19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.”
The Nativity of St. John the Baptist
Graduation Recognition Sunday
The light unto nations is the Jews or the prophet Isaiah, both because of the divine message they give to humanity, not because of their human social efforts. The Jews are the light unto nations in that, by observing the events concerning them, one cannot avoid the conclusion that HaShem is true. Prophet Isaiah, in contrast to the false prophets of peace, the Neville Chamberlains of our day, is the light unto the nations in that, by believing in his message and following his exhortations, one knows what the way to peace is and what only pretends to be such.
Feast of the Ascension of the Lord
Transformation! What “transformative” moments do you remember in your life? The first day of School? First Communion or Confirmation? Graduation? Your first job? Moving out on your own? Wedding Day? Your first child? The death of a parent or sibling? The list is long for most of us!
This Ascension Day is a transformative moment for the disciples of Jesus, and for all of us who aspire to follow in their footsteps! They had already experienced the “whirlwind” of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus. When they meet Him on the mountain, they worship him, but still have lingering doubts.
Now, just as the reality of his resurrected presence has begun to sink in, he is lifted up before their eyes. He charges them to go out and make disciples of all nations. His assurance to them: I am with you always, until the end of the age. He is still with us in this age!
Sixth Sunday of Easter
Jesus gives us the answer to these questions in today’s Gospel: “A New Commandment: Love One Another!”
His instruction from the Last Supper discourse has much more to say to us: “As the Father has loved me, so I also have loved you. Remain in my love. I have told you this do that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.”
“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.”
“It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain… This I command you: love one another.”
Third Sunday of Easter
We continue to hear today from the “Resurrection Stories,” the scriptural accounts of the appearances of the Risen Christ. He continues to surprise his followers, appearing sometimes when they least expect him. “It is the Lord!”
Today’s passage from John tells the story of Jesus preparing breakfast for his followers on the shore. It includes a miraculous catch of fish, which they can barely haul ashore. The passage concludes with the encounter between Peter and Jesus: “Peter, do you love me more than these?” He is asked three times, and three times responds, “Lord, you know that I love you.” And Jesus challenged him to “feed my Sheep!” We are asked the same question and given the same challenge as Peter: “Follow me!”
While the answer seems so obvious, the reality is almost beyond belief! Many times when Jesus would predict his passion and death, AND RISING FROM THE DEAD, his disciples would wonder and discuss among themselves what this might mean.
We profess to believe in the RESSURECTION FROM THE DEAD, a rising to a new and never-ending life with a perfect body that is beyond all imagining! As the Gospel Resurrection stories attest, it would take awhile before his followers would grasp the reality of the Resurrection and allow it to change their lives. Once it did, they lost fear and began to go out to spread the Good News of Jesus!
Have we yet grasped what the Resurrection fully means? Once we do, we too will be able to lose our fear to go out and Spread the Good News of Jesus! This is what New Life and Easter Joy are all about!
We begin a Journey today whose destination is GLORY, for Jesus, God’s Son, won for us that we might share in that same Glory!
The journey begins today with an exuberant, anticipation and joy. We re-enact it with our own Procession of Palms into the Church. Suddenly, before we know what has happened, there is talk of suffering and death! What happened? Did we take a wrong turn?
We have heard the story before and know the outcome. But what does it say to our life’s journey today, here and now? Jesus overcame sin and death by giving himself completely for us. By giving ourselves completely to God and one another, we too shall achieve GLORY!
Fifth Sunday of Lent
The amazing story of the Resurrection of Lazarus which we hear today captivates our imagination and gets us thinking about life and death and life after death. That’s what the story should do. The story points to the power of Jesus as God’s Son. It displays his compassion for those who suffer the loss of loved ones. It also points to the hardness of heart who refuse to see and accept Jesus for who he is! We are reminded through this story of the transforming of transforming and life-changing power of Jesus in our midst through this church. What has us battered down and tied up?
My Lord And My God!
Easter amazement! The events of Easter Sunday are beyond comprehension, especially for those who were witnesses of the spectacle of Good Friday!During these six weeks of the Easter season we continue to hear the accounts of the risen Christ appearing to his followers. At the tomb, in the upper room, at the inn at Emmaus, on the beach, it still seems too good to be true!Today’s Gospel takes us to the upper room where the Last Supper was celebrated. We find the apostles on Easter Sunday night behind locked doors, and again a week later in the same place, this time with Thomas present. The apostle Thomas expresses where we often find ourselves, at first skeptical or incredulous, having to see things for ourselves, only to be brought to our knees with the reality of God’s power and love for us! What else can we say, but “My Lord and My God!”
The Lord is Risen! He is not here, for he has risen just as he said! These words mark the star-tling end of an amazing journey we call Holy Week!In fact, these words, this event marks a whole new era, a whole new beginning for human be-ings. Those closest to Jesus during his lifetime and public ministry would only gradually come to an understanding of what happened on this day, and what it meant for them and the whole world. Gradually they came to fully believe that what he foretold would come to pass.Two thousand years later, we have the benefit of the testimony of Scripture and the ongoing belief of countless believers who have gone before us, and billions alive today who profess belief in the Resurrection. Still, our faith is of-ten shaken when death seems to conquer life. We need this day, that we might come to more fully believe that Jesus conquered the power of death and won for us Endless Life!