If Lent is when we see the first signs of spring, Easter is when we witness the real growth and blossoming of nature. The months of April and May bring forth all sorts of flowers and vegetation, and this is true even in Hawai'i where we are blessed with warm weather all year round. The church seasons of Lent and Easter reflect this reality of the growth of spring throughout these months. During Lent we see the first sprouts of growth due to our Lenten practices and disciplines, but it is during Easter that the real results become evident. Furthermore, if our Lenten practices were successful, they did not end on Easter Day, but they became a part of our everyday life of faith.
This coming Sunday we have our first Mystagogy forum at 11:30 am. Mystagogy is about interpreting the mysteries of the faith, and this is what we will do as we reflect upon the liturgies of Holy Week and our life in Christ. As we enjoy the graces of Easter, it is good to pause and reflect upon how the liturgies of the church transform our lives. What does it mean for us to wash each other's feet? What does it mean to kiss the cross? What does it mean to renew our baptismal vows? For the Christian, the liturgies of Holy Week are the yearly renewal of our faith in Jesus Christ. We need Holy Week to make us a more faithful people. This is our Easter growth - taking the time to reflect upon how our Lenten practices culminated at Holy Week, and how the growth continues in each of us as we journey through Easter's great 50 days.
We have many reasons to celebrate this Eastertide. Our patronal feast of St. Mark is approaching very quickly. On Sunday, April 29, we will have a parish potluck after the high mass in honor of St. Mark's Day, and on the same Sunday we will also have a guest preacher, Father Nick Mercer. Father Mercer retired in 2017 at the same time as the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, for whom he worked as Vicar General to the London College of Bishops and most recently as Archdeacon of London. He is also a Prebendary Emeritus of St Paul’s Cathedral London, where he continues to serve in an honorary capacity. The following Sunday, May 6, we will have our May Procession and Crowning at the High Mass, and shortly thereafter, we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension on Thursday, May 10. Before you know it, the Day of Pentecost will be here.
For those who make the commitment, Eastertide is a rewarding season of growth, and the grace and joy of these days are contagious. Easter is when we discover that it's true that love always wins. Good Friday was not the end of the story, and even better, Easter Day was not the end of the story. The love of Easter Day continues to grow and blossom, and just like the disciples at that first Easter Day, we too can revel in the goodness and joy of God for the rest of our lives.
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Father Paul Lillie+