Fourth Sunday of Easter Weekend of May 2/3, 2020 In today’s gospel Jesus tries to describe the trust relationship between himself and his followers using the images of a shepherd and a gate for the sheep. In both cases, it is about who or what the sheep can trust, whether shepherd or path, leading the Lord’s followers into a bountiful pasture. As the good shepherd, the sheep hear, follow, flee false shepherds, and are able to discern whom to trust. Good stewards understand that, no matter how much they are confronted by fear and anxiety, the Lord will not abandon those who follow him. Hearing Jesus’ voice does not always happen easily, though, even for those who are closest to him. In what ways do we dispose ourselves to listen to the shepherd’s voice? What obstacles keep us from hearing the Lord?
Fifth Sunday of Easter Weekend of May 9/10, 2020 In the reading from the Acts of the Apostles we see how the first community of Christians gathered together to discern and resolve how to care for each other’s needs. As good stewards of the sisters and brothers who gathered around the Eucharistic table, the community of faith selected those among them who were to ensure that no one was neglected. How are we helping to serve the needs of our parish family? How do we ensure that those who might be perceived to be the least of our brothers and sisters are not left alone and neglected during these unsettling times?
Sixth Sunday of Easter Weekend of May 16/17, 2020 Philip understood very well Jesus’ words: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” We learn of Philip’s devotion to prayer, evangelizing and healing in the region of Samaria; made up of communities that would not be very receptive to the followers of Jesus. Philip is a model steward, living his discipleship day by day in the Lord without counting the cost. Good stewards summon the courage to proclaim the Lord no matter where they are, and to serve Him by ministering to others even under the most adverse of circumstances. As an Easter people, eager to rejoice in the Lord, let us reflect this week on how we are living out our own commitment to discipleship in Christ Jesus.
Solemnity of the Lord’s Ascension The Solemnity of the Lord’s Ascension will be celebrated by your diocese on either Thursday, May 21, or the weekend of May 23/24, 2020 In today’s Gospel Jesus charges his followers to “make disciples of all nations.” What exactly is going on here? What is this Great Commission anyway? Good stewards know they are directed to share what they exercise stewardship over: their life of faith in Christ Jesus. They know Jesus didn’t direct them to go to church and to keep quiet about it; or to go out into the neigh borhood, workplace or marketplace and just be nice to others. The Good News of Jesus Christ is meant to be shared. Many people in our com munities either do not know about Jesus Christ, reject his Good News or have abandoned him. Does that bother us? Do we care? Do we realize we are supposed to do something about it? (If the Solemnity of the Lord’s Ascension is celebrated by your diocese on Thursday, May 21, 2020)
Seventh Sunday of Easter Weekend of May 23/24, 2020 In today’s second reading, we hear it proclaimed that we are blessed if we share in the sufferings of Christ. What then does it mean to “share in His sufferings” in this context? Most of us do not live in a part of the world where we could be killed for being a follower of Jesus. But we could face or “suffer” mockery, ridicule and disapproval from others. Far too often, and for various reasons, those who profess faith in Christ act as though they are ashamed of him. But to act ashamed is the same as a denial. Stewards of the Good News are never ashamed to reveal their love for the Lord. How do you reveal to others that you are a follower of Christ each day?
Pentecost Sunday Weekend of May 30/31, 2020 Mass during the Day This weekend we celebrate the feast of Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit among the fearful believers of the early Church. Saint Paul reminds us of the special power the Holy Spirit has bestowed upon us to give us confidence and how that power gives us the potential to live extraordinary lives of faith. Good stewards recognize this power and use their gifts, through God’s channel of grace, to transform their lives and the lives of others. Good stewards know that it is through the Holy Spirit that they can proclaim: “Jesus is Lord.” How do we allow the Holy Spirit to work within us to give us strength, confidence and hope?