APRIL 11-12, 2020 EASTER
Within the last days and weeks, life as we know it has been turned upside down. Who knew that the person behind the cash register at Jewel or Sam's or the hardware store would be the front-line soldier as we battle invisible enemy?! Who knew that parents would take on the role of teachers as they are now homeschooling their children?! Who knew that the armor, the new armor would be the personal protective equipment that our brave soldiers, doctors, nurses and first responders are now wearing?! And, whoever imagine that our church doors would be closed these days?!
However, Holy Week and Easter will go on. The saving mystery of the Death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus is our Springtime. His joy and hope are the Paschal Fire that dispels the darkness of sin and the threatening gloom of this pandemic. The saving work of Jesus is beyond the ability of anyone to suspend or alter it. What will change, however, is how we celebrate this holy time.
The global mortal danger posed by the coronavirus compels us this year to find a different way to participate in these rites, including the Rites of Sacred Triduum and Easter Sunday.
And now more than ever we – catholic believers of Chicagoland – must lean on each other to be a church of courage, responsibility, hope, and prayer. That’s why, I encourage you to prayerfully unite with whole Archdiocese of Chicago: Cardinal, auxiliary bishops, priest, deacons and all the Faithful. Here are the times of the Holy Triduum and Easter liturgies so that you may participate in a spiritual manner from your homes via social media sites or TV:
Holy Thursday Liturgy of the Lord’s Supper – April 9 at 5:00 pm.
Good Friday Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion – April 10 at 3:00 pm.
Holy Saturday Easter Vigil - April 11 at 8:00 pm.
Sunday Easter Mass (English, Spanish, Polish) – April 12 at 6:00 am and in English at 12 pm on ABC 7.
All liturgies are available at https://radiotv.archchicago.org/television/broadcast-masses, www.youtube.com/user/CatholicChicago, www.facebook.com/archchicago.
As God’s People, we will gather spiritually. We will recount the Passion of Our Lord, His death and burial. And, we will welcome the risen Christ and celebrate the glory of the Resurrection.
As we come together with a deepened hunger for spiritual communion with the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, this year’s celebration of Holy Week will bring the amazing grace of God’s divine mercy. Join me in bringing chastened, humble hearts to the sacred days of Christ’s death and Resurrection. He will call us each by name as he did for Mary Magdalene in the garden of the tomb. (Jn. 20.11-18) He will come to us, as he did for the disciples hiding behind doors closed by fear, mercifully extend his pierced hands to us and say, “Peace be with you” (Jn. 20.19-20) because Christ is Risen, He is Risen indeed, Alleluia!
May we all celebrate with great joy the promise of our new life in Christ, our Risen Lord. We indeed are sons and daughters of New Life (that is, new life in Christ).
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. The Lord Jesus, through his cross and resurrection, has destroyed the power of sin and death and brought us into His life. Christ has won for us victory over the grave. We need to reflect on this and just how much our Lord loves us. Easter is so much more than flowers, cards, Easter eggs, candy and even beautiful music. It is the historical event that gives ultimate meaning and purpose to our lives. Because Jesus died and rose from the dead, we no longer have to fear sin and death. The victory has been won in Christ. We celebrate Jesus who is our Paschal Lamb who died out of sheer love for us.
Christ calls us into His Love so we may share one another’s burdens and work to bring the Kingdom of God to every person on the planet, and to the planet itself which is also suffering.
We all look forward to the day when the SPA’s doors will again be open for us to gather celebrate and receive the Holy Eucharist until then we'll just have to just accept a virtual hug. A with this hug, be assured that I am praying for you and your loved ones daily. Thank you for your generosity, and I sincerely appreciate the assistance you provide for SPA at this difficult time for all of us. I’m in awe of all the phone calls, emails, notes, letters, cards, Facebook messages and comments, and all likes and emojis. I would like to express my gratitude for the generous donations that you gave our Parish during this SIP time. I appreciate your friendly gesture to SPA in this time of need. It feels great to know that we have great friends like you. I will forever be grateful to you. I assure you that the funds will be put to good use. Thank you once again, and God bless you. I’m truly thankful for your steadiness, patience, and amazing digital, financial and spiritual involvement with our spiritual SPA home while we are all taking the SIP.
I want to extend wishes of a safe, healthy and holy Easter to all SPA’s parishioners and parish staff who call St. Paul their spiritual home.
May the Peace of our Risen Lord be with you all.
We are the SPA Family and we are in this together!
Fr. Chris Ciastoń