Fr. Joe's Letter

Fr. Joe’s Letter

Apr 3, 2023


This is the reality we celebrate today, the same reality we celebrate every Sunday. For the Christian, the celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection is something that never loses its joy no matter how many times we celebrate it. Of course, we cannot truly celebrate His Resurrection without remembering His suffering and death on the cross. These two seemingly different events are truly one event because you can’t have one without the other.

Each time we gather for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we remember the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God has become a man and He gives His life for us by willingly suffering on the cross so that we can have eternal life. What a wonderful gift He has given us. A gift we do not deserve, nor can we earn. He gives us the gift of Himself because He loves us more than we can imagine. This is the glory of Easter, and this is the joy that is given to us.

There are many times in our lives that we do not feel the joy that is ours because of the many concerns that weigh heavily on our hearts. The present situation that we are experiencing now in our world has brought great pain and suffering, worry, and frustration to many people. It is not an easy time for anyone and yet there is reason to hope because that comes with loving God and knowing that He loves us. It is so important that we express our love and gratitude to God for all that He has given us and not just in the material blessings we have received, but also for the gift of life and salvation. We express our love and gratitude by going to and participating in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass EVERY SUNDAY. By going to Mass we not only express our gratitude and love to God, we can also receive comfort and strength from His Word and Sacrament. Where else can we find such a fountain of love and strength?

The present difficulties we are experiencing can become a source of strength and can deepen our faith in God and our love for Him and for our neighbor. We must look beyond ourselves and our own troubles and extend any kind of help we can to others who are hurting as much and even more than we are. This is what Jesus did for us. He gave no consideration for all the suffering He would endure for us. He embraced the cross and all the suffering because He loves us and wants us to be with Him. Again, this is what Easter is all about. As we have renewed our Baptismal promises today, let us do all we can to really live them out beginning with our attendance at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Mass is the source and summit of the Christian life. Let us come to the Lord to be fed and nourished by His Word and Sacrament. May all of you and your loved ones know the joy and grace of Jesus, Risen from the dead!

We welcome our new members: Sarah Danko, Saige Gleason, and Olivia Sorensen, who were baptized at the Easter Vigil.  Gabby Antro, Spencer Antro, David Danko, Lora Kay Erman, Eric Herman, Penny Kies, Shaye Tiell, Michael Timar, and Madison Wilson, were received into the church.  Please keep them in your prayers.

I am very grateful to all who made our celebration of Holy Week such a prayerful and meaningful celebration. May God bless all our extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, lectors, ushers, altar servers, musicians, cantors, choirs, and those who so beautifully decorated the church for Easter.  It was a truly prayerful and beautiful celebration of this joyful Paschal Mystery.

Next Sunday is the Feast of Divine Mercy. Last week’s bulletin contained a flier concerning our celebration of this great feast of God’s mercy. Our Adoration Chapel is dedicated to Divine Mercy and so we as a parish should cultivate a deep devotion to Divine Mercy. Jesus came to us to show us the love and mercy of God. Easter is a celebration of God’s mercy because by His rising to new life, Jesus conquers sin and death so that we can have a new life in God.

As is our custom here at Sacred Heart, we will pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at the end of every Mass next weekend. You will also have the opportunity to venerate the image of Divine Mercy, that is, to bow or genuflect before the image that will be displayed in front of the altar next Sunday.

Fr. Joe Labak