Filled your heart with joy is my greeting to you and your family at Easter. Apart from the Risen Christ no one is able to fill our heart with joy. The Risen Christ alone has the power to fill our heart with joy. The safe Easter trip and beach front holiday, the Easter bunny and Easter Eggs are only parts of our social celebration. They give us some moments of happiness. They are means of our celebration. They themselves are not the cause of our celebration and they won't be able to fill your heart with joy. The Risen Christ does and He is the primary cause of our celebration. Without the Risen Christ there is no Easter and no celebration to follow. We do celebrate because Jesus has risen from the death and He is the primary cause for our celebration.
I wish the peace of the Risen Christ to fill your heart with joy and that it brings true happiness to your family. This is a sheer wish and within your reach. The heavenly gift is given to us freely and it comes from the Risen Christ. Easter without the Risen Christ in your heart is not Easter at all but rather it is the social gatherings at Easter. Without the Risen Christ in your heart your happiness will not last long because it lacks the spirit of Easter. The Easter gift is within our reach because during Lent we have prepared ourselves for the gift and it is now a time to welcome that gift with joy. The gift itself brings joy to the heart and any heart that is ready to open to welcome the gift will receive it.
The Apostles saw the Risen Christ and their hearts were filled with joy. The women who went to the tomb early in the morning recognized the Risen Christ in the form of a gardener and they jumped with joy. The disciples on the way to Emmaus saw the Risen Christ when he broke the bread that empowered them to travel all night telling their friends what they saw and whom they had met.
I would like to thank those individuals, special ministers and committees who, in different ways, have whole heartedly prepared the Church and liturgy leading up to the Holy Week celebration. Your contribution in many ways makes others feel welcome when they come to our celebrations. It somehow shows in a spiritual way and that helps people to open their hearts and welcome the Risen Christ. It is a great contribution you have made to enrich the life of the parish and it enlightens the faith journey of many and ultimately for the Risen Christ himself.
May the Risen Christ feel your heart with joy.
Happy Easter to all.