Friday, May 27, 2011

Easter 6

Jesus promises that he will give the Holy Spirit to be with his followers as an Advocate and guide. This Spirit is with us always and dwells within us. The Holy Spirit is the very presence of God in the baptized. We are not left alone. Christ has not abandoned us after his resurrection and ascension. Rather, the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit remains with us to guide us in fulfilling the commands of Jesus. The Holy Spirit helps us love beyond measure and enables us to share our faith in Christ with others.

I know I am very appreciative of the gift of the Holy Spirit. As I celebrate twenty-four years of priesthood and fifty-one years of life it has been the Holy Spirit that has graced me with all that I have. My parents brought me into this world and set a wonderful example of faith and love for me. My teachers filled me with the enthusiasm to learn all that I can. My parish assignments have helped me to see the power of the Holy Spirit at work in the people of God. When I reflect on my life and my vocation it truly has been the Holy Spirit at work that has shaped and formed me. Thank the Holy Spirit for dwelling in you.

This weekend we also remember and thank those who gave their lives in service of our nation so that we may have the freedoms we have. The ultimate sacrifice of life is also a great gift for us to be mindful of and to be thankful for. Do you see why Jesus did what he did for us?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Easter 5

We are anxious about many things. At times our world can seem to be spinning out of control. It seems we need some kind of direction. In today’s Gospel we hear words of comfort when Jesus says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled” and “I am the way.”

We know that no one lives a life without troubles. Even when we feel successful, we can look back at times in which we may have been overwhelmed with difficulties. It is just part of our human condition. As much as we would always like everything to go perfectly, that is not the reality in which we live. We can let our hearts be troubled or we can have faith in God and faith in Jesus. Faith is always a choice. Faith is the leap that Jesus will show us the best way to go. It is Jesus who brings us truth and who promises new life for us. This is our reward when we trust Jesus.

Today we pray for our high school graduates that they may not be anxious about their future. We pray that they will listen to Jesus’ words: “Do not be troubled, have faith in God; have faith also in me.”

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Easter 4

In today’s Gospel, Jesus uses the example of a shepherd who calls his own flock out from the mixed flocks in the sheepfold. His sheep “follow him because they know his voice.” We hear many voices calling to us in our lives. The voice of the Gospel urges us to learn to recognize the voice of our Shepherd, Jesus, as he calls us to follow him and “to have life and to have it more abundantly.”

Recently I completed a two-year course called, “Good Leaders, Good Shepherds." In this course I learned some very important skills in order to be a better shepherd. As a priest I am challenged to know my parishioners more closely, to call them by name, to care for their needs, to keep them from harm. To put it frankly, I am to be a pastor, not a mere administrator; a steward, not a mere financier; I am to be a servant who listens and not a supervisor who merely dictates. Basically we are all challenged in all we do and say, to bear witness to the true Shepherd we call Good.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Easter 3

On this Mother’s Day I wish to extend to all mothers of our parish a very blessed Mother’s Day. May our dear Blessed Mother Mary pray for all our mothers living and deceased. A mother’s influence on a child is great. It is especially great during the child’s early years. We pray for our mothers that God will continue to bless our mothers with His gentle strength to care for our families, to shape us and influence us by using wisely the unique gifts found only in mothers. We pledge our support to all mothers as we join them in seeing the hope of eternal life shine on us, their children.