LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Midnight Mission held its Easter Celebration once again today after it was canceled for two years because of restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Sixth Street in front of the mission in downtown Los Angeles was closed to accommodate nearly 2,000 homeless and near-homeless individuals and families who received a traditional holiday meal and hygiene items, according to Georgia Berkovich, the mission's director of public affairs. The mission expected to serve 2,000 pounds of herb chicken, 1,000 pounds of each of honey-glazed spiral ham and garlic mashed potatoes and 700 pounds of steamed vegetables topped by 45 gallons of gravy, Berkovich said.
COVID-19 vaccinations were available, and Underdog Community Project was providing free veterinary services and other needed pet care. TMM also hosted an Easter Village where children were able to meet the Easter Bunny, played by comedian and TMM alumnus Logan Hobson, and receive baskets full of candy and other treats. Meanwhile, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles was able to seat its full capacity of 3,000 for Easter Masses after being limited to 130 people in 2021 and being closed in 2020. The Rev. David Gallardo, the cathedral's pastor, celebrated Easter Sunday Mass, the Mass of the Resurrection of Our Lord, in English at 10 a.m. Archbishop José Gomez celebrated the Mass in Spanish at 12:30 p.m.
``In these times when the world seems so disturbed, when there are so many wars and divisions, God continues to be the Lord of history and of nations. Jesus is the one we can turn to, the one who can save us and give us peace,'' Gomez said in his homily in Spanish. ``... And the beautiful thing is that we are called to live and love like Jesus in our homes, in the workplace, at school, in everything we do,'' he continued. ``We do it simply by trying to live like Jesus, carrying out our daily obligations with a heart full of peace and joy. The saints speak of the `duty to share the joy.' Live with joy and try to spread that joy to others.'' The Masses were streamed at olacathedral.org/live, www.facebook.com/lacatholics and lacatholics.org/holyweek.
Guadalupe Radio was transmitting the Spanish-language Easter Mass at guadaluperadio.com and El Sembrador will rebroadcast the Spanish-language Mass at 5 p.m. at elsembradorministries.com. The Feast of the Resurrection is the oldest and most important Christian celebration. Christians believe Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures, offered his life and his death for the forgiveness of sins. But they believe that God raised him up, showing his power over sin and death and revealing Jesus as his beloved son.