“When one reaches the highest degree of human maturity, one has only one question left: How can I be helpful?”—TERESA OF ÁVILA
Rev. Ronald Rolheiser, OMI shows how identifying and embracing discipleship will lead to new heights of spiritual awareness and maturity. In the book, Sacred Fire, he takes us on a journey through the dark night of the senses and of the spirit. Fr. Rolheiser explains, when we embrace the struggle and yearning to know God we can experience a profound re-understanding to our daily lives. In Sacred Fire, Rolheiser’s deeply affecting prose urges us on in pursuit of the most holy of all passions—a deep and lasting intimacy with God. Sacred Fire is available from Amazon in different formats. Join Sr. Teresa and some wonderful men on June 12, 19, 26 from 7:00 to 8:15 PM in Hendricks Hall. (Date change)
Registration is open until June 5th. We need at least 10 men.
Sunday, May 13
The Ascension of the Lord
Mark 16: 15 – 20
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Go into the whole world
and proclaim the gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them,
was taken up into heaven
and took his seat at the right hand of God.
But they went forth and preached everywhere,
while the Lord worked with them
and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.
Today, we celebrate the Ascension of Our Lord – the final revelation of the Paschal Mystery. Each time we make the sign of the cross, we should consider that the symbol of the cross we make represents much more than simply Jesus’ crucifixion. We should be reminded of Jesus’ entire life on earth – His birth, His young life, His adult life, His public life, His suffering, His death, His resurrection, and His ascension. All of these experiences of Jesus reveal to us the Paschal Mystery. As Jesus ascends into heaven, he does not leave us to our own devices. He departs, yet leaves us with His Advocate – the Holy Spirit. By doing so, He assures us we will never be alone.
Jesus spent so much time teaching his disciples, one would think he would be most careful in what words he would choose to use as a final instruction. He did pick his words with care and left his disciples with four missions:
There is the duty for us to evangelize. We need to communicate a life’s vision contained in the Gospels. It is the duty of every Christian to become disciple like.
The Church has the task of healing – body, soul, mind, and spirit – the whole person. It is our calling to do this.
Jesus promises that we will receive special power, when we do this. This power is not political or economic, but power that comes from a vibrant life to overcome day to day trials and setbacks.
Finally, the Christian community is not alone. Jesus is with us until the end of the time.
As the Easter Season winds down, we are now refueled by the Holy Spirit. This fuel should continue to be with us through the remainder of the Church year through the sacraments and recalling the totality of gifts from the Paschal Mystery.
Deacon Don Poirier
Are you thinking of being a Catechist?
The Diocese of Columbus is offering Certification to get you started!
- Summer 2018: St. Mary, German Village, Columbus
- Course One: June 11-12 from 5:45-10pm, June 13 from 5:45-7:45pm-Introduction
- Course Two: June 13 from 8-10pm, June 14-15 from 5:45-10pm-Scripture
- Course Three: June 18-19 from 5:45-10pm, June 20 from 5:45-7:45-Christ and the Church
- Course Four: June 18-19 from 9:00am-1:15pm-Liturgy and Sacraments
- Course Five: June 21-22 from 9:00am-1:15pm-Morality
Please see Tina White (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Andrea Komenda (email@example.com) for further information.
Sunday, May 6
Sixth Sunday of Easter
John 15: 9 – 17
Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and your joy might be complete.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.”
In our culture we often hear a lot about love. Love is a favorite theme in the media, in popular novels, in movies and television dramas, in songs, and in greeting cards. Love is usually portrayed as an emotion, a warm fuzzy feeling, or a pleasurable attraction. This weekend at Mass you will hear from Saint John, the beloved disciple, reflect on the life and teachings of Jesus and simply sum up love by showing us that “GOD IS LOVE” and what God wants is for us to live in love just as Jesus has shown us, by loving one another. In this way we will share in the joy of God. The whole message of scripture is to be found in these eight words “…love one another as I have loved you…”
It is important to know that when Jesus talks about “love” he’s not talking about the mating instinct, which is good but which is too often exploited in our secular culture as the only kind of love that has any importance. Jesus is talking about giving ourselves for the benefit of another as he did for us. Love is the key to everything: it explains why God created us; it explains why Jesus came to earth; it explains why God wants us to live with him eternally; it explains the Mass we celebrate; and, it explains how we are to act toward one another.
As we continue this season of Easter, may we reflect on how the apostles grew in their awareness of the Risen Lord in their lives, and pray for the transforming power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to know that Jesus is with us today, helping us to love one another just as he has loved us.
Deacon Frank Iannarino
Sunday, April 29
Fifth Sunday of Easter
John 15: 1 – 8
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”
This Gospel message, at first glance, seems like a no-brainer. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. We have to stay connected to the vine because without the vine we can’t bear fruit (do anything). When it seems that easy, take it as a sign that you need to go deeper into the passage. If it is taken from John you definitely need to go deeper because John’s version of the gospel is like an iceberg. We see only the top part but the vast majority of the message is deeper.
I have no question in my mind that if I don’t stay connected to Jesus (the vine), I (a branch) will lose focus and will not really do too much good (bear fruit). The challenge is to really be very honest with myself and ask, “How do I stay connected and what makes me lose the connection?” The main way to stay connected is through prayer: private prayer and communal prayer. I need to have time for private prayer every day, and when I let that slip away or I chip away at it because, “I am so busy,” that is when I start to drift from the source of life. The other need is participating in the prayer of the community, which for us is Mass. I need the faith of a community to lean on and also to allow them to lean on me.
We still have to go deeper. Again, I have no problem believing that the branches need the vine. What I struggle with is that the vine needs the branches. That is an awesome and humbling thought. God needs me to do the work of the Gospel. God needs you to do the work of the Gospel. Think about that! In God’s great design, God made us an integral part of Jesus’ mission on earth. We downplay that. We deny that. We don’t fully believe it. We claim unworthiness. We claim ignorance. We…. blah, blah, blah. Yet, the bottom line is that you and I are essential to the vine. In a couple of weeks we will celebrate the Feast of the Ascension. We, along with the disciples of Jesus, will be given the divine commission, “Go, and make disciples of all nations.” That’s what lies beneath this Gospel. That is what changes this Gospel passage from being a “no-brainer” to the biggest challenge of our lives. Called to take the message of the Good News out to others. “And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” 2 Cor 5:19-20
Bring the Gospel to others. The vine needs you!!! -Teresa Tuite, OP
Sister Teresa Tuite
Sunday, April 22
Fourth Sunday of Easter
John 10: 11 – 18
“I am the good shepherd.
A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
A hired man, who is not a shepherd
and whose sheep are not his own,
sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away,
and the wolf catches and scatters them.
This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd,
and I know mine and mine know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father;
and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.
These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice,
and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
This is why the Father loves me,
because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own.
I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again.
This command I have received from my Father.”
This Sunday is known as Good Shepherd Sunday and the Day the Church sets aside to pray for Vocations. The gospel poses Jesus as the Good Shepherd who cares for the sheep.
In this long passage form the gospel of John, Jesus speaks first to those who already are following Him, already are part of His fold. Describing His action for His flock, he first tells them that he lays down His life for them. This is the ultimate sacrifice. Then He tells them that he takes it up again, a sure acknowledgement of the Resurrection. He then goes onto speak to those not yet a part of His flock. These too will come to know that they are His own.
This Sunday we pray for Vocations for the whole Church, and we pray for ourselves, that we might know and believe in the One Shepherd who brings us to life.
Sunday, April 15
Third Sunday of Easter
Luke 24: 35 – 48
The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way,
and how Jesus was made known to them
in the breaking of bread.
While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
“Peace be with you.”
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have.”
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?”
They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.
He said to them,
“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them,
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.”
The author of the Gospel of Luke makes it clear that the disciples were encountering the Resurrected Lord and the details show us that it could not have been someone who was resuscitated. He emphasizes the touching of the hands and feet of Jesus and the fact that He eats a piece of fish in their presence. This reveals both the reality of Jesus’ presence and its difference from His former presence. The disciples reaction to this is a mixture of terror and joy. But, Jesus gives them what they needed, His peace. The first thing he says to them is “Peace be with you”.
Jesus gives each of us His peace as well. He gives it to us because the peace of the resurrected Christ is what we really need. As we grow and deepen our friendship with the Risen Christ, His healing and loving peace dissolves the stresses, sadnesses, and anxieties of life. Jesus gives us peace for our minds because whenever we look at the crucifix, we can know that His forgiveness is everlasting. He gives us peace for our hearts because whenever we see the wounds of Christ, we know that we are loved. He gives us peace for our souls because He is alive and the one who is in charge. Christ invites each one of us to personally follow Him and help build up His Church. This brings deep purpose to our lives and satisfies our thirst for meaning.
Each time that we attend Mass, we hear the same words that Christ spoke to the disciples of “Peace be with you”. The priest says, “Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles: I leave you peace, my peace I give you.” Then, right after that, we have the opportunity to receive the living, resurrected body and blood of our Lord in Holy Communion. In our reception of Holy Communion, Jesus floods us with His peace, the peace that we deeply desire and need.
The peace of the Lord be with you always!
Deacon Chris Tuttle
Sunday, April 8
Second Sunday of Easter
John 20: 19 – 31
On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.
Poor St. Thomas gets a bad rap. We have a sense that Thomas should have believed without any proof. The term “doubting Thomas” is meant in a derogatory fashion, after all. But how many of us can really blame Thomas? We at least have the benefit of a historical perspective, of a long history of belief in Christianity, and the example of the saints and the Church to reassure us. But Thomas had none of that. So perhaps we can go a little easy on him.
A compassionate view of St. Thomas is also reinforced by what he does once Christ does appear. Christ tells St. Thomas to place his fingers into his side, so that he might believe. The text does not say that Thomas actually did so; the text says he simply answered, “My Lord and my God!” We see how hollow was Thomas’ prior boasting, of his seemingly cynical demand for a high bar of evidence. His skepticism evaporates the moment he finds himself face to face with the Risen Christ. He needs no further proof; he does not need to medically examine the actual wounds of Christ any longer.
That personal encounter with the Risen Christ was enough to answer the doubts of even a doubting Thomas. May our own encounter with the Risen Christ also dispel our disbelief and our cynicism this Easter season.
Father Matthew Morris