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Pastor's Letter 20240512 - 12 May 2024- Seventh Sunday of Easter

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Posted (edited)


May 12th, 2024


Message from Father Michael

Today’s Theme:  “That All May Be One”

Reflections on Today’s Scripture

(Acts 1:15-26)  Luke recounts how Matthias was chosen as the replacement for Judas Iscariot.  Jesus had chosen twelve apostles to be the nucleus of the New Israel (the Church.)  Just as the Jews traced their roots back to the twelve sons of Jacob, so too, the New Israel is rooted in the twelve apostles, who were charged to set policy in the Church; confer authority on others; and guard the authenticity of the magisterium.  


(1 John 4:11-16)  John says since God has loved us, so too, we should love one another.  This expresses the centrality of love in the life of a Christian.  First of all, is God’s love for us, the proof of which is seen in God’s sending His Son to be our Savior.  Then, there is our love for one another...anyone who lives in love, lives in God, because God is love.


(John 17:11-19)  Today’s Gospel Reading is taken from Jesus’ solemn prayer at the Last Supper: praying for the Disciples, whom He is leaving behind to carry on His work in the world; consecrated—not conscripted—by the Lord for service; and infused with the Spirit of God, Who is love.  


Becoming Transformed by Love

Passing by a fruit tree in February, we observe its bare and forlorn look about it.  Then, it contains not a shred of beauty—in fact, it requires no small act of faith to believe it is still alive….

Looking at the same tree, in April…one might scarcely believe their eyes, to see it “decked out” with a robe of brilliant blossoms!  

One may wonder from where all this beauty had come.  It came from within the tree, itself.  In February, it was still in the grip of winter, so it’s a small wonder to be amazed that it contained such splendor.  

Sometimes, we “write off” people, as having no possibilities, when it’s proven time and again that each of us possesses untapped potential, yet to be manifested.  For them, it simply means that their “spring” has not yet come!

Human failures also give us pause, when we try to trust our fellows.  When we think of how Judas may have come to betray our Blessed Lord, it occurs that such an act must have been provoked by a series of events, rather than a simple “impulse.”  He wasn’t a “demon,” but merely made of human material, that might have become something different, except for the choices he made that led him to become a traitor.  He surely must have had some “life’s dream.”  We’ll never know what went wrong, that precipitated his actions.  Somehow the seeds were sown in him, leading to a gradual slipping, a gradual dimming of the “light.”  Like all evil-doers, he remains an enigma—“We don’t understand ‘good,’ so how can we comprehend ‘evil?’ ” (Alan Paton-S.African writer and apartheid activist)

We know that Peter also failed the Lord.  His choices didn’t lead to the same result as Judas’, for his denial of Jesus wasn’t a “planned thing.”  It was “spur of the moment,” and the result of weakness, rather than malice.  Besides, he repented….

Few people are “bad;” but many are weak.  A person doesn’t fall because they are weak, but because they think they are “strong!”  Failure requires one to take chances.  But before people attain greatness, they must descend to lowliness.  Peter has been called a “stumbling saint”—a great consolation for us.  

In choosing a replacement for Judas, the apostolic group realized they would be picking someone who would be a leader in their community.  They looked for two basic qualities: firstly, “faithfulness.”  He had to have “been there” from the start of Jesus’ earthly mission;  Secondly, he had to possess “integrity of heart.”  This is an interior attribute, which God, alone, can judge.  So, it demanded prayer, and Matthias was chosen.  

Our Blessed Lord calls each of us to be a witness to His Resurrection—to prove to the world, by the way that they live, that He is alive.  The Holy Spirit will help us be like Matthias—people of integrity, who follow the Lord through “thick and thin.”  

Like the blossoms and fruit a tree will produce, we also have the power to change ourselves—coming from within us!  Our choices in life, made from our innate “free will,” determine how we will “transform,” as we live.  

We have the assurance from God—who is love—and the help of the Holy Spirit to guide us in the decisions we choose to make, for good or evil.  These are inculcated within our very souls, and not given to be squandered.  We cannot blame “outside influences” for we are all “masters of our own fate.”  And to that end, we will be each be judged, individually, for our actions in life, at the moment of our death.  

Peter once said, “Love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8.)  The love of Jesus covers over the entirety of our sin. This is the biblical reality in which we live our lives.  It is the promise of God for every one of us, as followers of Jesus.  We can claim that truth that the incarnate love of God has covered the totality of our sin.  Armed with love, therefore, as our guiding directive, our frailties and weaknesses can be overcome.  

The Christian life is not a pursuit of virtues, leading to the perfection of love, but a process, which beings with love and grows to perfection from the beginning.  “The biggest disease in the world today is lack of love,” in Mother Teresa’s words.  Love is everything.  Love demands the best of us and brings out the best in us.  

May God Richly Bless You!


Today's Meditation Music:

Think About His Love.docx

To view a recording of today's Holy Mass, click here:


Edited by Father Michael
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