Happy Easter, everyone! Jesus is Risen! He is truly risen! Alleluia!
Welcome back to his parish church dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi!
The Risen Jesus of Easter always appears consoling his friends and disciples. They were scared, confused, and despairing —- just like many of us. But the Risen Jesus is here to share his JOY! Easter joy goes beyond description. From our experience, we know that joy is more than just happiness, which can come and go and sometimes be induced. Joy is something deeper than mere emotion. A sure sign of God’s presence, joy is a gift from God, freely given and often unexpected.
One Summer as a seminarian, I was working in a hospital along with seminarians from other denominations (Episcopalian, Methodist, Lutheran, Moravian). One of the seminarians surprised me by telling me that I was the most joyful Christian he had ever met. He gave an example from the collection of writings by C.S. Lewis called “The Joyful Christian.”
I pray that I always share that joy!
I am so joyful to see so many returning here to Jesus after being away. Whatever the reason, welcome back! It’s good that you are here. I’ve heard that a lot of people who have fallen away from the church are coming back! But there are a lot more, I’m sure you know. Please invite them —- with JOY!
I am a Missionary of Mercy appointed by Pope Francis, and I am eager to help anyone come back who has been away! Next weekend, I will be in Rome attending a gathering of all the Missionaries of Mercy. Please pray for me. I will be praying for you!
Rev. Mark Zacker