Our services during Holy Week went very well. On behalf of all of our community, I thank Kathy Wellenstein and all the musicians and ministers who gave of their time and talent so that we could celebrate these special events in the life, death and resurrection of Christ our Savior. And we can’t forget Bobby Pantuso SDS, who live streamed the Triduum for us. May God bless all of you for your
This week we are called to focus on the first chapter of Living the Gift of Sunday. This booklet is available in the parish office, outside the main church door and online. The three relevant pages for this week, as well as a video of a parish family sharing what Sunday means to them, are available on our website and Facebook pages. I invite you, as a family, to spend time this week with chapter one: Sunday is a Day of Christ’s Resurrection.
Our Gospel this weekend has Jesus appearing twice to His disciples, the first time on Easter Sunday, the second time a week later with doubting Thomas present. Let’s reflect on the 11 apostles a moment (remember, Judas is out of the picture).
As they walked with Jesus, the apostles knew Jesus was special and had special power. They were feeling important as members of His inner circle and looking forward to being MORE important (e.g., James and John coming with their mother to ask for the first and second places in the kingdom).
Then came Jesus’ arrest. They ran away, denied Him. They were hiding in a locked room in fear. They were hollow and empty; their pride and grandiose plans were shattered.
In this state, emptied of selfish desires and feeling very vulnerable and alone, they were ready for the Holy Spirit. After His resurrection, Jesus appears to them and does three things: He tells them to be at peace, He confers the Holy Spirit on them, and He gives them a commission.
There were other times before His death that Jesus had told them to be at peace (e.g., when the storm was tossing their boat), but they could not receive the Holy Spirit while they were full of ambition and selfishness. It is the same for us. Jesus wishes us peace and He offers us His Spirit to strengthen us, so that we can bring His love to the world. But, if we are selfish and proud, we will block it. The more we know we are needy, the more room there is for the peace and Spirit of Jesus.
I invite us to reflect this week on the apostles before and after the crucifixion and death of Jesus. How much are we ambitious and full of ourselves, as they were before Jesus died? How can we grow to understand and feel more fully our neediness and dependency on Jesus and His Spirit? All of this, ultimately, is to make us better disciples, bringing the Good News to others. May God bless us as we strive to grow as disciples!
Church sign of the week: Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, faith looks up.