Jottings from Fr. J.J.

HAPPY EASTER!!!Alleluia!  I pulled up my Easter article from last year to help stir my creative juices for this note.  My 2013 article started with: “Let the Easter celebrations begin!  To really celebrate though, I believe it would be beneficial to look back at the last 40 days.  To me they have been 40 days of “change”.’  I wrote this because, as you are aware, Pope Benedict XVI resigned and Pope Francis was elected.  At the beginning of this Lent, St. Anastasia had an associate pastor in Fr. Moses.  Because of his need to recover from malaria, he had to go back home to Africa a week and a half ago.  Our two new Associate Pastors will arrive in July.  Aaaaaah, Change!? Or, more honestly, Uuuuuugh, Change!?

To most of us, “change” is a dirty word.    So, what do we do in our current culture/situation of change?  Have you ever noticed how refreshingly fun it is to be around optimistic people who seem to naturally maintain a positive attitude?  No matter how bad the circumstance, negativity never seems to enter their minds, let alone crosses their lips to form negative, faithless words!  Let’s be honest though, encountering a positive person is a rare occurrence these days.  Oops, I myself just got negative with that last statement.

It is a crazy cycle: Negative attitudes come from negative thoughts that come from reactions to negative situations.  There is a product, that when applied correctly, will erase your negative attitude in three days and all your dreams will come true, for the reasonable price of only $19.95.  What a bargain!  I wish I could give you a magic formula like that, but the real world isn’t quite so simple.

Let’s be honest, none of this negativity is coming from God.  There is absolutely nothing negative about how our Lord works.  So, how do we put a stop to all this nonsense?  How do we get to a place where a positive attitude is what’s natural for us and not the other way around?  The good news is that there are some things we can do to help transition from the land of negativity to a much more positive place.  Easter is an opportunity to go from the negative: death, to the hopeful: Resurrection.  Come here to St. A’s regularly.  Join a ministry or Bible Study.  Be committed to sharing your gifts.  Getting out of ourselves will allow us to see new life.  Come to Mass consistently, or visit the Divine Mercy Chapel regularly.  We can’t change by ourselves, but we can spend time with the One who is able to help. Let’s do what we can, and let God do the rest.  It really is that simple.

Let’s give our lives over to Christ and truly make Him the center of everything we do.  This process will change how we think and, I believe, is the real key to changing how we act. Remember, the body will follow wherever the mind and spirit goes.  Let us be active members of the “Body of Christ”.  There is no way to separate body, spirit, and body.  So, instead of leaving it to chance, let’s feed all three by being fed by Christ.

Again, Happy Easter!  Let’s enjoy a year of hope (and positivity) together. Let me end my article the exact same way I did last Easter:

“Maybe the Lord is inviting you to experience “a change” in your life.  You can have your own resurrection by getting involved in a new way.  Check out our website, pray about it, and go with your gut.  I bet you will be happy you did.  We look forward to seeing you on a regular basis.   Remember, change is learning.  Learning is growing.  Growing is living.  So live.  Live in HIM!”

God bless,
Fr. J.J.

P.S. Congrats to all of the folks who were received into the Church this weekend!!!!!!