Dear Friends of Saint Ann’s Shrine,
We all have experienced sorrows in our lives. Sorrows are inevitably a part of every life. It may come from the loss of position, health problems, or the loss of personal relationships. The greatest are those of the death of a loved one, a beloved parent, a brother or sister whom we had counted on to a closest friend and support for all of our life, and, perhaps the deepest sorrow of all is the death of one’s child.
A child of any age is one in whom we place so much hope. Every child I (Father Mike) see is for me a cause of joy and hope for a future in which the goodness and love of Our Lord for His people will be continued. The senseless deaths of so many have been seen in our country in the past few years and recently. The thought of the killings of 6 year-olds at the Sandy Hook school and now the deaths of the teenagers of Parkland, Florida brings many, including me, to tears seeing many promising futures, with so much promise, now snuffed out.
Now consider the loss of Jesus to His followers with His crucifixion and death. He had given them a hope for the fulfillment of the whole history of themselves as Israelites. He was to them the Messiah who was to bring them to independence and freedom for the oppression on those who oppressed them. He was to bring the nation of Judah to power and prosperity. They had placed their entire future and hopes in Him, as well as having to come to a deep personal love for this wise, gentle and kind teacher and healer of lives.
And now His life was ended and He lay lifeless in the tomb. Imagine their deep sorrow, the depression that would be theirs. All their hopes and dreams were ended and there was nothing left for them in this world. They would return to their former occupations as fisherman, for some. Certainly, their lives would have been changed by their association and memory of what Jesus was as a man who taught the love of the Father, but even that would be difficult to realize.
AND THEN…Mary Magdalen, who has shared their sorrow, would bring the announcement that the TOMB WAS EMPTY. This would bring confusion…what had happened? Probably it was an additional sorrow.
But Jesus would appear to Mary Magdalen and call her by name. She would hurry as He would instruct her: HE IS RISEN. HE HAD BEEN RESURRECTED FROM THE DEAD AND IS ALIVE.
Now imagine the joy that was theirs. There was hope far beyond anything they could have known was possible. It was not a passing world that He had brought to them….it was an eternal world when they would also share the resurrection and the fulfillment of all for which creation could hope…eternal union with their God…the very reason for their creation.
This is what we celebrate at Easter and at every celebration of the Eucharistic feast. We share the eternal life of Our Lord as we share His Body and Blood in the Eucharist. How much joy we should have…how much hope…a hope that overcomes all our sorrows knowing that our lives and the lives of those we love end in Christ.
It is all this that we share with our Christian community. It is this that the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament wants to bring more deeply in the lives of our community and all society as we bring the Good News, the wonderful news of Christ’s resurrection and that we share in it, even now, as we share His Body and Blood in the Eucharist.
That we seek to share all that Our Lord brings us is deeply a part of our own being, a reason and means of fulfilling our creation and lives. We here at Saint Ann’s Shrine are helping promote this world and ask for your financial assistance. You will be helping bring the joy of the Resurrection to others that they can have the hope that we know. May Our Lord bring you many blessings for all that you can do for us and His people.
Sincerely Yours In Good Saint Ann,
Rev. Michael Noreika, SSS Rev. Roger Bourgeois, SSS
Spiritual Director Chaplain
*Join us for the Triduum as we celebrate Mass in honor of Saint Ann’s Feast Day on July 24th, 25th, and 26th at Saint Paschal Baylon Church at 7:00PM each night. A nine-day Novena in honor of Saint Ann’s Feast Day is celebrated at Saint Jean Baptiste Church in New York City from July 17th through July 26th with Mass at 7:30PM each day.
*Join us at Saint Ann’s Shrine for Daily Mass at 11:30AM, Monday-Friday (call for Holidays)