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     Easter Proclaims the Enduring Value of Sacrificial Love

    Easter proclaims that what lives on is the enduring reality of sacrificial love.  Easter proclaims the Sacrificial Love that was there on the Cross can be represented to us.  Having experienced this sacrificial love, we are called to represent this sacrificial love to others.
    In the Gospel, Our Risen Lord identifies Himself with the Sacrifice which He made for us on the Cross.  The Risen Lord says, “Look at the wounds in my hands and my feet…”  The popular movie, “The Passion” by Mel Gibson communicates the horrible suffering and death which Christ underwent to save us.  It was real suffering and real death to set us free from the power of sin, evil and death.
    The disciples recognize Christ because in some mysterious way His wounds are represented in a Glorified State as a sign of His victory for us on the Cross.  By our tomb in church, we see a statue of Our Risen Lord holding a white flag with a red cross, a symbol of victory.  We call it Good Friday because on that Friday, Christ won the victory for us.
    As we celebrate the fifty days of Easter, we can also rise with Him in sacrificial love.  As we celebrate the memory of our loved ones who have died, what lives on in our hearts?  Is it not the sacrifices which they made for us?  And as we remember them in prayer, we recall their love for us in the sacrifices which they made for us, big and small.
    In our Easter reflections, as we think of Our Risen Lord standing before us showing the wounds in his hands and in his feet, could we ask how did he stand before us?  Could we say that He stood before us in the sacrifices of our loved ones who have died?  Something of Christ, something of them represents itself to us during the Easter Season.  What is represented or made present again is the Gift of Sacrificial Love.
    At the Eucharist, the sacrifice of Christ and their sacrifices are represented to us.  They join us in prayer in their risen state in heaven.  We encounter the Risen Lord who says, “Look at the wounds in my hands and in my feet”, as we see the Bread and Wine lifted up at the Consecration.  The lifting up of the Bread and Wine at the Consecration is a sign of Christ, who was lifted up for us on the cross.
    And we are invited to lift up our sacrifices as well.  The priest invites us at the Presentation of the Gifts when he says, “Pray Brothers and Sisters that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God the Almighty Father.”
    And you respond, “May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of His Name, for our good, and the good of all His holy church.
    We are invited to make sacrifices.  We are called to make acts of sacrificial love.  Ideally during the Mass I can formulate an intention to make an act of sacrificial love for others.   If could be for family, friends, someone in need.  It could be to sacrifice for our parish by donating our time, talent and treasure.
    The Risen Lord stands before us to communicate to us His sacrificial love.  We are invited to do the same for others.



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      Let us remember in our prayers those who are sick.  May they and their caregivers receive comfort and strength, remembering especially Mary Adams, Greg Basco, Mary Ann Betliskey, Tony Betliskey, Pat Colburn, Donna Czyzynski,
    Corrine Dawe, Joseph Deccola, Carole Dlouhy, Jose Dybzinski, Kristin Hill, Frances Holecek, Millie Jasany, Suzanne Kilker, Tom Konkoly,
    Judy Landolph, Bishop Richard Lennon,       Barbie Lister, Art Madsen, Rose Meadows,
    Jeanette Miller, Marguerite Miller,
    Geri Milton, Donna Murrin, Louis Novac,           Art Novotny, John Pocius, Joel Rivera,            Karen Rossi, Bob Schippling, Bob Seneff,
    Margaret Slechta, Elaine Stack, Rev. John Tezie, Aaron Thiem, Ed Vitigoj, Carole Walk, Ron Walk, Robert Wagner, Greg Wisniewski and Vicky Yates.
                For the Men and Women serving in the military, especially those from our parish and their families.
                            May our Loved Ones who have died rest in eternal peace in heaven.