Fr. Austin Fleming
What Jesus is saying is,
“Thomas, I AM the GPS! I am the UBER driver!
I am the WAY to what, in your heart of hearts, you most truly desire.
Stay as close to me as you can
and you’ll be heading in the right direction.
Make every effort to find the path that leads to the TRUTH
and do everything you can / to avoid taking shortcuts
and finding yourself at a dead end.
At an intersection, always choose the path leading to what you know in your heart is right and good. Choose that path and you’ll end up where you’re supposed to be
even if right now you don’t know where that is,
even if right now you don’t know how to get there;
even if right now you can’t see where I’m leading you;
even if right now you can’t see me at all…”
Fifth Sunday of Easter. Fr Andrew Brookes finds consolation in the divine identity of Christ. ‘I am the Way, the […]
Fr. George Smiga
ON THE WORD
I know a number of people who would say that today’s gospel is their favorite passage of scripture. It is indeed an attractive image of Jesus as way to heaven, of Jesus going ahead of us to prepare a place for us in his father’s house. It is comforting to know that our belief in Jesus, as the way the truth and the life, is our means to eternal life. But if you listen to the gospel carefully, it is clear that it asks more of us than simply believing in Jesus. Jesus asks us not simply to believe in His name but to do His works. He says, “Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do.” So belief is not sufficient in itself, it must be accompanied by the works that Christ calls us to do.
Bishop Robert Barron
All the readings for today are, directly or indirectly, about the priesthood, that office that all of the baptized share. To be a priest is to be a mediator between God and human beings and to be a person who offers right praise. This identity should play itself out in all that you do.
Our Gospel for this weekend is taken from the 14th chapter of the Gospel of John, which describes the farewell discourse of Jesus the night of the Last Supper. I believe that the distinctive texture of Christian faith is on particularly powerful display here. I might urge all of you to spend time with this farewell discourse during the Easter season.
No man is an island. One of the messages of the Gospel is that all reality is interconnected. Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches. How organic the Bible is! This view of reality is the exact opposite of the American individualism that currently pervades our culture.
Fr. Anthony Ekpunobi, C.M.
OF THE MISSION,
Msgr. Joseph Pellegrino
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
Jesus is the rock that has been rejected by the world but has become the cornerstone of the New World. We are the living cornerstones. The Church is the building of the spirit of God. We are the Church. Jesus is the great high priest who was rejected by the status quo and thrown out of the Temple. He was crucified outside the city. We are rejected by the intellectually arrogant atheists who control so much of our media and society. We are thrown out of the City of Man and laughed at as naive remnants of an ignorant age. But we remain here in the City of God. We are a holy priesthood, people carrying on the priestly ministry by making God present to others and others present to God. Jesus is the Light of the World, the one who dispels the darkness of sin. We are the people of the Light. We are called to bring hope and light to a world living in fear and darkness.
Fr. Vincent Hawkswell
Fr. Robert Altier
Being the way to God, Jesus show us what it means to be a royal priesthood. First, this means we are kings and queens, sharing in the universal Kingship of Christ. Jesus is also our High Priest, so we share in His priesthood. The royal office is one of service while the priestly office is one of mediation and sacrifice. A royal priesthood, therefore, not only speaks of our dignity, but of our function. Like Jesus, we are to pray for others. Since we also participate in the work of redemption, we are to pray for the conversion of sinners and the salvation of souls.
Priests also offer sacrifice, so we are to participate in the sacrifice of Jesus. We exercise our priesthood through our sufferings and prayers offered to God. This is done most perfectly at Mass when we bring our sufferings and unite them with our Lord’s sacrifice at Mass. Then, receiving the fruit of that sacrifice in the Holy Eucharist, we grow in holiness and our conformity to the Lord. Uniting our prayer to our Lord’s we want to bring others out of darkness into His wonderful light. This is a holy priesthood, our offering of spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ!
Fr. Michael Chua
ARCHDIOCESE OF KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
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Fr. Jude Langeh, CMF
I cannot forget a phrase Hakuna Matata after I visited East Africa. It literarily means “No Worries”. Jesus repeats these words to His disciples at the Last Supper. He tells them He is going to leave them, but is going to prepare a place for them in heaven. He tells them not to worry about His absence. In today’s gospel Jesus tells us, “Do not let your hearts be troubled…have faith in me.” Jesus reminds us that following Him, our Way, our Truth and our very Life, is the most important thing in life.
Fr. Phil Bloom
ST. MARY OF THE VALLEY
I’d like to begin with a quote from the English writer, C.S. Lewis. He observes:
“There are three kinds of people in the world. The first class is of those who live simply for their own sake and pleasure, regarding Man and Nature as so much raw material to be cut up into whatever shape may serve them. In the second class are those who acknowledge some other claim upon them – the will of God, the categorical imperative, or the good of society – and honestly try to pursue their own interests no further than this claim will allow. They try to surrender to the higher claim as much as it demands, like men paying a tax, but hope, like other taxpayers, that what is left over will be enough for them to live on. Their life is divided, like a soldier’s or a schoolboy’s life, into time ‘on parade’ and ‘off parade’, ‘in school’ and ‘out of school’. But the third class is of those who can say like St Paul that for them ‘to live is Christ’. These people have got rid of the tiresome business of adjusting those rival claims of Self and God by the simple expedient of rejecting the claims of Self altogether. The old egoistical will has been turned round, reconditioned, and made into a new thing. The will of Christ no longer limits theirs; it is theirs. All their time, in belonging to Him, belongs also to them, for they are His.” (Three Kinds of Men)
Fr. Tommy Lane
PRAYER AND HOMILY
From time to time we all experience fears, worries, anxieties. Because we are prone to fear, anxiety and worry it is no wonder that several hundred times the Bible advises us not to worry. Why does the Bible keep telling us not to worry? Because our faith is weak and instead of looking at God too often we look at the problems. If we prayed more I’m sure we would see God sending us help from somewhere.
Fr. Michael Cummins
VICAR OF PRIESTS,
On the recommendation of a parishioner, I recently watched the Swedish movie, “A Man Called Ove” – based on the 2013 novel by the same name written by Fredrik Backman. It is a very thoughtful and uplifting film and probably one of the most pro-life films I have ever seen.
Fr. Michael Fallon, MSC
ST. MARY’S TOWERS
DOUGLAS PARK, NSW
A key theme of today’s readings is expressed in the Response to the Psalm: ‘Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you’(Psalm 33:22). These are the final words of Psalm 33. They are also the final words of the Te Deum, an ancient hymn of praise sung on all the important festivals of the Church’s Year. Since the 9th century it has been ascribed to St Ambrose who is said to have composed it for the baptism of St Augustine in 387AD. Today’s psalm invites us to trust because God ‘fills the earth with his love’(Psalm 33:5) – a theme repeated in each Mass when we proclaim: ‘Heaven and earth are full of your glory’.
Fr. John Kavanaugh, S.J.
SCHOLAR AND AUTHOR (1941-2012)
The appointment of deacons, as recounted in the Acts of the Apostles, was a response to the needs of fellow Christians and the desires of the Twelve to be more available for prayer and the proclamation of the word.
While the task at hand concerned material requirements of the community—the fair distribution of food among the widows—what is more interesting about the account is the Apostles’ flexibility in responding to the needs of their time.
Bishop Frank Schuster
Thomas reminds me of students like that and he makes me smile. He is also very human in that he, even during the times of anxiety and doubt, Thomas remains a seeker. And this can give us an interesting reflection for this weekend. As we reflect on the Apostle Thomas, and as we reflect on the fact we marking 60 days of “physical distancing”, we might be encouraged to ask ourselves the question, what does my discipleship look like through all of this? Am I just interested in a passing grade in God’s eyes or am I interested in being more than that? This is why I think Thomas is helpful right now. If we find ourselves operating on autopilot with God, Thomas encourages us to do more. He challenges us to take the time each day to simply raise our hand in Jesus’ presence and continue to ask him for wisdom and for guidance through all of this. This is not the time to be socially distant with God just like this is not a time to be socially distant with each other. Like Thomas, even in times of doubt, we need to challenge ourselves to evolve. We need to evolve. We need to find that way to grow in our faith and to find that way to remain socially present to the people around us. There are many ways that this can be accomplished just like in the Father’s house there are many dwelling places. And, like Thomas, we understand that the only starting place for this personal growth to happen is with a relationship with Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life.