This Week’s Message from Father Dave… 

The day has arrived. It always catches me a little by surprise. This means that activity, anticipating warmer weather, and the intentionality to prayer, often fill my time then Easter arrives, and I wonder if I have properly prepared myself. Well, here it is, and we all must embrace Easter, ready or not. Nothing  can compare to the experience of Jesus’ family and friends. They heard him say in not so many words, that he would rise after three days, yet when it happened, they were taken by complete surprise. Jesus conquers death and what transpires is the renewal of the world.

I just wonder if we will allow the saving action of Easter to transform us. This day is like no other day in the history of the world. Can you imagine being caught up in this moment of Resurrection? Our worst fears would be put to rest. Our sins would no longer be impacting our life. Our faith would become what is most important in life. Our call, even after more than two thousand years from the Easter event, is to give Jesus access to our human hearts.

Maybe what we could imagine when we walk into our place of worship is that this is more than just a space where we pray. This sacred space is about a relationship. Here is where Christ resides for us in the most personal way. Nothing can compare to the Holy Eucharist that we receive. What we are freely given in the celebration of Eucharist is a participation in the Body and Blood of Jesus and all his saving actions which make for us this day of Easter. I know for myself I just want to dive deeper into this incredible mystery and see what I can discover in this powerful, spiritual life we share with the risen Lord. That sounds like a good project through the next fifty days of Easter as we journey to the celebration of Pentecost.

My best to all of you on this Easter Sunday. I hope and pray that your experience of the risen Lord has a powerful impact on your lives. Reflecting on this incredible act of God and seeing how those eyewitnesses of the risen Lord lived their lives from that moment on, I know my response is to seek the Lord more profoundly in life. I cannot fathom the feeling the Apostles and friends of Jesus experienced when they saw him after his own death.

When I hear the skepticism that some have about this event even happening, I am not sad for them. That might strike as being arrogant. Rather, I try to live my own life of faith knowing that Jesus conquers death. That is the call for the next fifty days of this Easter season and for the entire life of the Christian. It is my hope that all of us will find eternal hope and joy in the goodness, beauty, and truth of the Resurrection.

Next Sunday we have our second-graders receiving Holy Communion for the first time. This is always an exceptional celebration. I say exceptional not because of anything I do or our preparation for this celebration. Rather, it hinges on the innocence of these young children. When the procession takes place at the beginning of this liturgy it is different from all other liturgies throughout the year. You can almost see it on the faces of our young people as they walk into church. They are here for a sharing in the Eucharist and at the same time you see a sense of innocence on their faces. Life, for the most part, has not brought difficulty to them. On the contrary, they are filled with a sense of innocence and will joyfully receive Jesus in Holy Communion. They absorb faith wholeheartedly. In many ways when we get older, we are trying to recapture that sense of innocence. Please pray for our second-graders!

Mr. John Grazia, a member of our parish, will be ordained as a Permanent Deacon on Saturday, May 4th at 10AM at St. John’s Cathedral in Cleveland. This is a public event, and all are invited to attend. The next day, Sunday, May 5th at the 11AM Mass here at Divine Word, John will preside as a Deacon for the first time. This Mass is also a public event and all are invited to attend. A public reception will take place in Hanson Hall following the Mass. Please come out and pray with John and our parish community.

My best to everyone for all that Easter means for us. Have a great and profound Easter season!

Father Dave