the all the triumphs our Lord Jesus won for us! Also, I want to remind you that Easter Sunday is the first day of the Easter Octave, that is the eight days of Easter. The Easter Octave will conclude the evening of next Sunday - Divine Mercy Sunday.
I encourage all to pray along with the Divine Mercy Novena that began this past Good Friday and concludes next Saturday. Also, I encourage all to attend our Divine Mercy Sunday (April 28) celebration that will be at the Church of St. Michael in Pine Island from 2-4pm.
This Easter Sunday I want to share with you some quotes from sermons given by the Early Fathers of the Church – they are instructive and inspiring!
"O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep." St. John Chrysostom - Paschal Sermon "Yesterday I was crucified with Him; today I am glorified with Him; yesterday I died with Him; today I am quickened with Him; yesterday I was buried with Him; today I rise with Him. But let us offer to Him Who suffered and rose again for us— you will think perhaps that I am going to say gold, or silver, or woven work or transparent and costly stones, the mere passing material of earth, that remains here below, and is for the most part always possessed by bad men, slaves of the world and of the Prince of the world. Let us offer ourselves, the possession most precious to God, and most fitting; let us give back to the Image what is made after the Image. Let us recognize our Dignity; let us honor our Archetype; let us know the power of the Mystery, and for what Christ died." St. Gregory the Theologian - Homily on Pascha "...Now since you are celebrating the holy Pascha, you should know, brethren, what the Pascha is. Pascha means the crossing-over, and so the Festival is called by this name. For it was on this day that the Children of Israel crossed over out of Egypt, and the Son of God crossed over from this world to His Father. What gain is it to celebrate unless you imitate Him Whom you worship; that is, unless you cross over from Egypt, that is, from the darkness of evildoing to the light of virtue, from the love of this world to the love of your heavenly home?" St. Ambrose of Milan - "The Sunday of the Resurrection"
"Let God's people then recognize that they are a new creation in Christ, and with all vigilance understand by Whom they have been adopted and Whom they have adopted. Let not the things, which have been made new, return to their ancient instability; and let not him who has 'put his hand to the plough' forsake his work, but rather attend to that which he sows than look back to that which he has left behind. Let no one fall back into that from which he has risen, but, even though from bodily weakness he still languishes under certain maladies, let him urgently desire to be healed and raised up. For this is the path of health through imitation of the Resurrection begun in Christ, whereby, notwithstanding the many accidents and falls to which in this slippery life the traveler is liable, his feet may be guided from the quagmire on to solid ground, for, as it is written, 'the steps of a man are directed by the Lord, and He will delight in his way. When the just man falls he shall not be overthrown, because the Lord will stretch out His hand'."
St. Leo the Great - "On the Lord's Resurrection"
"The death of the Lord our God should not be a cause of shame for us; rather, it should be our greatest hope, our greatest glory. In taking upon Himself the death that He found in us, He has most faithfully promised to give us life in Him, such as we cannot have of ourselves." St. Augustine
Through the intercession of the Mary, the Queen of Heaven, St. Joseph, and St. Columbkill, may the Risen Lord Jesus bless us with a share in His Victory over sin, death, and the enemy of our salvation! Happy Easter!
In Christ through Mary,