For the next fifty days we continue the celebration of Easter, until the Feast of Pentecost. May we pray for one another that we become more open to the gift of the Holy Spirit that Jesus pours out upon us. The whole Easter season is a time for us to open our hearts to the healing grace of the Lord and invite the Holy Spirit to strengthen us in faith and empower us to show our love for God and our neighbor in loving service. May God give us new hearts and a new spirit and help us to live each day as children of God!
During the Easter Season the gospel readings at Mass focus on the resurrection accounts of how the disciples of Jesus encountered the Risen Lord. We are also presented with readings from the Acts of the Apostles during this season. The readings from Acts help us to see how the early church responded to the gift of the Holy Spirit and how they began to proclaim the Risen Christ. May we reflect on how they began a community of faith that was formed by the Word of God. The early disciples of the Lord prayed and worshiped together and reached out in service to one another, especially those in need. May our reflection on the Word of God and the lived faith experience of the early church help us to see more clearly how we are to follow the Risen Christ each day and proclaim His love to the world.
I encourage you to spend time in your personal prayer during the Easter Season reading and praying about the appearances of the Risen Christ in the gospels and the accounts of the birth of the church in the Acts of the Apostles. The April issue of “The Word Among Us” that contains the daily readings and prayers for daily Mass in the Easter season are available in our churches. As you reflect and pray on God’s Word, pray that the Holy Spirit may enlighten you as to ways you can live out your baptismal calling to help proclaim the love of the Risen Lord locally; in your families, your neighborhood, your schools, your workplaces and in your parish.
This year during the Easter Season nine of our young parishioners will be receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. They will be receiving the sacrament on May 3rd at St. Mary Church, Auburn. Bishop Salvatore Matano will be presiding. Please keep those who will be confirmed in your prayers, that they be filled with the grace and gifts of the Holy Spirit.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the musicians, various liturgical ministers and all those who helped with the Holy Week services and the decorating of the churches for this holy season. Your commitment and willingness to share your talents is greatly appreciated. From the staff of Good Shepherd Catholic Community, may you and your families be filled with Easter joy, and experience the grace of the Risen Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit helping you to become new creations in Christ.
May the Risen Christ be with you.