My dear parishioners, I give you the joy of Easter and the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ! One of the great attractions of the Christian gospel is the relationship Jesus shared with his Father. The heart of this Father-son filiation is this: Jesus emptied himself of his divine prerogatives and became a servant. He taught the twelve, "If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all." [Mk 9:35]
Jesus taught that all who desire to be in relationship with his Father are to follow his example. To be a follower of Jesus, you must pledge to become a servant-son in his father’s kingdom. You are to purify the vessel of your heart. Your soul "cannot pour forth from the same opening both fresh water and brackish". [Jas 3:11] You are to empty yourself of human advantage and die to your old self. Then and only then may you embrace the new person, your true self whom Christ desires you to be.
Our Lord directs you to pursue and practice holiness. You are in need of God’s love and not merely a portion of it. You need the fullness of God’s love. Your human needs alone cannot merit salvation in the absence of a deeply committed relationship with God. A problem cannot be its own solution. Need
is human potential unrealized. Your limited and flawed capacity to fulfill your own potential is a powerful reason to humble yourself before your God.
The Holy Spirit, the exemplar of holiness, is the power through which you are sanctified. You must ask for this divine gift. When you ask for this gift, the Spirit will embrace your human soul and grasping it as a vessel, pour out everything impure. Simultaneously, the Spirit will fill your waiting heart with the cleansing, transparent waters of regeneration. Your true potential, oriented to heavenly things yet wilted by sin and sorrow, is brought to flower by divine potency. Understand that your human nature cannot empty itself. You must be holy as God is holy
AS OBEDIENT children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." [1Pet 1:14-16]
On this solemnity of Easter, the most holy of all days, we celebrate the concrete reality of Our Lord's resurrection from the dead. This titanic fact is the bedrock of our faith! Without it, the human person is nothing but a clever animal, his potential is a cry never heard, his soul is a child without a home.
Therefore Jesus Christ alone, to whom God has "bestowed the name above every other name" [cf. Phi 2:9], has conferred upon us who believe in him the surname of Christian
. If we are worthy of the Easter Proclamation, if we are deserving of the glorious name, we will be found kneeling in the assembly of God's people, "confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father". [Phi 2:6-11] This, then, is our Easter joy!
Sincerely in the hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Your pastor, Reverend Richard Barker.
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Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
Auxiliary Msgr. George Sheltz
Retired Auxilliary Vincent Rizzotto
Most Rev. Joseph A. Fiorenza
Reverend Richard Barker