Minister’s Message – April 2018

Minister’s Message – April 20182018-04-30T11:41:16+00:00

Happy Easter! 

Peace and joy in Christ!   Alleluia! 

Welcome to our new website!  What a joy to launch our new website in this Easter season of new life!  Thank you for visiting us today.

Here in the Midwest spring brings a dramatic change that echoes our paschal joy.  Daffodils and redbuds are bright against a fresh green backdrop; the air is crisp and the sky is oh, so blue.  Sister Earth seems to sing, “He is risen!  Christ is alive and is with us!”

In the midst of spring’s beauty it is easy to forget the harshness of winter, but let us not forget that it is only by dying that we are born to new life. Jesus calls to us, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.  Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be.”  John 12:24-26

As Franciscans, called to live the gospel, we must look very seriously at this passage.  Are we ready to let go of the allurements of the world, and really follow Christ?

Let us also look very seriously at the Rule which we have professed. Why is that?  Because we are blessed with a Rule which will help us as we strive to live the Gospel life.  Our Rule in its entirety is all about dying and rising.  Beginning with the prologue and continuing in each Article, the Rule calls us to ongoing daily conversion – a “radical interior change” by which we die to self and rise each day being conformed to Christ.

As we celebrate this Easter season let us be “motivated by the dynamic power of the gospel.”  Let us embrace the Rule we have professed.  And with the grace of the Holy Spirit may we die to our selfish desires and rise to live fully the new life that is ours in Christ!

Peace and all good,
Jan

O Blessed Easter!

 O Blessed Easter,

Holy morning of glad “Rabounni!”

When trembling turned to triumph

As stone and doubt were rolled away,

How we have celebrate you,

Taking our cue

From the sublime audacity of Sister Earth,

Whose lilies and lilacs, tulips and twigs have, too,

Sprung from shattered sepulchers trumpeting,

“This is the day!  This is the day!”

Earth’s sweet bouquets bringing grace to every place

Adorning altars, homes, hearts.

O Blessed Easter,

You have watered us, your garden,

You nurture green

Shoots of hope within us,

We breathe in, soak up, and pray to blossom

Your joy, your freshness, your life!

O Blessed Easter,

Carry us now as the luscious splendor of spring’s dawn

Dissolves into the full light of summer,

As days grow long, O Easter, stay with us

With your last and lasting gracious gifts

Of pardon, peace and mercy!

Amen

 

                                            Jan Parker OFS