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Third Sunday of Easter—May 5, 2019

Updated: Jan 9, 2020

Dear Friends in Christ:

As we continue on our journey through the weeks of the Easter Season I cannot help but reflect upon the idea of JOY. I have written about this topic in the past but I think it is one that is good to reflect on each year during this holy time. Why? Because this is the JOYFUL season of Easter.

We are not only an Easter people but we are also called to be a JOYFUL and JOYFILLED people. I often say to the young of our parish on their way out of Mass, and perhaps to a few adults as well--maybe I have even said it to you?--SMILE! When we leave Mass we should be reflecting the joy of what we just celebrated. The Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, is cause for JOY! The resurrection of Jesus is cause for JOY! So why don’t we all come out of Mass with huge smiles on our faces? Perhaps that is a question for us all to ponder.

The five Prefaces of Easter—that is, the first part of the Eucharistic Prayer leading us into the “Holy, Holy”—all contain the phrase “overcome with paschal joy.” So what is Paschal joy, anyway? Well, first of all, the word “paschal” comes from the Latin word pascha, which in turn is from the Hebrew word pesach, which we translate in English as “Passover.” For Christians, the Jewish festival of Passover has been transformed into Easter.

We as Catholic Christians celebrate the fact that Jesus passed over from death to life and so enabled us to pass over with him from an old way of life to a new and better existence, and to pass over from earth to heaven.

Now you might be thinking, “Sure, I’m joyful about Easter. But overcome with joy? Isn’t that going too far?” Well we certainly don’t look overcome with paschal joy when we are leaving Mass, but we should!

Don’t forget that we Christians have available supernatural joy, one of the fruits of the Spirit listed by Saint Paul (along with l