Easter Message 2020

Once I met a High School student in Bishop Alemany High School who was diagnosed with leukemia. She was told by the nurse in the hospital that she was going to lose her beautiful hair when she starts getting chemotherapy. Her situation in her home was not the best. And so, she came for counselling. To lift up her spirits, I remember giving her a drawing done by my classmate in the seminary of a field with dark clouds hovering over it and a bright sun shining behind the clouds. I told her that even though her life at that moment might be gloomy and very depressing, there is always a brighter day, a sunny day that lies ahead. And I told her that the sun behind the dark clouds is Jesus’ Resurrection.

Our whole world is in a similar situation like that young high school student with a serious illness. And it could be very depressing to hear every day the rising number of deaths from this coronavirus. But we cannot give in to despair as if we are people who have no faith and no Savior. We cannot forget that Jesus rose from the dead. His Resurrection gives us hope. His Resurrection teaches us that death does not have the final word. Christ is our Victor. We remember the words of St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians: “Death is swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57) We are people of well-founded hope that we set our eyes on what is above and not on what is below. As St. Paul encourages us in his second letter to the Corinthians: “Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:16-18) As we experience the “Cross” at this time let us unite ourselves to Jesus who transforms our human suffering to occasions of grace that we may share fully in the glory of His Resurrection. Let us unite in prayer as a community of faith via live stream Masses and Liturgies through our St. Anthony Catholic Church El Segundo Facebook page. Confidently, as we all raise our voices as one to God we shall rise above this sad situation of separation from each other as God blesses us with His Love and Mercy.

I assure you all of my prayers for your intentions and for all your loved ones. And on behalf of all the staff and ministers of our Church, I wish you all a Blessed and a Healthy Easter!