Father Fred Link, O.F.M.A MOST BLESSED EASTER to my dear parish family! I hope that, at least for a time, any forces of darkness in your life are lifted. The absolutely true story is that Jesus has risen from the dead and defeated once and for all the absolute power of Satan. If Jesus is enthroned in our hearts we never have to fear the devil’s rule. Sadness, depression, anxiety, illness, suffering and even death will stand from time to time loom large in our lives, just as they did in Jesus' life, but they are not the last word. Abundant life is the real and true option for all of us, and that means here and now. We all know person who suffer physically and emotionally who yet inspire us by their serenity and deep down peace. They are living surrendered lives--surrendered, that is, to the embrace of God who is capable only of bringing life, for he is the Life. I know many folks like this right here in our parish, worshipping with us Sunday after Sunday.
 
It seems that this time of year I tend more than usual to wear my emotions on my sleeve. And it’s not primarily because I’m tired or anxious. It’s because of the goodness I feel surrounding me. Last Sunday's 10:30 am Palm Sunday Mass was one such example--both before and after Mass. Before Mass, I got a bit chocked seeing so many young moms and dads with their children really enjoying the outdoor blessing and procession. My second emotional moment was after Mass when parents and children gathered on the front steps of church for the breaking of the donkey pinata. It was a donkey, actually a colt, who had lovingly carried Jesus into Jerusalem. And it was a toy donkey that was to give up his whole self in order to bring candy to all our children.
 
Of course, in both of the incidents mentioned above there were middle aged folks and elders like myself. There were able bodied and more feeble Christians, all gathered for the glory of God. How is it possible that anyone would choose to stay home when there is the opportunity to gather in praise and thanksgiving to our Creator and Redeemer who has given us everything.
 
He has Risen! Alleluia! Alleluia!