Dear Church Family,
One joyful way of praying is to imagine yourself in the stories of the Resurrection. Enter into the feelings of the characters in the Gospel account. Like today, I am with Peter, James, and John, the other disciples, the Blessed Mother and some of Jesus’ special spiritual women friends. All of a sudden as we are gathered, Jesus appears in our midst. It’s like He just comes through the wall and He says, “Peace be with you.” We are all amazed and filled with joy. I don’t know what to think of this and He probably says to me again, “Peace be with you.” Maybe He’s saying in so many words, “Calm down! It’s wonderful that I can come back and start you on this great mission I have for you. But be cool a little right now and give me something to eat so we can sit down at the table and fellowship. Then I can tell you what I want of all of you.” We then sit down with Jesus and He breaks open the sacred scriptures about everything from Moses, the prophets, and the Psalms until now and how He has fulfilled them.
Again I am so filled with joy, wonder, and zeal. I just can’t keep all of this wonderful good news to myself. I recognize Jesus really as my Risen Lord and Savior and I am going to do as He says to do. Here He is telling us that “once you become aware that I had to suffer, die, and on the third day rise from the dead, I bring repentance and forgiveness of sins to the whole world, to all nations. You must go out and spread this good news. You are my witnesses. Amen!”
So Church, I joyfully entered into this story with these words. I am aware more and more in this Eastertime that Jesus is really present to me in little ways and I look for Him. I am celebrating “Resurrection Moments.” By that I mean, little manifestations, little revelations that my Jesus is really personally coming to me through the events of the days. Here are a couple of my Resurrection Moments: The other day while riding my bike with a man in the neighborhood named Kenny Fletcher we rode on Wydown Street and happened to see a front yard that had brown and red tulips blossoming and behind the tulips were Redwood trees blooming. I was just engulfed by the sight and stayed with it. I felt the presence of the Lord in this beauty. Then we rode a little further and rode around the Jewel Box with all the tulips. The Lord is certainly present to me in the beauty of all the flowers and the budding of the tress. I feel His presence and those are “Resurrection Moments.” Alleluia!
Here are some other significant Resurrection Moments: About a month or so ago, a man came to Mass on Thursday. Normally it’s only Shirley Robinson and myself praying the Mass. He came at the Gospel time and we said, “enter in and we will give you a blessing of communion.” At the end of Mass he gave me an envelope and it contained a money order for $1000. He said, “Fr. Bob you helped me and my family a couple of times last year. Now we have paying jobs and I felt we had to pay back.” On top of that about a week ago I was calling a few people we helped last summer. We helped about 400 or so people. I was able to call about 3 or 4 and I reached a lady name Natasha. I said, “I am Fr. Bob. I just called to encourage you.” She then said, “It was her and her husband that gave us the gift.” I just felt so good about picking Natasha’s name out of all of the names and it was just the right name. That was another “Resurrection Moment.” My final “Resurrection Moment” that I give with the hope is that you explore each day with deep joyful feelings of God touching your life with His risen life and love. I was opening a 1966 memorabilia box of cards, notes, pictures and invitations. I opened an envelope from a couple that I preformed their wedding and inside was a gift of $30. It was still in the envelope 48 years later. As I discovered this treasure this certainly was a “Resurrection Moment.” Why am I deciding to finally open all these memorabilia shoe boxes, praying for names I come across and sending things back to somebody that sent me something? Church, this is a good way to go for the next four weeks of Resurrection time. Keep up a joyful awareness of the Risen Lord working in your life, in little ways and sometimes in very significant ways. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Love, Fr. Bob