Fifth Sunday of Easter – Transforming the World

Christ Roi,
Noel Bonardi, 1984, Col de Verghio, Corsica
(photo by Rogiro)
(About this Image)

I give you a new commandment: love one another.
As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.
This is how all will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another.”
(John 13:34–35)

Fr. Bill’s Commentary on the Second Reading
Fifth Sunday of Easter
Book of Revelations: 21:1–5a
May 15, 2022

The Book of Revelation, as we have seen repeatedly, makes extensive use of the Old Testament. John the Seer’s audience would have included a substantial number of Jewish-born members and many second-generation Christians with a good Jewish pedigree. They knew the references we have quoted very well. Gentiles from the Greek-thinking world would have been expected to learn the Jewish background. The Jewish scriptures are alluring and helpful but were not their immediate thought world and some areas would be difficult for them to emotionally connect. If that is so for them, it is more a problem for us.

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Palm Sunday – Exalted by Humility

Entry into Jerusalem, Wilhelm Morgner, 1912, Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund, Germany.
(About this Image)

Fr. Smith’s Commentary on the Second Reading
Palm Sunday
Philippians 2:6–11
April 10, 2022

As we saw in last week’s reading from Philippians, Paul had an exceptionally good relationship with this community. The letter to the Philippians is a “Letter of Friendship,” not of exhortation much less of sorrow. This does not mean that everything was perfect; there were strains within the Church but that they addressed them as Paul had preached “with the same mind that is in Christ Jesus.” (Php 2:5) Last week, we saw how false teachers had come to Philippi and caused discussion. They preached a Gospel which was overly dependent on maintaining Jewish customs and attitudes. Paul praises the Philippians for their wisdom and loyalty to the Gospel of Christ. However, in December, we read of a more personal conflict which Paul ultimately feels will be satisfactorily concluded.

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Last Chance to Join Synod Discussions Next Sunday, 12:15 PM

Our final synod discussion session will be next Sunday, January 30, around 12:15 PM once the 11:15 AM Mass ends. We’ve had several good discussions in December and thank those who participated. If you didn’t have a chance then, you can join us next Sunday either in-person at church or via Zoom.

As Fr. Bill mentioned, Pope Francis organized the synod for us to discern the Church’s future together. We want to hear you. No topics are off the table.

We will be reflecting on the following questions:

  1. In what areas is the Church not hearing you?
  2. What have your experiences been in talking about your faith with others both within and outside our faith community?
  3. How might the Church be more inviting? How do we get people back in the pews?
  4. Is there anything else that the Holy Spirit is calling you to say? What would you like to hear from the Holy Spirit?

Help Ordering Free At-Home COVID Tests After Morning Masses

This week, the federal government and USPS launched a website where you can order four free at-home COVID test kits to be shipped to you. It’s recommended to order your test kits now so you have them when you need them.

You can order your at-home COVID test kits by visiting https://special.usps.com/testkits.

If you or someone you know does not have Internet access, help is available this Sunday morning (Jan. 23). Parish volunteers with computers will be available in the back of the church following the 9 AM and 11:15 AM Masses to help you fill out the website form to order the test kits.

Christmas – Participating in Our Redeemer’s Birth

Adoration of the Child, Gerrit Van Honthorst,
c. 1619–1620, Uffizi Gallery (Florence)
(About this Image)

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields
and keeping the night watch over their flock.
The angel of the Lord appeared to them
and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were struck with great fear.
The angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid;
for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David
a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you:
you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes
and lying in a manger.”
(Luke 2:8–12 )

Fr. Smith’s Commentary on the Second Reading
Christmas
Titus 2:11–14
December 25, 2021

The second reading for Christmas midnight Mass, which we will celebrate here at 5 PM on Christmas Eve, is from the letter to Titus (2:11–14). This is one of the pastoral letters written in the name of St. Paul but most likely composed years after his death by a disciple. They reflect the situation of the church which the apostles left behind. The first generation of witnesses had died and the leaders who were left needed to establish not only how they would govern, but why they could govern. This did not arise abstractly but in concrete situations. These letters addressed them and are thus “pastoral” in that the new leaders prove their worth by the wisdom of their responses. Their use of Paul’s name would not have been seen as dishonest: everyone knew he was dead. They allowed the readers to look at what Paul had said and done in other situations and see if what his successors wrote “fits.” Titus’ letter fits very well not in the original situation but also for our Christmas.

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