From the Pastor's Desk

How can I serve the Church more fully? What can I do to contribute to Jesus’ mission?


Today’s readings tell us how the early Church accepted the challenge of keeping Jesus’ memory alive by remaining a dynamic Christian community, bearing witness to Christ by their unity, fidelity in worship and spirit of loving, humble service. Today’s Gospel introduces Jesus as the Way to God, the Truth to be accepted, and the Life to be shared and lived.

The first reading, taken from Acts, shows us the early Church as a loving, serving, and worshipping community (Acts 6:1-7). Hence, it easily solved a problem of perceived discrimination by instituting the diaconate for the service of the community.

In the second reading, St. Peter advises the early Christians to renew the memory of Jesus by making their community a spiritual edifice built from the “living stones” of believers upon the “Living Cornerstone of Christ” (I Pt 2:4-5). Peter praises Christians, both Gentile and Jewish, as “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and God’s own people.”

In today’s Gospel, Jesus consoles his apostles (who are sad and disheartened at His announcement that He will be leaving them soon), by assuring them that he is going to prepare an everlasting accommodation for them in his Father’s House in Heaven. He gives them the assurance that he will come back to take them to their Heavenly abodes. It is then that Thomas says, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus answers Thomas’ question with, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” The basic doctrine of Judaism is that Yahweh is the Way the Truth and the Life. Hence, Jesus is making a revolutionary claim that he is equivalent to Yahweh. Jesus also declares that he is the safest and surest way to God, discrediting the notions that all religions are equally sure ways to reach God, or that no organized religion but only living a good life of sharing love is necessary to reach God. Jesus, however, is the Way which he calls narrow because it is the way of focused, loving, humble, sacrificial service. Jesus is the Truth who teaches revealed truths about God and God’s relation to man. Jesus also teaches moral truths by demonstrating them in his life. Jesus is the Life because, as God, he possesses the eternal life of God and shares his Divine life with his disciples through the Word of God and the Sacraments. In short, Jesus reveals the Father in the way he lives, in the truth of his word and in the new life that he brings.

Life messages: We need to accept Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life: We accept Jesus as the Way by walking his narrow way of loving, humble, sacrificial service. We accept Jesus the Truth by learning and practicing what he has taught us, as given in the Bible and in the teachings of the Church. We share the Divine life of God through making use of the means Jesus has established in his Church: a) by actively participating in the Eucharistic celebration and properly receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion; b) by the worthy reception of the other Sacraments; c) by the meditative and daily reading of the Word of God; d) by allowing the Holy Spirit living in the Church and within us to guide and strengthen us; and e) by communicating with God the Source of Life, in personal and family prayers.

Today we thank our mothers, pray for them, honor them by celebrating Mother’s Day and by offering our mothers on the altar of God.

The role of mothers in our lives: This is a day to admit gratefully the fact that none of us is able to return, in the same measure, all the love that our mothers have given us. Their influence on their children is so great that it affects the children throughout their lives. Our mothers not only gave us birth but nursed us, nurtured us, trained us in their religious beliefs and practices, taught us good manners and ideal behavior, disciplined us as best as they could, and made us good citizens of our country, our Church, and our society. There is a beautiful Spanish proverb: "An ounce of mother is better than a pound of clergy." Hence, it is highly proper for us to express our love and gratitude to our mothers by our presence (not possible this strange year), gifts, and prayers on Mother’s Day. We offer this Eucharistic celebration on Mother’s Day for all the mothers in our congregation, whether they are alive here or have gone for their eternal reward. The word “mom” is synonymous with sacrificial, agápe love in its purest form, as commanded by Jesus in his farewell speech: "Love one another as I have loved you.” Hence, let us lavish our love on our mothers and express our gratitude for them in the form of fervent prayers offered for them before God.

Remember that a Christian has two mothers: On Mother’s Day, let us acknowledge the truth that we have two mothers: our earthly mother and our Heavenly Mother, the Mother of Jesus. The Catholic Church proclaims the great nobility of the Mother of Jesus, Mary most holy, and presents her as the supreme model for all mothers. On this Mother’s Day, presenting all mothers on the altar, let us sing the beautiful song we sing on the Feast of the Presentation, “Gentle woman, peaceful dove, teach us wisdom, and teach us love.” Let us show our love and appreciation for both of our mothers and let us ask our Heavenly Mother to take care of our earthly mothers. We need to be persons for others, sacrificing out time, talents and lives for them as our mothers are.

As we celebrate Mother’s day on Sunday: the image of our Blessed Mother will be in the parking lot under a tent from 10:30.A.M to 11:30. A.M. We are inviting all the Mothers to come and pray, while remaining in the Car in front of our Blessed Mother. After your prayer we have a package of food and a gift for you to take home.

Fr. Gus. MS, Pastor