ON THIS SIXTH SUNDAY IN THE SEASON OF EASTER Jesus reminds us that “If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete” (John 15: 10-11). “If you love me you will keep my commandments,” says Jesus to us today (John 14:15). We could say that is a very strong statement by Jesus. Does this mean that every time we sin we do not love Jesus? Yes. Although we love Jesus, every time we commit sin we love something or someone else more than Jesus. If we love Jesus more than anything else we will keep ourselves free from sin for Jesus. If we love Jesus we will strive to give ourselves totally to him. When we sin we are giving ourselves to something other than Jesus or to somebody other than Jesus. And when we love Jesus with all our heart, soul, mind and strength we will not want to put anything, no matter how small, before Jesus. Again the words of Jesus in our Gospel are, “If you love me you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) Sometimes we hear people make statements like, “Jesus understands that I am human. He will forgive me.” Jesus is forgiving, we do not doubt Jesus’ love, mercy and compassion. But if we truly love Jesus more than anything we will put Jesus before whatever it is that is tempting us and we will try to root that sin out of our lives completely. Loving Jesus therefore is not simply an emotional feeling – loving Jesus means changing our lives, reforming our lives, working on our personalities and characters, overcoming sinful habits, stretching ourselves to love as Jesus loved. Loving Jesus means thinking about ourselves and others as Jesus thinks. Where does your information about yourself and others and the world come from? If it comes only from our materialistic western culture which does not understand the difference between freedom to sin and the freedom to do what is right our minds may be contaminated by false images of ourselves, others and the world. But if we truly want to love Jesus we will fill our minds with his thoughts and his way of looking at the world. We can fill our minds with Jesus’ thoughts by reading the Bible, reading spiritual books and praying as much as possible every day. If we fill our minds with the filth of the world how can we love Jesus? It would be impossible and it would be impossible to keep his commandments. Let us fill our minds with the thoughts of Jesus so that we may love him and keep his commandments. Let us resolve today and beyond to love Jesus by keeping his commandments so that the love of Jesus and the Father and the Spirit may be in our hearts and we may have Jesus in our hearts.
- WE CELEBRATE THE ORDINATION OF TWO PRIESTS IN OUR DIOCESE: On Saturday, May 28, Bishop Frederick Campbell ordained for service in our Diocese two priests – Fr. Cyrus Haddad (Saint Patrick Parish, London) and Fr. Vincent Nguyen (Saint Edward the Confessor Parish, Granville). These two men deserve our prayers of gratitude for their courage, joy and unselfishness. They, like all priests, deacons, religious and seminarians, also need our support and prayers for the work that lies ahead. So this is an opportune time to pause and take stock of our identity as a parish community of the faithful. The Church is not just a collection of individuals gathered around sacred scripture. The Church is a community of the faithful rooted both in God’s Living Word and in sacrament. No matter how many other things bear good fruit for the Gospel in our day, there is no ongoing presence of Jesus Christ in the world without the Church, there is no Church without the Eucharist, and there is no Eucharist without the priest. Let us pray for these two new priests of the Diocese of Columbus. Let us also pray for all of the seminarians of our Diocese and those who are discerning God’s call to serve Him, His Church, and His people as priests and religious. If you have questions or would like information on vocations, please contact me or Fr. Paul Noble (Director of Vocations, in residence here at the Cathedral), or visit the Diocesan vocations web site: www.seekholiness.com.
- THE BISHOP’S ANNUAL APPEAL continues to progress well here at Saint Joseph Cathedral. As of this writing, working together we are less than $15,000 from meeting our diocesan goal. An update is included in this bulletin. Thank you to all who have contributed thus far. As a parish community, let’s all participate!
- ON THIS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND we give special remembrance, honor and prayer for our military men and women who paid the ultimate price in service to our country. In our own special way, this weekend, we also remember those in active military duty, serving our country, especially those deployed on foreign soil and on the oceans of our planet. I have included a number of prayers in this bulletin for Memorial Day; please remember our fallen service men and women in your prayers, and those currently serving. In fact, the best way we can honor them is at Mass on Memorial Day at 7:30 a.m. After that, there is still plenty of time for picnics and backyard barbeques…enjoy this long weekend!
-Fr. Mike Lumpe