Jesus ascended into heaven not to distance Himself from us, but so that He could turn around, reach down, and raise us up to where He is!
5th Sunday of Easter
Every Christian, by their baptism, is anointed priest, prophet and king. Peter challenges us this weekend to that first anointing: "be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God." There is the ordained priesthood by which priests in the Church offer to God's people the sacraments, but there is also the priesthood of the baptized by which every Christian, in Jesus, is called to offer spiritual sacrifices to God. Every day we can offer these spiritual sacrifices, and at Mass we have the opportunity to collect them all from that past week - our thoughts, words, prayers, actions, and intentions...even our anxieties, worries, concerns, hopes, and dreams - and place them all on that altar, asking God to transform them just as He does the bread and wine.
4th Sunday of Easter
Dreams are hopeful and safe - they can't be failed. Goals, on the other hand, are not safe - they can be failed. It's easy to dream; it's not easy to make goals and follow through on them. In the Gospel this weekend, Jesus calls himself the good shepherd whose sheep hear his voice and follow him as he leads them to good pastures. Dreamers hear that voice but don't actually move anywhere. Disciples hear that voice and have the courage to take a step: to set concrete spiritual goals in their daily lives, to fail, to get up again, and to succeed. How are we disciples? How are we dreamers? Where is the Lord calling us to take another step?