Greetings on this Fifth Sunday of Easter and Mother's Day!
One of my favorite quotes from scriptures is: "the number of disciples continued to grow.” (Acts 6:1) I think of the the Holy Church in her infancy, the Apostles and disciples going out into the mighty Roman Empire and other pagan lands proclaiming Christ, the way, the truth and the life. I think of the persecution they were met with, the hostility of a heathen world, the scant resources they had, and yet through it all “the number of disciples continued to grow.”
They had faith, they proclaimed Christ Crucified and Risen, and practiced what they preached.
They knew that Jesus has gone ahead to prepare a place for us in His Father's house. The Lord said “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” This verse has become a refrain I repeat over and again in my mind in these troubled times.
“In my Father's house there are many dwelling places....and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be” (John 14:2,3).
Our hope is in the Lord, that whatever happens to us, it won’t be the end, the Lord will take us to where He is. This gave those early Christians the peace of heart and strength to proclaim the gospel and be the “living stones” with which the Church is built.
The Holy Church is built of living stones, that is, each one of us. In this "Temple” of the Spirit, we are to be "holy priests,” “offering up spiritual sacrifices,” that is all of our prayer, work, intentions, suffering, and joy - to God. We are called to glorify God in the temple of our bodies.
So as we’re separated from the public celebration of Mass in a church building, the church is still here, in you! There is a quote that reads: The Church Isn't Empty. The Church Has Been Deployed!
That being said, we still have to follow Christ who is “the way, the truth, and the life (John14:6).”
We live in a time where people pick and choose and justify what they believe to be the truth. Saint Augustine wrote: “ If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.”
If we believe in Him, truly believe, we’ll do the works that He did. The Church needs faithful witnesses to proclaim “the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” to this hurting world. Souls are hungry for the truth of Christ.
You are the church deployed! Spread hope, compassion, forgiveness, fight for purity of heart, teach others to pray, help those who are struggling with loneliness by calling them or sending a letter. If you can spare some groceries, check on those who can’t work right now, or those whose resources were thin to begin with, and offer to help. If others can look to you and see that you are sincere when you say “I belong to Christ,” people will follow you right back to Him, and the number of disciples will continue to grow.
Month of May and Mother’s Day:
Thank you to all mothers and those who have been as mothers to us. Mother’s in these difficult times have taken on so many other roles, I don’t know what else to say other than that Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother Mary, are with you. God reward you for all that you do and for who you are to us. If your mother has passed from this life, commend her soul once more to the Mercy of God. “Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her, may she rest in peace. Amen.”
May is the month dedicated to our Blessed Lady. Pray the rosary. Bring some flowers (real not artificial), even from your own garden, to our Marian grottos in front of St Paul’s or over by St. James. Set up a special Mary “altar” at home and have candles and flowers by it. She is our Blessed Mother because Jesus gave her to us when He was on the Cross, “Behold your Mother.” As we used to call out to our “mammas” when we were sick or hurt, let us call out to Our Blessed Mother that through her maternal love and intercession of her Immaculate Heart, we will be delivered from this epidemic and the harm it is causing.
We fly to Thy protection, O Holy Mother of God; Do not despise our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin. Amen
God bless you all and Blessed Mother's Day to our Mothers!
Father Robert Letona