From Our Pastor: 6th Sunday of Easter
This weekend we are choosing an option for the readings that we are all pretty certain hasn’t been chosen, and if it has it has been a long time. Since the Ascension in the United States of America is always moved from its Thursday to a Sunday, the 7th Sunday of Easter readings are never read. So, the church gives us an option for those who move the Ascension to Sunday to move the second reading and the gospel from the 7th Sunday of Easter to the 6th Sunday of Easter. So, this is what we’ve chosen to do this year. It is probably the first time you’ve heard the 7th Sunday second reading and gospel ever read at mass. So hopefully that explains the readings this weekend being slightly different.
In the Acts of the Apostles, we hear about Philip preaching the gospel and the Samaritans embracing Christ. Word travels to the apostles in Jerusalem and Peter and John go up to Samaria to confirm the baptized. If you’ve ever wondered where a very clear image of the sacrament of confirmation is located in scripture, this is a prime example. In the sacrament of confirmation, we call down the Holy Spirit and lay hands on those to be confirmed. Most specifically in the Roman Catholic Church this is usually done by what we call an apostle today, which is a Bishop. Here are two bishops going up to do just that! And if you’ve noticed the readings the last couple weekends are now moving less from focusing on the resurrection and more moving towards Pentecost and the Holy Spirit.
First Peter tells us to suffer not only willingly but rejoicing in the suffering for the sake of Christ. He does make it very clear though that we are not to embrace suffering from our sins but instead suffering for the sake of Christ. This gives glory to God!
So, in the gospel of John, Jesus is talking about that glory of suffering and unifying that suffering to the will of the Father. Jesus reveals to us that he always was, always is and always will be as He states, “with the glory that I had with you before the world began.” He prays that we remain one with Jesus, so that we might remain one with the Father. He then tells us of His Ascension which then leads us to the gift of Pentecost that he promised us. May our lives be so united to Christ that we give glory to God in Jesus’ example. Yes, that does include joyful suffering and rejection and insult. Give glory to God by your life well lived in union with the will of the Father.
We are working on the heating and air project and hopefully we will have air conditioning very soon. We do not have the funds raised yet for these two projects but I’m hoping that people will give for the efforts of having heat and air conditioning. I apologize for the delays of the capital campaign but ask you to support these endeavors as soon as possible as we all want air this summer and heat next winter! You may see a crane soon and hopefully will work with any changes in parking that may be necessary for this project to be completed.
Most especially on this day where we celebrate our mothers, I want to wish all of you women, a happy Mother’s Day. You may not think you are a mother, but as a woman, you are all called to love in a motherly way, and we all benefit from this unique source of love all women share. I want to specially wish my mother a happy Mother’s Day for the amazing gift that she has been to myself and my family! If you have not met my mother, she is one spectacular lady! I want to pray for all those mothers who have lost a child no matter how grown or how small, as this is the hardest thing for a mother to experience. Know of our love and prayers! Lastly thank you to Mother Mary for her continued motherly care over the Church and each of us!
Happy Mother’s Day! Thank you!
-Rev. Steven Arisman