Fifth Sunday of Easter
A word from—Fr. Bob
Dear Church Family,
We come together today to celebrate not only my vocation as a priest but all who have blessed me so much over these 55 years. We celebrate our vocation of growing deeper in love with the Lord and having a deeper love for everyone we possibly can. With love in our lives we will continue to love the Lord intimately through prayer, the sacrament of the Eucharist, the sacrament of reconciliation, and the Celebration of the Holy Mass. Also, just continue living and loving other folks. That’s what we are all about and I emphasize this type of celebration today. These are some powerful words that I rest in this week and I will now proclaim my little insight into them.
Reflect deeply on the words from St. Peter’s letter, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” That my lovers of the Lord and His Words are what we are all about. Claim that you are a chosen person, a priestly person and a person that the Lord calls His very own, to announce all this good living and loving. Rest also in the gospel message from John. It is one of my favorite passages in John and I proclaim it so often especially during funerals. This is far from a funeral today but I still feel it is so important for us to be blessedly reassured always. “Do not let your heart be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.” I like to say many mansions in my ministry because sometimes many people are deprived of mansions and material things but sooner or later we really learn that there is something so much more important. That is capturing more powerfully each and every day in our journey that, “Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.” Alleluia!
Church! Now I would like you to reflect with me on this little passage by Jean Vanier. I was able to visit his community of L’Arche an international network of communities for people with disabilities. I shared with my friend (I’ll call him, Robert) this message from Jean Vanier. The title is His Presence and Absence. “Jesus has already spoken of his leaving and his returning. His leaving refers to his death; his return refers to his resurrection. But at the same time he is referring to his presence and his absence in our lives. There are times when his presence is more deeply felt, when we feel guided and held in his love and friendship, when peace permeates our hearts. At other times we feel lost, in anguish, as we struggle with inner pain. Sometimes feelings of guilt and unworthiness rise up in us. Faith and trust become difficult. We struggle with ourselves. These are all signs of our being pruned, stripped, and purified by the Father. Our faith and trust are being deepened. The sails of our little boats are not filled with the winds of the Spirit. We have to row hard, sometimes against heavy winds of discouragement. Jesus appears to be sleeping in the boat. We must learn to wait for Jesus to wake up and to reveal once again his friendship and his presence to us.”
So Church! Continue to grow in deeper, deeper union with the Lord, in love with everybody in our relationships in life. That’s our journey. That’s the direction that all of us want to continue. Enjoy your vocation as I am certainly enjoying mine today. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Love, Fr. Bob