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3/31/2024

A very Blessed Easter everyone! Enjoy this Holy day with the Lord and with your families.

 

A huge thank you to everyone who has helped us pray well the Holy Days of the Triduum. From those who decorated, to those who helped coordinate the liturgies, to our choirs. I can’t tell you how happy I was seeing everyone at our Triduum liturgies and Easter Masses. We often talk about celebrating a good Lent. But we don’t emphasize as much celebrating a good Easter. What does that look like? It looks like fostering the graces that we received during our Lent. Those gifts and graces need to be protected, watered, and lived. Often new growth happens during Lent and like any young plant, can be easily hurt if not protected. I think of gardeners who cover a young plant in the spring with straw so it is insulated from the cold and winds. Certainly, they also water it and pull the weeds that threaten to grow up and choke out that young shoot. We must do the same with those graces that have started growing in us – ready to take life in this Eastertide.

 

A great way to begin and celebrate the 50 days of Easter is to ponder those graces from Lent and help bring them forward into our lives. Our typical reaction is actually pretty humorous – we spend 40 days often taking things out of our lives, or at least moderating things that should be moderated, only to jump right back to our pre-Lent habits the instant Easter has come. We breath a sigh of relief – thank God Lent is over – and promptly return to living exactly how we were living before Lent started. How silly! Jesus has done some great work in our souls over the season of Lent and we are primed to receive that new grace.

 

This is an invitation to keep those practices going, to celebrate Easter by living the growth we experienced during those 40 days. On Ash Wednesday the image I used with the

school kids is that of a container that was filled to the brim with rocks. There was no more room for anything. Lent then was about making more room in our lives so there is room for Him. We spend those days taking out things that don’t belong there to begin with – certainly any sins that have become a part of our lives. Then we look at things that take up too much room. Let me carve some of that off to moderate it. With all of that freed up space there is room for God in ways there had not been before. This is all part of our conversions – when God does have a say over what is in our lives versus relying on simply what I want.

 

If possible, resist filling your life back up again in the same way. For example, during this past Lent I worked on moderating some screen time and was amazed by not only the extra time I had for other, better things, but also that I was less distracted than I had been. It was easier to focus in prayer, easier to spend some time on some spiritual reading, etc. I hope this Easter season I can continue that growth.

 

This is a lesson I feel I need to learn every Easter. I think I first began learning it in my high school days. I had begun praying a daily Rosary for Lent. Easter came, and that day of all days, I didn’t pray it. I am so grateful for the grace that came in that moment that convicted me. I prayed the Rosary the next day, on Easter Monday, and I have striven to do so ever since. That daily Rosary has become a great support in my daily life – and I was very close to losing it!

 

Take some time to rejoice in the good work the Lord has done in your life this past Lent. Then live those graces now to

celebrate Easter.

 

God Bless,

Fr. Todd 

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