Saint Matthew Assyrian - Chaldean Catholic Church Ceres-CA
On Saturday April 07, 2012, Easter Vigil and Easter Holy Mass celebration at St. Matthew Catholic Church began at 8:00 PM and continued throughout midnight. Fr. Michael Barota, the Parish Pastor, began the Vigil service with prayers and procession following the footsteps of the disciples who went to the Tomb of our Lord Jesus Christ and found it empty. Christ our Lord is Risen.
Following the Vigil Fr. Barota began the Easter Holy Mass, and wished all Christians a very Blessed Easter. In his sermon, Fr. Barota elaborated on the importance of building a personal relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ, in order for us to pass on from this temporary life filled with suffering to an eternal life filled with joy of being in presence of our Lord. Following the Holy Mass celebration the faithful gathered at the church hall where they had a light meal together and enjoyed visiting one another and wishing each other a Happy Easter. We wish you all Happy Easter. The Lord is Risen; go preach the Good News.
On Friday April 6, 2012, the faithful gathered at Saint Matthew Catholic Church in observance of Good Friday: to commemorate the Crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ and His death on the Cross at Calvary. Father Michael Barota, our Parish Pastor, read from the liturgy of the Church. He preached about the suffering of Christ on the Cross and how vital it is to understand the significance of Christ’s suffering and death in order for us to appreciate and enjoy the miracle of His resurrection.
Attending the Good Friday service indeed plays a great role in preparing us for Easter Vigil and celebration. Fr. Barota reminded everyone that Jesus died for us in order to bring us salvation, ” For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16-17
One of the important events that take place during the Holy Week is the Commemoration of the Passover Thursday, the Paschal Mystery, and establishing the Sacrament of Eucharist by The Lord in His Last Supper with the Apostles. On Thursday, April 06, 2012, Fr. Michael Barota, our Parish Pastor, with the deacons and parishioners at St. Matthew Catholic Church carried out “Washing of the Feet” ceremony, followed by celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
The “Washing of the Feet” is part of the celebration on this day. After washing the feet of several, Fr. Barota preached about the significance of this event that took place 2000 years ago: Lord Jesus Christ washed the feet of His disciples. By doing so, Jesus established a “Way of Life” for them and for us to follow. Washing the foot of another person is an act of love, humility, and service. Jesus showed us that through His eternal kindness and forgiveness. “If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet.” (John 13:14)