A Note From Fr. LeRoy
On behalf of Fr. Timothy, Fr. Oswaldo, our ACC Parish Staffs, and myself, I would like to wish you all a very "Happy and Blessed Easter!" May the joy of Christ's presence and risen life be yours forever in God! As Spring-time arrives and the 'clouds' of Covid-19 seem to be lifting, along with the beginning of this Easter Season, this is certainly a time to celebrate in our Faith with family and friends.
Beginning on Easter Sunday and throughout the Octave of Easter (the following 8 days up to Divine Mercy Sunday) in Jerusalem and in the Holy Land you might hear Christian friends as well as complete strangers greet each other with these words: "He is risen!" and the response from the other person would be: "He is truly risen!" or "He is risen indeed!" Why do they say this, and from where did this sort of greeting come?
In the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic religion, this is called the "Paschal greeting." It is based on (Luke 24,34) when the two disciples from Emmaus returned to Jerusalem after seeing the risen Christ and were greeted with these words, "The Lord has risen! He has risen indeed and has appeared to Simon!" It's origins are somewhat unclear, but it is a very old custom that dates back to the earliest years.
You might consider repeating or saying these words to yourself or to others. In doing this, we not only give witness to the truth and reality of the resurrection Jesus Christ but it also helps us to truly own this wonderful mystery of our faith, that Life has conquered death in Christ for all of us! In these next several days, try this greeting to your pastor or family or grandchildren or friends and see their response. You might get some strange looks, but it might also be a teaching moment for those who know little about our Christian Faith and what you are talking about.
On a final note: I want to thank all those who helped out and worked hard to put together our Holy Week Services in our ACC to create such wonderful celebrations for the members of all four of our parishes. I also want to thank everyone from our "Together as One" ACC who contributed so generously to our Easter Collections. Our churches and staff simply could not continue God's work without you so, "Thanks!" I conclude simply by saying "He is risen!" "He has truly risen!" "Happy Easter" everyone!
Fr. LeRoy Scheierl