Sunday, April 28, 2024

Fifth Sunday of Easter


Today’s Gospel always reminds me of a song I learned many years ago.  The song’s title was “Go Ye, Go Ye Into the World.” The lyrics as I remember them are:

Go ye, go ye into the world, and make disciples of all the nations.
Go ye, go ye into the world, and I will be with you there!

Go ye, go ye into the world, and take the gospel to all the people.
Go ye, go ye into the world, and I will be with you there!

Go ye, go ye into the world, and tell the story to all believers.
Go ye, go ye into the world, and I will be with you there!

Go ye now and tell the story to all believers.
Go ye now, and I will be with you there!

For me this song summarizes today’s Gospel reading. Jesus says, It was not you who chose me but I who chose you, appointed you to go out and bear fruit that will remain.” This call is one we are invited to embrace daily. Sometimes life’s burdens get in the way and our faith falters. It is during these times that we are invited to dig deep within and allow the Holy Spirit to empower us, to strengthen us, and allow our faith to be expanded.  All of us are called to be disciples of Jesus who strive to live that great commandment that Jesus called us to.  May we always remind each other just how expansive the risen Christ really is and how much He desires that we remain in Him always.


Sunday, April 21, 2024

Good Shepherd Sunday


Good Shepherd Sunday. Jesus is the Good Shepherd.

This Sunday we are reminded once again that our Lord’s love for each one of us is truly great and we are blessed. Our Lord and Good Shepherd is truly the One that we should be rejoicing about because by His love, He has shown us the sure path to eternal life.

That was why He, as our Good Shepherd, chose to come into our midst, so that we will not end up being lost forever. He has called us all by name, calling on all of us to embrace His love, mercy, and forgiveness. Our Lord and Good Shepherd wanted to show us that we are truly precious to Him. Through Him, we have been brought to the assurance of this new life and existence, reconciliation, and reunion with God.

This Sunday, we also celebrate Vocation Sunday, as we remember and especially pray for all those people who had answered God’s call to be priests, religious brothers, and sisters. However, we must not forget that each one of us as Christians also have our own unique vocations in life. Vocation in the Church is not just the vocation to priesthood or religious life only, as people who build up faithful Christian families, as well as all those who also give themselves into consecrated life to God, all in the service of God. Each one of these vocations are truly important, and we are hence reminded that as Christians we must be active in always living our Christian faith and life.

As Christians, we too should also be good role models and inspirations for one another, that we can truly live our lives and faith being just like Our Lord, the Good Shepherd. As Christians, we should help one another to come ever closer to God, and hence, we should live our lives worthily and in accordance with God’s will.  We should be the beacons of Christ’s light, hope, and truth to the whole world, in all of our actions and deeds, so that more and more people may come to believe in God through us. Let us all go forth in faith, and commit ourselves wholeheartedly to serve the Lord, now and always.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Third Sunday of Easter


Life is full of interruptions. It is full of beginnings and endings, successes, and failures. Jesus interrupts the life of the disciples today when He appeared and said, “Peace be with you!” In today's Gospel, the risen Jesus appears to His eleven disciples. He does not appear as a Platonic soul, a ghost, or a hallucination. Instead, He can be touched and seen, has flesh and bones, and can consume baked fish. Jesus appears and the disciples are once again changed.

Have you ever felt Jesus’ presence? Have you ever heard His voice speaking to your heart? Have you ever been changed because of an encounter with Jesus? Just as Jesus spoke the words of peace to His disciples, He does the same for us each and every day. Jesus desires for us to recognize Him in the breaking of the bread. Each day Jesus invites us to be people of peace, people of hope, people of love.

As we begin our day, we are busy focusing on many different ordinary tasks. Jesus invites us to refocus or thinking and embrace the gift that He promises us each day. Peace is what Jesus continually brings to us. God loved us so much that He sent His Son to bring us peace.

Right now, our world is anything but peaceful.  Let us listen to Jesus and embrace His invitation to start each day in peace. Let it infuse our hearts, our families, our homes, our workplaces. May we embrace Jesus’ invitation of peace and allow it to embody all that we do.

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Divine Mercy Sunday


How many times have we said, “I will believe it when I see it!” Our gospel today reminds us of this statement as Thomas was not present when Jesus appeared to the disciples. Upon his return they tell him of Jesus’ appearance. Thomas is not able to believe at this time the truth of Jesus’ visit to the disciples. He needs to see and touch Jesus to have his faith restored.

Today’s gospel provides us with three images -- it is Easter Sunday night when Jesus comes into the midst of his friends offers them peace, forgiveness, divine mercy. The second is a week later when Jesus appears again and offers them peace and enables Thomas to believe. The third image is the divine mercy that Jesus gave the disciples after they had betrayed and denied Him.

The gospel author states that he, “Wrote it all down in hope that you would believe Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.”

Let us continue to live in the light and hope of this Easter Season. May we hear Jesus say to us, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”