Saturday, April 28, 2012

Easter 4

This day we celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday and World Day of Prayer for Vocations. In our Gospel, Jesus refers to himself as “the good shepherd.” He then goes on to define what makes the shepherd good: “A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Jesus speaks of his unconditional love for us as his sheep. It is in the process of laying down his life that Jesus can offer us the gift of salvation in his resurrection and the gift of a glorified body in his second coming.

Jesus tells us that he is the good shepherd who knows his sheep and they know him when he calls. This implies more than an acquaintance with another person, rather it implies an intimate relationship. When someone is called to religious life or any vocation, one deepens that relationship with Jesus and the community. We pray this day for all who are called to a vocation, whether to the single life, married life, religious life, priesthood or deaconate.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Easter 3

Here is a question to ponder: While the family is gathered around the table for dinner some night, what if Jesus suddenly appeared and asked, “Have you anything here to eat?” How would you react? Would you be terrified just like the apostles in today’s Gospel? And what if Jesus did not look like the way you thought he should? Then what?

As a matter of fact, Jesus shows up all the time, and often we do not recognize him. We may have difficulty seeing the presence of Jesus in our lives. The distractions of the world blind us to what is there before us. The poor, in whose appearance Jesus is present today, are already asking us, “Have you anything to eat?” How will we respond to Christ? Let us pray that our eyes may be open so that we might discover and respond to Jesus right there before us.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Easter 2

St. Thomas, the apostle, who professed his faith when he met the resurrected Jesus, said, “My Lord and my God!” Hopefully St. Thomas can be an example for all of us. I don’t mean in his lack of faith, although most of us probably have at one time or another doubted just like St. Thomas. What I mean is that St. Thomas got a second chance. Jesus appeared again to the disciples in the upper room, this time with St. Thomas there. St. Thomas was given another chance to make his confession of faith. Through God’s divine mercy, the same happens to us. We are given second chances (and sometimes third, fourth, or even fifth chances). As Jesus responded to St. Thomas, “Blessed are those who have seen and have believed.” We are thus blessed for the call is to believe.

Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk and writer once said, “Faith is not the suppression of doubt. It is the overcoming of doubt, and you overcome doubt by going through it. The person who has never experienced doubt is not a person of faith.”

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Sunday

Alleluia! Christ is risen! A blessed Easter to all! With Christians everywhere we rejoice in the resurrection of Christ. On behalf of Fr. Russell, myself, and the staff of St. Malachy Parish we wish all of you a very blessed Easter. Christ is risen and our alleluia tumbled forth from lips newly opened with rejoicing. We, who were stumbling sinners, have been made new by the power of the Resurrection. Our fall from grace has been overturned by the One who is risen from the dead. With the newly baptized who share in the life of Christ, we rejoice that our Savior has triumphed over the grave. Death has no more power over us, because Christ has been raised. We who are baptized are joined to him so that we also share in the fullness of his life. Alleluia! We also welcome to our parish community Erica Frischmann, Melissa Wojciechowski and James Fish. May God bless them and may they be assured that our continued prayers are with them.