My Lord and My God!
Although Thomas the apostle is unfortunately stuck with an un-complimenting nickname ‘Doubting Thomas’, he speaks for us when he expresses his desire to probe his finger in the wounds of Jesus and see whether he is the one. There is nothing wrong with our inquisitiveness and probing questions. As someone said, “Thousand questions do not amount to a doubt.” What matters is the conclusion that Thomas declares, namely, he confesses “My Lord and my God!” to the risen Christ. My hope is that everyone’s journey of faith may reach such a happy completion.
The highlight of Holy Week was obviously the Easter Vigil. It is such an overwhelming and gratuitous joy that I felt celebrating the Liturgy. Beginning with the blessing of fire, Easter Candle chant, and magnificent scriptural readings describing God’s marvelous works of creation, redemption, and completion. In addition to ringing bells at Gloria and singing alleluia again, the core of the Liturgy is Baptism and Confirmation, followed by the candidates’ First Eucharist.
The newly baptized made my Easter so meaningful and wonderful. It is for such new births that I crave as a priest. The sheer joy of the parents with new born babies is similar to what I felt at the celebration. That’s what we are about, spreading the good news of God’s unfathomable mercies among those who are unaware of those and dedicating them to God as the fruits of our labor. Of course, it is the Holy Spirit who should take all the credit, but we are most delighted to be the instruments of the Holy Spirit in inviting them, encouraging them, and accompanying them in their journey to God.
These newly baptized and confirmed have taken different journeys to the reach this point. All along, however, they appreciated the Catholic Church’s respect for free will and intellect, as well as its all comprehensiveness that embraces every human longing and every culture.
The Easter Vigil liturgy was truly a joyful and beautiful celebration, to which our choir contributed a great deal. I am grateful to God that we were able to celebrate Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter with such ardent faith and infectious joy. I am grateful to all the instructors of RCIA, all those who cleaned and decorated the church inside and out, those who built the altar of repose, the music ministers, altar servers, the parish staff, deacons, seminarian, and, of course, Fr. Bob and Fr. Shaun. Everything went so swimmingly because everyone was so well prepared.
Let us continue to celebrate our new birth, our confidence, and our joy in this Easter season.
Joyfully in the Risen Lord,
Fr. Paul D. Lee