Easter hymns are my favorite. They are joyful and triumphant. Here is one not all that common, "That Easter Day with Joy was Bright" (perhaps you can listen online to hear the tune):
That Easter day with joy was bright:
the sun shone out with fairer light
when to their longing eyes restored,
th'apostles saw their risen Lord.
His risen flesh with radiance glowed,
his wounded hands and feet he showed;
those scars their solemn witness gave
that Christ was risen from the grave.
O Jesus, King of gentleness,
do thou thyself our hearts possess,
that we may give thee all our days
the willing tribute of our praise.
O Lord of all, with us abide
in this, our joyful Easter-tide;
from ev'ry weapon death can wield
thine own redeemed forever shield.
It's not my favorite Easter tune, but it's up there. "Jesus Christ is Ris'n Today" might be my favorite. There's nothing better, in my mind, walking down the aisle on Easter Sunday to that opening hymn, particularly when there's brass, like we had here at the parish this Easter (thank you, Glenn!). I always want to run down the aisle and up to the altar to start screaming exultantly, William Wallace style.
Ok, I'm coming to my point. We're nearing the end of the Easter Season. It's helpful to go back to that joy we felt on Easter Sunday. "If you loved me, you would rejoice," says Jesus in today's Gospel (John 14:28).
Joy is one of the most effective "tools" of evangelization, if you will. That is, if we are going to spread Catholicism and encourage people to have a deeper relationship with God, being joyful is the best place to start. Why would anyone want to join our faith if we are miserable? But if people see that we are bright and joyful (different than happiness—we are allowed to be sad; joy is something else) they may reconsider their own relationship to the Church.
Remember what we said six weeks ago. Jesus is risen! The Catholic faith is alive and strong. We too have experience the Resurrection in our own lives. Let's be joyful and invite others to share in that joy.
Happy Memorial Day! Enjoy the day off from school and work. We'll have one Mass Monday—8:30am in the Church. Thank you to all who have served in our military and those who have given their lives for our country.
My Tuesday Theology Talk this week in the chapel at 7pm will be on St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus. We will not only discuss his life and story, but his spiritual principles, which are very helpful for everyday life.
Friday, May 31st we will do our Consecration to Mary. It's the end of Mary's month and also the feast of the Visitation. Whatever Consecration you've done, you are welcome to come at either 9am or 6pm in the parish center chapel to conclude your consecration. We will say the Consecratory Prayer together and a few other prayers. If you started the Consecration after May 1st and haven't finished the 31st or 33rd day, you are still welcome to come Friday!
Yours in Christ,