Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Happy Easter to all! Thank you for being with us this Easter as we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Your presence today is a precious gift to our parish community. How good it is for us to gather and share in this Holy Eucharist. I am sure God is smiling down from heaven upon us today. Easter is filled with great hope and joy. The songs we sing, the prayers we offer, even the colorful flowers and beautiful Easter lilies that decorate our church, all reflect the faith we profess today and the new life given to us by Christ.
Easter is just one day in the year. But every day, as followers of Jesus, we are to give witness to Christ in our life. Our prayer every Sunday is rooted in the death and resurrected Lord. The Easter season itself continues on for 50 days as we make our way to Pentecost Sunday. I am grateful for the many volunteers who worked so hard behind the scenes throughout this Holy Week to make our liturgies beautiful and meaningful expressions of our Catholic faith. Hundreds of hours go into the planning, practicing, rehearsing, organizing and decorating. Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph parishes are blessed to have dedicated and devoted parishioners who bring great care and attention to our prayer and worship. Thank you to all who gave of their time and talents to make this a very special and “Holy” Week.
I have a good friend in Knoxville, Tennessee. His name is Fr. Michael Woods and he is the pastor of All Saints parish. He told me the joke he made at the end of Mass last year on Easter Sunday to the crowd that packed the church to a standing room capacity. He said, “Folks, I’m glad you are here this Easter morning. It's great to see you. I just want to know one thing... We’ll have the same show next week! Make sure you come and join us!”
Welcome to Our Parish!
As always, we welcome those who are visiting our parish and those who are new to Immaculate Conception and St Joseph parishes. If you frequently attend either parish please make sure that you are registered with us so that you will be able to receive important information about our parish throughout the year. Also, it is important for families to be registered with a parish so that important sacramental information can be recorded. Today’s bulletin contains a registration form for new families. You can also register directly online at www.icsjparish.org. It only takes a couple of minutes.
A few years back, during Lent, I came across a prayer that I try to use every day. I keep a copy of it in my wallet. I would like to share it with you. It might be something that you can use periodically on those days when life gets nutty and stressful and you are searching for some “spiritual focus and direction.” This prayer has been my spiritual compass that keeps me pointing to Jesus’ presence in my life.
Reach Out And Grasp The Lord's Hand
Father, our source of life,
I reach out with joy to grasp your hand;
let me walk more readily in your ways.
Guide me in your gentle mercy,
for left to myself I cannot do your will.
Fill my heart with your love and keep me faithful to the
Gospel of Christ. Give me the grace to rise above
my human weaknesses.
Give me new life by your Sacraments,
especially the Mass.
Father of love, source of all blessing,
help me to pass from my old life of sin
to a new life of grace and prepare me
for the glory of your Kingdom.
Father, I ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Your Son and our Brother, who lives and reigns with you and
the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.