The Sixth Sunday of Easter 05/21-05/22/2022
The Gospel of John proclaimed on this 6th Sunday of the Easter Season describes Jesus speaking to the disciples and telling them that the Father will send the Holy Spirit in His Name who will be a guiding light reminding them of all that He taught. This reminder will be infused with the peace of God and will encourage the disciples to continue the mission of Jesus, a mission founded on sacrifices made in love. These actions of real and committed love will bolster the Church and encourage belief in all that is Father Son and Holy Spirit. This love is the foundation of the mission of the Early Church described in such pieces as the reading selected from Acts of the Apostles. In this piece, the Apostles and elders, in agreement with the community, choose representatives who will bolster the preaching and apologetics of Paul and Barnabas and this method gives evidence of the way in which the Early Church saw itself and understood its mission as based in community and an egalitarian effect. The Early Church was not based on a distinction between Institution and community, a skewed map which encourages inequality, but was rather based on a communal understanding of Church in which all had an equal voice and there was a preferential option made for those who were poor or in need. The Church, in understanding that it relies still on the guidance of the Holy Spirit, would do well to understand that its servants, those who guide by the light of the Spirit, should be encouraged to urge humility and a sacrificial attitude, rather that adorning themselves with the trapping of ego gratification and power.
It is in that spirit and with that hope, infused with the Spirit of God, that I am grateful to celebrate 25 years of ordination to the priesthood on this weekend at the 11:00a.m. Sunday Mass. I am grateful for having been led by the Spirit to search and to understand more fully the call to service as a priest and to have been able to do so in so many wonderful communities of faith and practice over the years. The facilitation of meeting Christ in the Sacraments has been and continues to be a privilege and an honor. Paul writes in Philippians 2, "Though He was in the form of God, Jesus did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at. Rather He emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave." It has been my constant effort to highlight the talents God has given me in His service, to use them with full awareness of their origins in Him, and to always be aware that I have been called to empty myself in the manner of Jesus, making a space for the lives and needs of others. With your help and prayers, may it continue and may I always pray in thanksgiving for the good example of you, the people of faith who give me courage.
Thanks and have a great week!