Don't be an April Fool. Instead, be a fool for Christ. Easter gives us a reason to rejoice and be glad in spite of all the destruction and disillusionment that may be around us. Do you have a deep abiding joy that comes from the knowledge of your relationship with Jesus Christ? Does the reality... that's right, reality of Jesus' resurrection from the dead speak to your heart as nothing else does? If so, then that is what it means to be an Easter person. We are no April fools. We are fools 24-7 and especially on Sundays. But, if Sunday is the only time which you remember your relationship with Jesus, then now is the time to recommit yourself and spend some extra time in prayer, soaking in God's love. Our lives here on Earth are not the beginning and end of our existence. We know that there is much much more. We are all being called to a profound relationship with Jesus. By nurturing this relationship, we prepare ourselves for heaven.
The image at the left has always moved me. It reminds me of how much Jesus cares and desires to comfort us all, personally and intimately. He knows the depth of each of our suffering. He knows the highs and lows of all our lives. Yet, no matter what we've done, he still loves us. He loves us perfectly. He knows you and has plans for greatness for each of us. That doesn't mean that we will all be the next American Idol or Einstein. In fact, we may have pretty simple and seemingly unimportant lives. But, that is far from the truth. With Jesus at your side, every encounter with another person, every situation with a fellow human being is packed with potential to express the divine mystery that lies in each of us. When we love our neighbor, we are doing the work of God. That was a commandments of Jesus (Matt. 12:31). When we love each other God's essence is present. What could be greater than that? Yet, we struggle to see this mystery in our daily lives. It happens in the ordinary things of our day, not just in the amazing moments that we all strive to have. God is here, now. Simple. He is risen and lives with us. If that is foolish to the world, then so be it. Don't just be an April fool.
Are You Preparing Your Family for Heaven?
Isn't that the question of a lifetime! Often we go about our day consumed by the details of things so mundane that they hardly matter in the big picture. The endless shuttling our children from one event to another can certainly be tiring. Sometime parents can forget about the most essential things. It is so easy. We are all guilty of it in our own ways. Sometimes we just need a wake up call or a loving reminder of the importance of our calling. To this end, we are privileged to receive Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers to St. Anthony's on Tuesday, April 8th from 7 pm to 9pm who will speak to us about what it means to be a Christian parent. Topics such as motherhood, fatherhood, formation and education of our children, family life as a divine calling from God, the threats of a culture of death, the role of a parish and Catholic school in family life, and how the Sacraments not only deepen, but strengthen us through God's grace to prepare our family for heaven.
Again, mark the date: April 8th at 7 pm. Harold is a permanent deacon here in the Archdiocese of Portland. He has a vigorous speaking schedule that keeps him busy all year long. He has authored man books and other articles ranging from the Domestic Church, male spirituality, family and society, sacraments, lay vocations, and many others. He is frequently on EWTN and speaks to thousands of people every year.
Deacon Harold is well associated with a variety of organizations . He holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and an M.T.S. from the University of Dallas. He was ordained in 2002 and is deeply committed to the mission of the Church. Come listen to this motivational speaker who we are honored to host for an evening. Hope to see you there!
Annual Appreciation Banquet
April brings with it the promise of Spring and for many people, the joy which seemed lost in the Winter cold is restored. This helps all the more to celebrate the Easter season where we are reminded that our deepest joy is in the fact that Jesus has saved us from our sins through his suffering, death, and resurrection. As a way of thanking all of those who volunteer in any way at St. Anthony's, I would like to invite you to our annual Volunteer Appreciation Banquet. Mark your calendars for April 19th at 7 pm. At that time we will father for food and fellowship. There will be fun and food to warm our spirits. The main dish hasn't yet been determined, but as we did last year, all are encouraged to bring a dish of their delight to share with the community. As more details are determined, I will share them with you. In the meantime, thank you for all you do for the parish. It is working amidst all the selfless people of St. Anthony's that I see the face of Christ.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. William Holtzinger