4th Sunday of Easter
Congratulations to all of our students who received their First Holy Communion this weekend! There is an exhortation for priests that says, "O Priest of Jesus Christ, celebrate this Holy Mass as if it were your First Mass, your Last Mass, your Only Mass." Whether you've been receiving the Eucharist for 1 year or 100 years, whether you're young or old, I challenge you at every Mass you attend to make that exhortation your own: attend that Mass as if it were your first Mass, your last Mass, your only Mass; and receive Communion as if it were your first Communion, your last Communion, your only Communion.
3rd Sunday of Easter
We are blessed to have an amazing Pope right now - Pope Francis! And in our Gospel we hear one of the great Biblical texts supporting the papacy: Jesus singles out Peter to fee his lambs and tend his sheep. In this we see Jesus' commissioning of Peter as the first shepherd of His Church, the first Pope. Passed down through the centuries, this office of head shepherd has kept the Catholic Church united as one, even in the midst of seemingly insurmountable struggles and difficulties. Thanks be to God for giving us the gift of the papacy, that we may all stand together to praise and worship our God with one voice throughout the world!
2nd Sunday of Easter
To ask God questions, to seek to understand the "Why?" behind our beliefs or events in our life, is not a lack of faith. Rather, it's an indication of faith. We are a people of faith seeking understanding - it's precisely our faith that drives us to want to understand where and how God fits into these events and beliefs. In the resurrection story from our Gospel today, I think Thomas generally gets a bad rap. Jesus doesn't punish him for questioning, wondering, doubting - Jesus answers him! So we shouldn't be afraid to ask questions, to be discerning, to be skeptical; if we do these things honestly and sincerely, the Lord will answer and our faith will be deepened.