Peace be with You!
“Peace be with you” is the most frequent greeting that the Risen Christ extends to whomever he meets. We are invited to extend this greeting of peace all who accompany us at each Mass we attend.
In John’s Gospel this greeting is followed with a SENDING: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” We experience the Risen Christ in our midst every time we offer the greeting of peace, or extend peace filled action to others. Peace is a calming—a calming of fears, a healing of doubts, and an expression of our desire for all to be well. When have you felt peace most profoundly? When do you bring peace to others? Do you bring calm and compassionate healing to others? As we experience peace in our lives, we are also sent to extend that peace to others. Happy Easter-time!
We celebrate these individuals whom we welcomed into full communion with the Church at the Easter Vigil on Saturday, April 20, 2019. We pray for them as a parish community as they continue to shine in the light of Christ, and we pledge to help them grow and mature in their Christian faith.
“Alleluia” is the one word we hear most often at the Easter Vigil and on Easter morning. Alleluia is another way of saying “praise the Lord.”
Easter invites us to use all of our senses in praising the Lord. We taste, touch, smell, feel and see Jesus throughout our Holy Triduum. In a matter of three days, we taste and see the goodness of the Lord in our reception of the Eucharist. We feel the sacrifice on the cross as we venerate the wood. We see the light of the fire taking us out of darkness. We dip deeply into the baptismal waters at the Easter Vigil and then get “sprinkled” with water throughout the Easter season. We smell the lilies—the new bursting blooms that signal new life in all forms.
All around us we witness newness in nature, in creation. What newness exists in us, in our bursting forth from our personal tombs? How are we witnessing Christ alive in each of us?
What does it mean to us to be an Easter people with “alleluia” as our song?
The memorial Mass for Charles Steinmetz is at 10 am on Saturday, April 27, 2019. A reception will follow in Henke Hall after the Mass. Eternal rest grant unto him, oh Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.
Our Common Home will meet on Wednesday, April 24 at 7 pm in the Martha Room on the first floor of the San Damiano Building to discuss recycling and fair trade items at St. Francis. New members are always welcome to join and help brainstorm this and other programs of stewardship for the earth. For questions, please call Jackie at 210-254-2108.
Will You BE THERE?
Palm Sunday initiates our observance of Holy Week. The liturgies of these holy days are filled with rich symbols and images that help us to remember. At the beginning of Lent this year, I invited all the RCIA candidates to find a cross and to keep it handy throughout Lent. This week we have the opportunity to accompany Jesus in his journey to the cross. We are invited to spend the week in a kind of retreat—a time to focus on how present we are to the events of Holy Week.
We carry palms, we raise them high. We reenact the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem as a prophet from Nazareth. We recognize the humility of an entrance on a donkey. We read the passion and participate as the crowd gathered. Do we identify with the words we speak? In what way? Are we like the apostles unable to stay awake and pray with Jesus in the garden? In what ways do we “fall asleep?”
When do we “wash the feet” of others? When do we “walk the way of the cross?” When have we felt lifeless, spiritless and deadened as if we were in a grave, a tomb? This week we retreat, as much as we are able, from regular activity to spend time in prayer and reflection. We can spend time thinking about all the people today who are experiencing their own way of the cross, suffering the most desperate situations—torture, total desperation, helplessness, bullying, physical abuse, and humiliation. We have the opportunity to BE THERE.
Are you having the BEST Lent ever? What is making it the best? What do you have to leave behind for it to be the BEST?
In the first reading from Isaiah, God says, “Remember not the things of the past, the things of long ago consider not, see, I am doing something new!”
Often we get so stuck on the habits and sins of the past that we just keep right on repeating them. Or we might let one great offense fester in us and grow instead of letting it go. Sometimes it is about how we see the sin in others, for example, the woman in the Gospel this weekend, that we forget about what is going on in us.
Jesus reminds us that our sinful habits are the result of losing our focus. When sin or bad habits might condemn us, turning to Jesus we can hear, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin
It is only in following Jesus that we can forget what lies in the past and yearn forward to the “new life”—leaving the darkness for the light of Christ! On this the fifth week of Lent, we come before Jesus, asking for healing and merciful love that changes our hearts. And we boldly ask God to create something new in us! Will we know it when it happens? Will we see it in each other? With God all things are possible! Easter joy and hope await us all!
The Gospel story of the Prodigal Son is well-known. We hear it often and each time, we probably pay attention to different details of the story. Today I invite you to reflect on one of the characters in the story and ask yourself which one you identify with the most? Why?
The father looked for his son, the one who had left home. His persistent looking and caring led to his running towards the “lost one.” He doesn’t wait for the son to come back hanging his head or asking forgiveness. Forgiveness was already there!
When are we like that father? When do we embrace those who wrong us? Or how do we welcome those whom we perceive to be taking something away from us?
No matter what we have done to stray from the path, the “coming home” is always available to us. And our “welcome home” messages to others are often the end of separation and the beginning of a new belonging that all of us crave. Are you having the BEST Lent ever?
Just How Thirsty Are We?
The Samaritan woman is alienated from her community. The Jews considered the Samaritans less than human. Her relationships with others are all messed up. She needs water and to avoid contact with others, she goes to the well in the heat of mid-day. There she encounters a man who asks her for a drink. Men aren’t supposed to speak to women in public. It is Jesus who acknowledges her presence and her need. And he tells her that he needs her. Imagine! He asks her for a drink.
What follows is a dialogue. The woman is curious. She questions and she persists in her wonder about this man who is speaking to her, understands her and reveals himself to her in a way she least expected. No longer feeling marginated, she instead experiences belonging. She leaves the well excited, rushes home and boisterously, boldly tells the story of her experience. She has been promised living water. Out of her vulnerability—the dryness and the brokenness of her life—she has experienced the revelation that Jesus is the Messiah. Because of her and the telling of her story, many came to believe.
What’s dry and parched in our lives? For what are we thirsting? Do we seek the water that leads to eternal life?
Who are the alienated among us, who seek belonging? How do we use dialogue and presence, curiosity and persistence in understanding those who are not like us? Just how thirsty are we? What are we willing to risk in order to receive “living water?”
The Moms ministry is looking for babysitters to help in the nursery during the 2019 school year. Having babysitters in the nursery allows the moms time to grow in their journey of motherhood and learn about various topics important to their vocation. We are looking for babysitters (paid position) who could work once a month on Fridays from 9-11:30 am babysitting 0-2-year-olds. VIRTUS training will need to be completed before your first day.
The Moms Ministry is also looking for babysitters/teachers to educate our pre-school children about our Catholic faith during the 2019 school year. The children are ages 3-5 and the class takes place once a month on Fridays from 9:15-11:30. Teachers are asked to arrive early to set up. We have several lesson plans put together