Thank God for the faithful laity of the Catholic Church, who keep their eyes fixed on Jesus. They understand Easter joy and Easter hope. They believe in the miracle of the resurrection, the gift of Eucharist, the love of God for each of us. The failures within the Church and the recent barrage of negative news reports did not dampen the beautiful day of Easter, for most. It was a magnificent, sunny day in the Northeast. My family still had to arrive a half hour early on Easter Sunday, to get our usual seats in Church. There were people standing in Church and that was with extra Masses added. Some Catholics have read the horrific articles about scandal in the Church or heard about them, but they still come, because their faith is grounded in Jesus. It's about Jesus, it's about the mystery and love of God and they know and believe that Jesus is "the Way, the Truth and the Life." They choose life "with Jesus," as opposed to the emptiness and hopelessness of unbelief. As Christians, we know that Christianity when it is well lived, provides a life filled with purpose, meaning and depth. Yes, the faithful believers in Christ, who trust, believe and are loyal, are the greatest asset and resource that the Church has. It uplifts me and inspires me at every Mass to be a part of a faith community that stands firm in belief, tradition, love of God and God's word. That is why people want to belong to the Catholic Church, to our community of believers. They know, that in spite of failures, that never should have happened, we are still Christians filled with courage, hope for a better future and a desire to bring forth the Reign of God and God's peace on Earth. Yes, we are a redeemed people, filled with hope, promise and a longing for God's peace and the fulfillment of God's promises. We "stand" on the shoulders of great men and women, throughout the centuries, who have worked hard and even given their lives, for the Christian cause of love, hope, truth, charity and goodness.
Let us come into God's presence with confidence, because we will find mercy and strength when we need it. (Heb. 4:16)