News & Events
Back Fourth Sunday of Easter
Thursday, May 9, 2019
From the Desk of Fr. Ron…….
Every parent responsibly raising their children will necessarily engage with them in, “A battle of wills.” According to Collins English Dictionary, “A battle of wills is a situation that involves people who try to defeat each other by refusing to change their own aims or demands and hoping that their opponents will weaken first.” Many a rebellious child is carried off to “time out” kicking and screaming as a parent invokes his or her authority over them. Although, in our lives of faith we often don’t go off kicking and screaming we do encounter a fair amount of turbulence as we strive to grow accustomed to how God’s will differs from our own. Many persons among the religious authority at the time of Jesus were so very confident of their knowledge about the predicted Messiah of God, that they could not even observe that the “works” that Jesus performed were signs of God working through Him.
Over and over again throughout the Gospels the religious authorities and Jesus engage in a “battle of wills.” Jesus, in His own flesh, does the will of the Heavenly Father. The religious authorities seek comfort in the written law and each other’s support. Jesus proclaims, “The Father and I are one” (John 10:30). Many of the common folks see the signs Jesus performs and believe that God must be working through Him. They begin to follow Him. They remain open to the possibility that He is the Messiah of God. “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me,” (John 10:27). Jesus grew up as part of the Jewish chosen people. The chosen people have a rich heritage of relationship with God Almighty who called them, sustained them, defended them and led them to the Promised Land. How logical it is for those who live within that heritage to expect and most likely recognize God working through Jesus of Nazareth. Yet, the message of the Kingdom of God that Jesus brings encounters “a battle of wills,” with many in the Jewish community. However, many Gentiles, who have no understanding or longing for a Messiah, are hearing and believing in Jesus and His relationship with God, His heavenly Father. Thus, in the Acts of the Apostles Paul and Barnabas proclaim, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first, but since you reject it and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.” (Acts 13:46). Jesus is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep. “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand,” (John 10:27-28). In our own spiritual walk with our Lord, sometimes we may be our own worst enemies.
We may be so certain of the logic of our thinking that we mistake our will for the Will of God. Yet, in our own spiritual walk we have to be open to the voice of the shepherd who may lead us in new and creative ways, to paths that may seem somewhat uncomfortable and uncertain.
We pray for the courage to be able to follow Jesus, our Good Shepherd. May we learn to dialogue with Him and His will for us. May we be able to seek God’s will and not our own in every situation.
NEVER FORGETTING THOSE ABUSED IN OUR DIOCESE…At our Nativity Parish Communal Penance Service during Lent, April 10th we focused on our corporate sin of neglect, commission and omission of our Catholic Community. With sorrow we remembered the pain so many had experienced at the hands of those whom they trusted the most. Following our Diocesan example, we lit a purple candle and prayed a prayer of remembrance and healing. For the whole year this purple candle will keep vigil with our prayers of intercession for those who have been abused as well as all affected by this tragedy. The Purple Candle is located on the shelf to the left of the Altar Sanctuary. The prayer is printed and mounted upon the wall behind the candle….. Let us Pray….
O Merciful Father, Your Son in Love stretched out his hands upon the cross to embrace us. Embrace and heal our brothers and sisters who carry the wounds of abuse inflicted upon them.
Heal Your Church broken by this betrayal of trust. Cleanse and sanctify Your Clergy, that they may radiate the selfless love of Your Son.
Strengthen and call the people of the Church throughout Western New York to a new dawn of hope and grace in your Holy Spirit.
We ask this through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord…. Amen.
A NEW PROCESSIONAL CROSS began to be used last Sunday here at Nativity. Our former crucifix had been damaged and minor repairs would never hold. The processional cross matches all the other Liturgical appointments within our sanctuary though it is a bit heavier than the former one. Last Sunday we also instituted a few changes in our Altar Server and Eucharistic Ministry procedures. We hope these changes will assist us as we continue to worship together as one family of faith here at Nativity. Many thanks to our Altar Servers and Eucharistic Ministers who are dealing well with the minor changes.