May 19: Fifth Sunday after Easter
Dear Parish Family,
Jesus says, “My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.” Like so much in Saint John’s account of the Gospel, this sentence has a double meaning. On the one hand, Jesus is referring to His arrest and death, which will happen shortly after the Last Supper. At the same time, Jesus is also referring to His Ascension to the Father’s Right Hand in Heaven, which will happen forty days after His Resurrection. Holy Mother Church is encouraging us to prepare for the end. We need to prepare for the end of the Easter Season. During the final ten days of Easter, the Church will celebrate the Ascent of Jesus to Heaven, and the Descent of the Holy Spirit from Heaven. Those final two mysteries of Easter — the Ascension and Pentecost — reveal to us the goal of Jesus’s mission on earth. This goal is His Church. Jesus’ Church is His Mystical Body on earth. She is the means by which He continues to be present in this world after His Ascension to Heaven. The Church is referred to as “she,” of course, because the Church is the Bride of Christ. It’s for her that Jesus sacrificed His whole self on the Cross, so that she might have life, and have it more abundantly. The Church is our Mother, because it’s through her that we have a spiritual life and continue to receive grace throughout our lives on earth.
The Church is the way in which Jesus continues to walk this earth, preach, and serve the spiritual and corporal needs of those without the ability to help themselves. As Saint Teresa of Avila said, “Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, /no feet but yours,/ yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion / is to look out to the earth,/ yours are the feet by which He is to go about doing good/and yours are the hands by which He is to bless us now.” This is the purpose of our Catholic Services Appeal. Every day, people in need turn to the church for guidance, help and support in all kinds of ways. Some are hungry, some are homeless, some are sick, some are imprisoned by pain, anger or fear. Your gifts to the CSA help Christ to be made present to them.
The Church we hear described in Acts is one we can easily relate to, because it’s a lot like our own daily lives. Things don’t go right all the time. This is why Paul and Barnabas exhort the disciples “to persevere in the faith, saying, “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” That’s just as true for us, and will be until the hour of our death. Our Savior is forming us in these last few weeks of Easter. He’s preparing us for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Who is the divine love of the Father and Son for each other. Let us grow as disciples of Jesus’ Church by our dedication and perseverance in living in God’s love: a love that is universal seeking what is truly good for the other. (hprweb.com) Thank you to all who have returned your completed CSA pledge cards this weekend. If you forgot your pledge card, please bring it next weekend or mail it to the Parish Office. If you have misplaced your pledge card, you can pick one up in the entrance to the Church.
Congratulations to our Graduates and their families!
God bless you all!
Sister Maria Inviolata, SMDG