Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022
Peter proceeded to speak and said:
“You know what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power.”
~ Acts 10:34a,37-43
Brothers and Sisters,
No one was prepared for the first Easter. There were no eggs – painted and hardboiled or the candy-filled plastic variety. There was no ham to carve at a celebratory Easter dinner. Besides, the dietary restrictions of the earliest Jewish disciples prevented such a main course anyway.
No, on that first Easter morning, Jesus’ closest disciples most likely awoke by the sun’s earliest rays, and then they gathered to get their bearings and weigh the impact of the recent and troubling events. To be sure, the sadness over the shocking crucifixion and death overwhelmed them. But amid this grief, the discovery of the Resurrection awaited them.
The passion, death, and Resurrection of Jesus were not random events. Undoubtedly the disciples who stood ready to act and the women who visited the grave during the early morning hours, eager to help and at the right place at the right time, were guided by the divine. Despite the crucifixion and Jesus’ perceived absence, God was still working through the Spirit, guiding the disciples.
Our parish school principal shares this mantra with her students: Be Simon! Simon of Cyrene did not seek to lend a hand to Jesus, but he was there. And when he saw the need (even if prompted by the soldiers), he helped bear that cross. The Holy Spirit prompts and urges us to come out from our comfort zones and eagerly greet the new day, ready and willing to encounter the Lord and serve on his behalf. This Easter Season, let us all be aware of the Spirit’s promptings.
Before I close, I would like to acknowledge the many Simons who lend a hand around our parish – and I do so, knowing that I may not be aware of everyone who deserves thanks. As we seek to belong, these individuals assist in welcoming, building friendships, and strengthening the community: we offer gratitude to those ministries which sponsored our Soup Supper, arranged and prepared the delicious menu at our Family Dinner Night, to our Angel Sports team and coaches who modeled teamwork for our kids, and those who made-ready our campus by caring for flower beds or just simply picking up a piece of litter, and cleaning the Church and decorating — thank you! To those who help us worship and believe, assisting at the liturgy. Thank you to the many who serve warmly as hospitality ministers, altar servers, lectors, communion ministers, cantors, choir members, musicians, AV team members, sacristans, deacons, and their families. A special shout out to Deacon Mike and Deacon Roch’s wives, Elisa and Linda (respectively). We know you both lend essential support to our deacons! Join me in thanking those who pray for the parish at a dedicated holy hour in our Adoration Chapel, at our Festival of Praise evenings, or from their homes; we are most grateful! To all those who lovingly teach us to Become who Jesus calls us to be. Including the catechists and volunteers who support our Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, family religious education, our First Communicants, plus our Middle School Impact and High School programs, including Confirmation formation. I would be remiss not to highlight the steadfast work of our parish school teachers and staff, RCIA Team, small group leaders, women’s and men’s ministries, Christ Life, Knights of Columbus, and Catholic Daughters. Your commitment to our community inspires! Thanks to those who help us step from the church pew to go beyond in service to another, including the Salt and St. Vincent de Paul Outreach ministries. Our OLPH sister parishes, Our Lady of the Nativity in Haiti and St. Veronica in Baltimore, plus the Wali family who settled in our community from Afghanistan, are immensely grateful to the many who have lightened their burdens. To those who tirelessly advocate for the voiceless, thank you for holding up the dignity of the unborn and elderly. Of course, I offer my sincere thanks to our excellent parish staff who continue to help OLPH thrive, plus special gratitude to Evelyn and Scott, our communication partners who give our written and visual communications impact! Lastly, I want to thank every parishioner, friend, neighbor, and visitor to OLPH parish. Thank you for allowing us to serve, and provide a place to worship and grow in the love of the Risen Christ. Happy Easter, one and all!
In the Crucified Lord,
Rev. Michael S. Triplett