I invite you to represent our community and accompany Trustee Dennis Myers as he carries a parish banner made by Joann Corsten in a 175th anniversary procession downtown on May 4th. More information can be found on our website and The Invitation.
Congratulations to our children who will receive their First Holy Communion on May 5th. May this day always be a special one in your lives. Thank you to the parents and catechists who have helped the children to arrive at this point in their faith journey!
As I watched the smoke rising from the fire before the beginning of our Easter Vigil service, I remembered that all the intentions of the past year from our Wailing Wall were contributing to that smoke, rising to the Lord. So in the vigil service, I remembered all those petitions in a special way. Now we start pinning another year of petitions on our Wall. What a blessing it is to be supporting each other in prayer!
Our Gospel this weekend is John’s version of Jesus’ appearance to His disciples Easter Sunday evening, as they were hidden behind locked doors. It is interesting to note His statements to them: twice He says, Peace be with you. For us this means our Lord and Savior has risen, so we have nothing to fear. He then adds, As the Father has sent me, so I send you. This means that, to be His disciples, we have to accept the same mission that Jesus had. What is that mission? His next words tell us that it is the mission of reconciliation, of bringing forgiveness to the world: Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained. God wants forgiveness and peace in the world and we, as Jesus’ followers, bring the good news of that pardon and reconciliation to our world. And we do it most forcefully and convincingly with our actions, when we forgive and reconcile and bring peace to all around us.
I invite us to reflect this week on our lives: do we bring peace and reconciliation or do we bring division? How can we heal divisions around us, especially any that we might have caused? And let us support each other in prayer: Lord, make me a channel of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me bring Your love….
-- Paul James Portland, SDS