OLD THINGS MADE NEW
By Fr. Chris Valka, CSB
Today (Easter Sunday) marks the defining moment of our faith, our Church, our parish and our lives. Nothing is the same after the resurrection. Christ’s triumph is what separates Christianity from all other religions. Look closely at any religion and you will find great teachers and teachings; martyrs and ideas that better humanity, but only one man rose from the dead. The world would never be the same after the first Easter Sunday.
Everything we believe and practice hinges on the resurrection, and so it is fitting that we give this celebration everything we have. Here at St. Basil’s, I have joked with several parishioners that as soon as we finishing celebrating the risen Christ, I am going to fall with exhaustion like the stone he rolled away!
Good celebrations take a lot of work, and they are certainly a team effort – not just the ministers and volunteers – but all of us. If you are at our parish this weekend, then you played a part in the celebration, so let me take this moment to thank you for helping us celebrate!
That said, some folks deserve more gratitude than others. There are many that put in a great many hours to prepare long before we opened the doors on Saturday night. In fact even before the liturgies began, some came out to help us clean the church so that it would shine with all the glory our Savior deserves.
Those of you who know me, know that I like a clean church and have spent a lot of time cleaning the place since I arrived last July. Part of my cleaning before Holy Week including repairing parts of the bell tower and finally cleaning the windows. I must admit that I was amazed how well they cleaned up, and it made me think of how often we through things out because they are not new, when really they just need a little love. . . or elbow grease.
This great old church is a good example of how beautiful old things and traditions can be – kind of like Mass on Easter Sunday. If you are a visitor to our parish, my hope is that we will see you again – that you will come back to see just how much more there is to see and experience. Perhaps you can help us to do a few new things with some of the old things? Perhaps this can be your resurrection moment? Perhaps you will look back years from now and say things really weren’t quite the same after this Easter?
And if you already call this parish home. . . well. . . I have the same hope for you too. May we all work together to celebrate the resurrection every day we are together!