This weekend we gather together as a parish family to celebrate the most important event in human history: the resurrection of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
What is interesting about this event is that it is recorded in history, verified by eyewitnesses, confirmed by revelation and testified to by God Himself. It is a fact. This is what we celebrate.
Prior to Jesus’ resurrection, death was final, it was the last word, and there was no hope. That all changed on that first Easter morning. This is what we celebrate.
We celebrate that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead, and that death no longer has the last and final words on our lives. It is our Saviour who conquered death, having come back from the dead, and to never die again. This is what we celebrate.
Jesus has also made a promise to us. That what happened to him will also happen to us. Like Jesus, we will rise to a new life, a journey from life here on earth to life in heaven. This is what we celebrate.
We are here to help one another as a community of believers here at St. Julia. We are on this journey together, united in prayer, serving and supporting one another, and helping one another as sisters and brothers to get to our ultimate home of heaven. This is what we celebrate.
This is the promise God has made to us, made anew each Easter. This is where we place our hope. This is where we place our trust. This is our source of joy. Christ is truly risen from the dead. This is what we celebrate.
I warmly welcome you and your family, friends and neighbours too, to join me for our Easter celebrations this weekend here at St. Julia. Whether in person or virtually, just being able to gather is a reason to celebrate in itself.
On behalf of your parish family of St. Julia, I wish each one of you and those that you love a most blessed and grace-filled Easter.
Christ has truly risen from the dead. Alleluia!
We are about to enter into the most beautiful and sacred weeks in the liturgical life of our church. We begin this weekend with Palm Sunday. We will encounter Jesus when we wave our palms as He descends from the Mount of Olives towards Jerusalem and we cry out “Hosanna.” On Holy Thursday, we will gather around the table as He celebrates the Last Supper with his apostles and we listen to Jesus’ command to each of us to “take this all of you and eat of it” and to love one another. On Good Friday we will stand at the foot of the cross as Jesus takes his last breath. Then at our Easter Vigil, we will encounter the resurrected Jesus, having conquered sin and death.
This week, I invite you to listen to the words of Sacred Scripture as if you are hearing them for the very first time. Be still. Be in the moment. Just be. Immerse yourself in these liturgies and make the very most of this week as we journey with Jesus through His passion, death, and resurrection.
I look forward to us being united together this week as a parish family, and I wish you a truly blessed and grace-filled Holy Week.
May God bless you and those that you love.
This Sunday we celebrate the Third Scrutiny with our now 6 catechumens and 1 candidate from our R.C.I.A. family. This is an examination within, not only for those preparing to be welcomed into the church this Easter, but for each of us.
In our Gospel from John 11:1-45, we will hear Jesus proclaim, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Do you believe this?
I can’t help but sit and pray in our church and be drawn into the mysteries of our faith by just taking everything in that is found in our sanctuary. Our lent banners, “He died so that I may live,” and “Forgiven,” speak so beautifully to this passage from Sacred Scripture. Jesus died for each one of us so that we may live. Jesus died for our sins. So many times, in our world the message is you only live once, and if it feels good, just do it. Many around us act like this is the only life and there is no life other than the one we know today. As disciples of Christ, we know otherwise. We believe that there is a life after this one here on earth. When we die, we journey from life to life, life here on earth to life to eternal life. There is a resurrection. All of this and so much more helps us to understand that there is more to living, and that everything we do today helps us to prepare for the life to come.
This is what Lent is all about. Preparing, striving to move closer and closer to being one with Christ, and mirroring Christ here on earth. Jesus’ death opened the gates of eternal life. He died for our sins. When we turn to God and confess our sins, we are forgiven, and receive grace, the sharing in the supernatural life of Christ, so that we may live. Our crucifix and Jesus’ dying on the cross makes this real for us, now, in the most profound of ways.
As we journey through this Fifth Week of Lent together and prepare for Holy Week, the holiest of weeks for us in the church, please know of my prayers. I pray that you will open your heart to encounter Christ in the sacraments, and receive the graces you need live. Embrace these days ahead. Consider coming to weekday Mass. Join us for our Lent Penance Service, either in person or virtually. Pray the Stations of the Cross with our community this Friday. Immerse yourself into the mysteries of our faith, so that you may live today, in this life, and prepare for the life to come.
May God bless you and those that you love.
From Our Pastor