Sunday, May 24, 2020

The Ascension of the Lord 2020

Today we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord at Mass open to the public for the first time since late March.  Quite the juxtaposition, wouldn't you say?  As we return to Mass, as we are able to receive Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time in nearly two months, we celebrate Jesus leaving his apostles to return to our Father in heaven.

But in doing so, in receiving the Eucharist today, we are reminded that while Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, he is with us always, as we hear in the Gospel, until the end of the age.

In the peace of Christ.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Wednesday, Fifth Week of Easter 2020

In our Gospel today (Jn 15:1-8) we hear Jesus tell his disciples how his relationship with them and the Father are like that of a vine grower, vine, and branches.  In this metaphor Jesus tells us the Father is the vine grower, he is the vine, and his disciples are the branches.  While there is reference to the Father pruning so the branches are more fruitful, the main point of the Gospel is the connection between and reliance on the three.  

As branches on the vine without pruning, our fruit would be underwhelming.  As branches without the vine, we are simply dead wood, producing nothing but fuel for a fire.  It is when we remain attached to Jesus, and allow the Father to prune the dead wood (sin) in us that we produce much fruit!   Let's get growing!

In the peace of Christ,

Dcn. Mike

Monday, May 11, 2020

Monday, Fifth Week of Easter 2020

In our Gospel today (Jn 14:21-26) Jesus shares with us many things about himself, the relationship he wants us to have with him and our Father, and the Holy Spirit.  Jesus wants us to have a loving relationship with the triune God, simply by loving Him, and keeping his word, his commandments, out of our love for Him.

The commandments Jesus wants us to follow are pretty simple, though in a world in which selfishness and self centeredness are so prevalent that we've named an entire generation the "Me Generation" and another the "Me Me Me Generation," they can be daunting.  "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the greatest and the first commandment.  The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Mt 22:37-39).

In the peace of Christ,

Dcn. Mike

Friday, May 8, 2020

Friday, Fourth Week of Easter 2020

Considering all that is going on in the world these days, we might be tempted to stop after the first few sentences of our Gospel reading today (Jn. 14:1-6).  "Do not let your hearts be troubled.  You have faith in God; have faith in me."  But we can't stop there, because Jesus shares further insight into who he is and what else faith in him brings.  "I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me."

We often live in the moment because, well, it is the only thing we really know.  And at this moment, there is a lot to trouble our hearts.  But Jesus' message applies to us today as much as it did to his disciples over 2,000 years ago.  Let our hearts not be troubled.  Let us continue to put our faith in him, because he is the way, the truth, and the life.

In the peace of Christ,

Dcn. Mike  

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Tuesday, Fourth Week of Easter 2020

In our Gospel today (Jn 10:22-30) Jesus is tested, challenged regarding his Messianic identity.  The Jews that were around Jesus as he walked about the temple ask him to answer them directly, is he or is he not Christ, the anointed one, foretold by the prophets.  Jesus replies, saying he has told them, but they do not believe.  They don't believe because Jesus is not the Messiah they hoped he would be.  Jesus is not the powerful political figure, one who would be a future king along the lines of David, that they envisioned, that they desired.  Yet Jesus is king.  He is powerful, in otherworldly ways they do not see.  

How often do we fail to see Jesus for who he is?  How might we envision him in a certain way, maybe one dimensional, to fit our needs?  Do we see Jesus simply as merciful while overlooking he calls us to repent?  Let our faith open our eyes and minds to experience and follow Jesus for who he is, not who we make him out to be.

In the peace of Christ,

Dcn. Mike 


Monday, May 4, 2020

Monday, Fourth Week of Easter 2020

Our Gospel reading today (Jn 10:11-18) continues the theme of Jesus being the Good Shepherd.  We hear Jesus stress two things; first, as the Good Shepherd he is willing to lay down his life for us, and second, he is the shepherd for all, yes all.

Jesus said he was willing to lay down his life for us, and the "us" is all inclusive.  Let us pause to remember this the next time we find ourselves in a heated argument.  Jesus came to be the Good Shepherd for you, me, and the one with whom we do not see eye to eye.  

In the peace of Christ,

Dcn. Mike

Friday, May 1, 2020

Friday, Third Week of Easter 2020

Our Gospel today (Jn 6:52-59) gives us the Eucharist and the gift of eternal life that comes with it.  Jesus doesn't mix words, he is very clear, "I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life within you.  Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life."  Jesus then affirms what we now refer to as the Real Presence in the Eucharist saying, "My flesh is true food, and my Blood is true drink."

There is the old saying, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."  May our absence from the Eucharist during the stay-at-home order in response to the pandemic, draw us closer to Jesus such that when we do return we will shout "Alleluia!" like the apostles did after Jesus' resurrection.

In the peace of Christ,

Deacon Mike