Thanks again to Bishop Paprocki who came last Sunday to celebrate and confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on our 8th grade candidates. It is a completion (Baptism, Con- firmation and Holy Eucharist) of their initiation into the faith…sealed with the Holy Spirit they now are called in a special way to live and defend their faith in the world. With the gifts the Spirit provides, they will receive the grace they need to better understand what they are called to be and do as Christian Disciples.
We pray for them that they will stay close to Christ and to His Church. It is within the Church that they/we can truly benefit from this sacra- ment. The Spirit continues to enlighten and guide the Church. The Spirit continues to inspire the Church. The Spirit continues to strengthen the witness of the Church in the midst of the world and its challenges.
Let us keep the newly confirmed and each other in prayer that these gifts of the Spirit will bear much fruit! We are called to Be disciples…Grow as disciples…and Make disciples – it is our mis- sion!
Being led up a high mountain by the Lord Jesus had to be a rather moving experience in itself. But Jesus had much more to reveal to His disciples…especially Peter, James and John who He had taken with Him. In last Sun- day’s Gospel we heard that Jesus was ‘Transfigured’ before them. We also heard that Moses (who received the Law from God) and Eli- jah (the prophet who called the people to keep the covenant/law) appeared with Him in conver- sation.
But Jesus supersedes them both and fulfills all that God had sent them to do. Jesus is the per- fect revelation of God…He is the very Son of God. Jesus will perfectly bring all mankind into a new relationship with God through His suffering, death and resurrection. St. Paul would remind us of that in the second reading for this Sunday… ‘He who did not spare his own Son…’
But the disciples need a clear message…a clear revelation…and they get it. The Father speaks out His word to them…revealing Jesus’ true divine nature and mission. The voice of the Father can be heard saying… ‘This is my beloved Son. Listen to Him.’ Now it is for us to listen and surrender ourselves to Him as our Savior and Lord.
The Third Sunday of Lent has two different sets of readings…one set from Cycle B and the other from Cycle A…and either of them can be used for this Sunday. But when the communi- ty has Elect Catechumens, the Cycle A readings are to be used since they are directly connected to the immediate preparation of the Elect for their Baptism and integral to the prayers of the First Scrutiny (three are required on the 3rd, 4th and 5th Sundays of Lent).
Cycle B readings include a reading from Exo- dus concerning the relationship of God to His people whom He had rescued and delivered from the tyrannical Pharaoh. It includes the gift of the law…the covenant and instruction on the peo- ples’ relationship to God and how that affects their relationship with one another. We usually call this instruction and guide…the Ten Com- mandments.
The second lesson from 1st Corinthians shows us that Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God…Christ crucified is the center of our faith and relationship with God.
The Gospel taken from John gives us the lesson of Jesus cleansing the Temple in Jerusalem and replacing it with Himself…His resurrected body was the very focus of God’s presence and grace.
Cycle A readings lead us to a closer preparation of the Elect for Baptism and for our renewal of our baptismal vows. It moves us to the Gospel of John and the woman at the well. Jesus asks for a drink and gets ridiculed by this Samaritan woman…but Jesus engages her in conversation… ‘If you knew the gift of God and who is say- ing to you, Give me a drink…you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water…’ Jesus is the source of living water…life in God. He heals and forgives. He welcomes and restores. Let us ask and receive!
Click to read From the Desk of Fr. John Feb 25, 2018
Click to read From the Desk of Fr. John Feb. 18, 2018
Click to read From the Desk of Fr. John Feb. 11, 2018
Click to read From the Desk of Fr. John Feb. 4, 2018