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Back Sixth Sunday of Easter
Sunday, May 26, 2019
From the Desk of Fr. Ron…….
All during the Easter Season in this third year of our Liturgical Calendar, we have been hearing from the Gospel of John. In no other Gospel, but John’s account does Jesus exhibit such confidence in speaking of being one with His Father and the Holy Spirit. “I and the Father are one,” (John 10:30). “He who has seen me, has seen the Father.” (John 14:9). “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24). The miracles or signs that Jesus performs in the Gospel of John are signs of the Spirit working within Jesus. In this weekend’s passage from John 14, Jesus speaks of the Spirit, the Advocate, whom the Father will send. It is the Spirit who will remind, teach and lend understanding to Jesus’ disciples, after the Resurrection and Ascension. Throughout the life of the Church the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, especially when the Church is faced with a crisis of faith. This weekend’s lesson from the Acts of the Apostles, gives us an excellent example of that. The dilemma at the time was how to treat Gentiles, non Jews, who were believing in the Lord Jesus. Should they first become converts to Judaism, learning and obeying all its laws and precepts, or accept them as they are? St. Luke, the author of the text expresses it well when in speaking of this issue he declares, “there arose no little dissension and debate.” (Acts 15:2). This dispute led to the first “council” of our Church, the Council of Jerusalem. Within this meeting, there was fierce debate rendered by Paul and Barnabas along with the Apostles in Jerusalem. After much prayer and discussion a decision is made. The declaration of the fruit of the council is proclaimed with full confidence. “It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities…” (Acts 15:28). It is the Holy Spirit that continues the saving work of the Lord Jesus through the centuries, until the Lord Jesus returns in glory. Our current struggles in the Church both locally and internationally deal with how past generations of authority dealt with the sins of our leaders. As a society we have grown in our understanding of the harm many innocent youth have been exposed to by the actions of some of our priests, scout leaders, and other administrators. Each news story, each exposition of more details and facts bring on new shame that collectively urge us to engage in prayers of healing for its victims and contrition with lament for our collective failures. It is a most uncomfortable place to be and yet, out of justice, we cannot run away from our guilt. As in past generations, we call upon God’s Holy Spirit to continue to bring the sins of the past to the light of awareness, contrition and healing.
As St. Paul urges us, “wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts.” (1 Corinthians 4:5). Indeed, come Lord Jesus………
WE REMEMBER…. Each year at the end of May we celebrate the customary beginning of summer with the “Memorial Day Weekend.” Originally known as “Decoration Day” it originated in the years following the Civil War and became a federal holiday in 1971. Known now as “Memorial Day” its meaning has enlarged to include all those in military service who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives for their country. Let us take some time to remember those who have fallen, thanking them for their service to our country.
FEEDBACK BOOTH Every so often we receive a few notes. Here is one from one of our “First Communion” candidates: “Dear Catholic Family…..Thank you for helping me take my next step with my Catholic faith. I am very excited to be making my first communion!”
THANK YOU KOC (KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS)
for your honor guard presence at our First Holy Communion Sessions.