Sunday, April 18, 2021

(full copy of our Bulletin is published below)


Dear Parishioners and Guests,
“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people
and Alleluia is our song!”
St. John Paul II
On this day of our Lord’s
glorious Resurrection, may the Spirit
of the Risen Christ always live within you, and may you always have the gift of Love, the blessing of Hope, and the promise of Peace. We hope your celebration of Easter
is filled with the joy Jesus Christ offers in His resurrection.
Please accept our best wishes for you and your families.


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Monday          7:30pm-9:00pm (church)

Wednesday    7:30pm-9:00pm (church) 

Friday              7:30am-6:00pm (churchl)

                         7:30pm-9:00pm (church)


Jesus, in today’s Gospel, teaches His apostles how to interpret the Scriptures. He tells them that all the Scriptures of what we now call the Old Testament refer to Him. He says that all the promises found in the Old Testament have been fulfilled in His Passion, death, and Resurrection. And He tells them that these Scriptures foretell the mission of the Church—to preach forgiveness of sins to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

In today’s First Reading, we see the beginnings of that mission. And we see the apostles interpreting the Scriptures as Jesus taught them to. God has brought to fulfillment what He announced beforehand in all the prophets, Peter preaches. His sermon is shot through with Old Testament images. He evokes Moses and the Exodus, in which God revealed Himself as the ancestral God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He identifies Jesus as Isaiah’s suffering servant who has been glorified.
John, too, in the Second Reading describes Jesus in Old Testament terms. Alluding to how Israel’s priests offered blood sacrifices to atone for the people’s sins (Leviticus 16; Hebrews 9–10). He says that Jesus intercedes for us before God (see Romans 8:34), and that His blood is a sacrificial expiation for the sins of the world.

With some study and effort, the Old Testament can be examined for the promises and foretelling of Jesus by the prophets. There are lessons from the Old Testament that are more subtle and just as important to our lives today. Something that's really interesting is that God is never named in the book of Esther. So He appears to be silent, but yet He is very present, always working within the scenes. Even when we don't see or hear Him, He makes all things come together for good.
To give some context to the silence, the book of Esther is the last external narrative in the Old Testament. The Jews are about to enter the first 400 silent years where God doesn't speak to his people through the prophets, He goes quiet. The book of Esther shows that while God is not speaking, God is still moving. It prepares the Jews to look for how God is moving in the next 400 years without hearing the words of the prophets. It can be a beautiful example for us, that even when we cannot perceive God’s movement, even when we don't understand our lives or even when we don't feel like we hear His voice, He is moving, He has never been absent. He is always in the intricate details.

For Esther, the Lord puts her in time, in history, to save His people. The Providence of God works in hidden and quiet ways. The Lord seems to continually choose the little people in the little ways to do great things. And Esther’s very little, she's beautiful, lovely and an orphan. Her cousin Mordecai adopted her as his own daughter, to take care of her, to be a refuge for her, to protect her, to guide her. His role in her life is going to profoundly change the nation.
Briefly, the King calls for all the young maidens to come forth. Esther finds favor in the eyes of the King, but this favor is something intended by the Lord. He chooses her to become queen. We need to notice Esther wasn't looking for this position. She didn't set out to do whatever it takes to be Queen. In obedience, she responded with all the other young maidens to the king. The Lord can open doors that no man can open. Sometimes do we strive and try to make things happen? Or do we allow the Holy Spirit to open doors for us and abide in his presence? The Lord can put us in places that we can never even imagine. Can we be faithful in the little everyday moments?

After Esther is chosen as queen, she goes through a purification period. For the first six months they detox her with myrrh. Myrrh gets rid of all bitterness and inflammation in your system. The second part of the purification process was all these different perfumes and oils that were absorbed into her skin, giving her a particular scent. That purification period sets the stage for her standing up for the Jewish people.

One of the Kings men, Haman, is plotting against the Jews because Mordecai will not bow to him. Haman is incensed by that and decides to plot to destroy the Jews. The King is largely unaware of what's happening because Esther hasn't revealed that she is Jewish. Mordecai can’t go to the King directly as the etiquette of the time would not permit it, less he would lose his life. Mordecai does go to Esther and now she has a decision to make: should she go to the king?
Mordecai tells her she can go ahead and stay silent because God will deliver his people another way. But he asks her to think about how can she not say that it wasn't for a time such as this, that God gave you this favor? She is here for a time such as this. She has a choice, she could stay silent, no one else would know. When we talk about speaking the truth in love and doing courageous things, how many of us in our life have had those decisions? When we know the Holy Spirit is asking us to say something, or we know that the Holy Spirit is asking us to do something or not do something and we agonize and take stock in what’s in it for us, listing the pros and cons and all the possible outcomes.

Esther decides that she is going to plead to the King and surrender her life if needed to do what is being asked of her. Her first action is to go and bow down before the Lord and start praying and fasting. She must have been saying, “I need your grace. I need your help with the words I'm going to say. And I need it right now!” The Lord delivers the nation through Esther. We can see God’s Providence unfolding because the King loved her so much. He took her plea and her accusation against Haman. He took it seriously and to be true. He wasn't put off by it and it didn't wound his ego. It actually wounded his love for her because he loved Esther so much. He didn't want anything to come in the way of her destruction.

The Lord in his infinite mercy does that for us as well. There are just certain situations where a certain person's heart is only opened by another person and sometimes we recognize God’s Providence God is writing this beautiful symphony over our whole life. It is very hopeful for all of us. God knows exactly where we are. He knows who we are. And He has unique plans for each of us. Maybe we can all tune in to the symphony that God is calling us to. And maybe surrender our will so we can see that we have been given favor for a time such as this.

Happy Easter! Have a blessed and peaceful day!

Fr. Ireneusz

Almighty and eternal God, you have so exalted the unbreakable bond of marriage that it has become a sacramental sign of your Son’s union with the Church as his spouse. Look with favor on these couples who you have united in marriage, as they ask for your help and the protection of the Virgin Mary.  We pray that in good times and in bad they will grow in love for each other; that they will resolve to be of one heart in the bond of peace. Lord, in their struggles let them rejoice that you are near to help them; in their needs let them know that you are there to rescue them; in their joys let them see that you are the source and completion of every happiness. We ask this through Christ our Lord,




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St. Theresa of Child Jesus

Roman Catholic Church

Archdiocesan Shrine of St. John Paul II


131 E. Edgar Road

Linden NJ 07036

908 862-1116


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