Christ is Risen! He is Truly Risen! Saint Augustine of Hippo (d. 430+) produced a voluminous number of philosophical and theological works. Still extant among them are hundreds of inspiring sermons. The following is a beautiful Easter Season exhortation to those who have been given the new life of Christ in Holy Baptism:
“Sing to the Lord a new song: His praise in the assembly of the saints. We are urged to sing a new song to the Lord, as new men who have learned a new song. A song is a thing of joy; more profoundly, it is a thing of love. Anyone, therefore, who has learned to love the new life has learned to sing a new song, and our new song reminds us of our new life. The new man, the new song, the new covenant, all belong to the one kingdom of God, and so the new man will sing a new song and will belong to the new covenant.
“There is not one who does not love something, but the question is, what to love. The psalms do not tell us not to love, but to choose the object of our love. But how can we choose unless we are first chosen? We cannot love unless someone has loved us first. Listen to the apostle John: We love Him, because He first loved us. The source of man’s love for God can only be found in the fact that God loved him first. He has given us Himself as the object of our love, and He has also given us its source. What this source is you may learn more clearly from the apostle Paul who tells us: The love of God has been poured into our hearts. This love is not something we generate ourselves; it comes to us through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
“Since we have such an assurance, then, let us love God with the love He has given us. As John tells us more fully: God is love, and whoever dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him. It is not enough to say: Love is from God. Which of us would dare to pronounce the words of scripture: God is love? He alone could say it who knew what it was to have God dwelling in within him. God offers us a short route to the possession of Himself. He cries out: Love Me and you will have Me for you would be unable to love Me if you did not possess Me already.
“My dear brothers and sons, fruit of the true faith and holy seed of heaven, all you who have been born again in Christ and whose life is from above, listen to me; or rather, listen to the Holy Spirit saying through me: Sing to the Lord a new song. Look, you tell me, I am singing. Yes indeed, you are singing; you are singing clearly, I can hear you. But make sure that your life does not contradict your words. Sing with your voices, your hearts, your lips and your lives: Sing to the Lord a new song.
“Now it is your unquestioned desire to sing of Him whom you love, but you ask me how to sing His praises. You have heard the words: Sing to the Lord a new song, and you wish to know what praises to sing. The answer is: His praise is in the assembly of the saints; it is the singers themselves. If you desire to praise Him, then live what you express. Live good lives, and you yourselves will be His praise.”
Mary M. Lai Model of Faith Award: Each year our neighbors and friends, the Newman Club, at Long Island University C.W. Post Campus presents an award to a deserving recipient who has served the Church and community in a special way. The chaplain of the Campus parish is Father Ted Brown, M.S. This year’s honoree is our own parishioner Anne Maione. She received the award after a Mass and reception at the University on Sunday, April 12th. God bless you, Anne, and sincere congratulations!
St. George, the Holy and Great Martyr: On Thursday of this week we keep the liturgical commemoration of the Holy and Great Martyr St. George. St. George is the Patron of all the military, all scouts, of England, Greece, Turkey and Russia. He is the patron of our own parish organization, the Troops of St. George. I will write more about this great saint and martyr in next week’s bulletin.
St. Paul the Apostle, Dog Park: Once again may I ask that we follow both the Nassau County and Town of Oyster Bay statutes and ordinances and not allow dogs to wander our parish grounds. As you know, by Town ordinance, dogs must be on leashes when they are away from their masters’ property. Dogs are not permitted on school property and, as is well known, St. Paul’s is private property and not a public park. The problem of walking dogs on the property grows increasingly worse. I would like to assure the parents of our Preschool children and religious education children that their little ones would enjoy the same hygienic and safety standards here as if they were in a public school. Sadly, the presence of dogs, whose masters would not even think of walking on public school property, makes that assurance difficult. One of the signs on the property that read No Pets Allowed was forcibly dug up and thrown on the ground. My parents always taught me to respect the property of others. May I ask that this simple request be observed and that respect be shown to our parish ground and the pastor’s desire to create a clean and safe environment for all.
MEMORIALS: We are presently in need some items for the Church which could be given in memory of a loved one. We are in need of another green vestment, a new censer, a censer stand, and two candelabra for the Altar of Repose on Holy Thursday. Please call the Parish Office if you would like to donate any of these items.
May we live good lives, indeed, through the Risen One’s love at work in us.
May God reward you for all you have done for me and for St. Paul’s. Christ is Risen; he is Truly Risen.
Benedicat Virgo Maria!
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda