Published on April 24, 2019

Dear Friends,

Christus resurrexit! – Christ is risen!

This past week we were given the unbelievable grace to see anew the Holy Face of Jesus Christ.  On Palm Sunday, in one moment we could picture our Lord coming triumphant into Jerusalem to shouts of “Hosanna!” and the next hearing the sobering words of the Prophet Isaiah: “I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting.”  We saw strength and courage in His face.

On Tuesday at the Chrism Mass the Holy Oils were blessed and consecrated, the priests, deacons and faithful of our diocese joined with our bishop and we heard Saint Luke repeat the words of that same prophet: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”  Looking upon that sacred face, we are reminded that in it we are to see the marginalized, the forgotten, the lonely… those who long for freedom.

Holy Thursday evening, we gathered and Jesus Christ showed us His Holy Face in a new way: we watched as he bathed the feet of his disciples, dried and kissed them.  Profound yet tender, we saw the face of service: “Do you realize what I have done for you?”  “I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”  And then, if that wasn’t enough, our eyes were opened to seeing his face, infinite, beautiful and truly present before us in the Eucharist.

With Friday came the Passion, and there we saw the face of suffering–the lengths to which love would go.  In the Shroud of Turin, the Veil of Veronica, we see so many people (perhaps even ourselves) who have the privilege of carrying the Cross with our Lord.

And today, beginning in darkness, we see the face of light rising in glory.  “The night shall be as bright as day… full of gladness.”  Today, we see the face of joy, perfection, utter and complete happiness.  Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy–the face of salvation; the face of hope for absolutely everyone.

Today–and every day forward–may the Holy Face of Jesus Christ our Savior, risen from the dead, fill you with love and peace each and every time you see him.  Alleluia!

Happy Easter!

Fr. Hoyles