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Back Sixth Sunday of Easter
Friday, May 15, 2020
From the Desk of Fr. Ron…….
Several pastors have asked their parishioners to send them a copy of their family photo or a copy of the one that is in their parish directory. These several priests taped them to the pews, so that as they “livestreamed” mass and looked out at their congregation, to remember them all in their prayers. I refrained from doing so, only because I have a photographic memory of sorts. When I look out into the church during “livestream,” I indeed see you all.
We are in the last two weeks of our Easter observance and celebration. The readings assigned for our enrichment this weekend, include a review of how the early church was relentless in their preaching about the truth of Jesus as the Messiah. As recorded in this weekend’s selection from the Acts of the Apostles; Philip goes to Samaria to preach, Peter and John are also sent to Samaria to pray for the gift of the Spirit upon the newly baptized. That gift of the Holy Spirit was the lifeblood of the believers. That gift of the Holy Spirit is the advocate that Jesus teaches about in this weekend’s Gospel selection from the Gospel of John. “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always.” (John 14:16). This experience of the “Advocate” gives the members of the early Church the strength to profess their faith even in adversity. This Advocate allows them to rightly place Christ Jesus as the center of their hearts. This Advocate also teaches them in what manner they are to give witness, so that others may hear the invitation from that same Spirit to join in the body of believers.
This weekend, we begin to pray for a renewal again of that same Spirit that we received in our own Baptism. We pray for the strength of that same Spirit that enriched us in our Confirmation. During these days of our exile, being physically present to one another, we pray that the Spirit of our living Lord will continue to unite us in Spirit and Truth. May that same Spirit place a longing in our heart for one another. May that same Spirit teach us how we need to advocate for each other as well.
Each time I celebrate Mass, though the church is empty, I see you within the congregation. As a presbyter, I carry you and your needs before God’s throne and join you daily to the perfect sacrifice of Jesus to His heavenly Father. May the Lord Jesus keep us strong and safe in the profession of our faith. Amen.