Easter thoughts
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Here we are in Holy Week, one like we have never experienced before. No family gatherings. No dinners at our special restaurants. No gathering with other families for large Easter egg hunts.

Easter, of course, is the most important celebration in all Christian churches. It is the day Jesus rose from the dead. It is the day He opened the gates of Heaven. Churches are normally overflowing. In my own Catholic Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Easter Sunday Masses as so crowded that we rent out the local Expo Center and hold three Masses. Each Mass is attended by 2,000 to 3,000 people. The atmosphere is electric and all attention is on the altar where Jesus Christ comes forth, body and blood, soul and divinity, under the appearance of bread and wine.

Although these group celebrations will not take place this year, Jesus Christ will still rise from the grave and lead us to Heaven.

This year you will have a unique opportunity. As you shelter-in-place, or obey stay-at-home-orders, find a quiet time and say the prayer Jesus taught us. You know the one:

Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.) Amen.

Take the opportunity this weekend to personalize that prayer. You just prayed, “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven.” What is God’s will for your life? We are faced in this life with many people telling us what we need to do. But, the only thing that is important is what God wants us to do. That may be something far different from what anyone else thinks we should do.

So, this Easter Sunday, when you have some quiet moments, pause and ask God to make His will for your life known to you. 

Don’t expect some grand multi-year plan laid out for you. Know that it will come in small installments. It may be just a desire to say a Rosary, or an interest in reading a certain book. It might be to place a call to some relative of friend.

Maybe you’ve lost a job and don’t know where to look. Ask God for His help and then see where He sends you . . . or whom He places in your life.

As isolated as we are this Easter, it is a perfect time to get closer to God. That could lead you to a new beginning and possibly a new life.

Happy Easter!