ON THIS FIFTH SUNDAY IN THE SEASON OF EASTER in today’s Gospel today we hear Jesus preparing His disciples for the time when He would no longer be with them. Jesus said to them, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 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 14:1-3). Folks, we cannot live our lives without Christ guiding us – we would be fools to do so. If we had more of Jesus in our lives we would have less fear, worries and anxieties. We would still have problems. God never promised that we would not have problems. Jesus himself had a big problem, he was sentenced to death as a common criminal. But Jesus rose on the third day and Jesus will help us rise above our difficulties also because as the second reading stated Jesus is the “living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God” (1 Pet 2:4). If we try to live without Jesus, life will not go nearly as well for us as when we have Jesus at the center of our lives. We can overcome problems better with Jesus in our lives than without Jesus. When we have problems let us turn to Jesus who is always waiting for us. Remember:
- If we say, “It’s impossible.” But Jesus says in Luke 18:27, “Things that are impossible for men are possible for God.”
- If we say, “I’m too tired.” But Jesus says in Matthew 11:28 “Come to me all you who labor and are overburdened and I will give you rest.”
- If we say, “Nobody really loves me.” But in John 3:16 we read that God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.
- If we say, “I can’t go on.” But Jesus told Paul, “My grace is enough for you: for power is at full stretch in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9).
- If we say, “I can’t do it.” But Paul wrote in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.”
- If we say, “I can’t manage.” But Paul wrote in Philippians 4:19, “God will fulfill all your needs in Jesus as lavishly as only God can.
- If we say, “I’m afraid.” But in 2 Timothy 1:7 we read, “God’s gift was not a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power and love and self-control.”
- If we say, “I feel all alone.” But in Hebrews 13:5 God says, “I will never fail or desert you.”
In our Gospel today Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me” (John 14:1). Keep that in mind the next time you feel overwhelmed by life’s challenges.
WELCOME DEACON ANTHONY DAVIS ~ One of five newly-ordained transitional deacons for the Diocese, Rev. Mr. Anthony Davis will be spending the next ten weeks with us at the Cathedral as his summer assignment. A transitional deacon differs from a permanent deacon in that a transitional deacon serves as a deacon for a period of time – usually one year – before being ordained a priest. I first met Deacon Tony when I was spending my summer assignment 11 years ago as a transitional deacon at Saint Joseph Parish in Dover, Ohio – Deacon Tony’s home parish. Deacon Tony attended grade school at Dover St. Joseph and high school at New Philadelphia Tuscarawas Central Catholic before entering the Pontifical College Josephinum in 2007. He earned a bachelor of arts degree there and recently finished his third year of theology studies, working on a master of arts degree in dogmatic theology, focusing on the Holy Spirit.
BISHOP’S ANNUAL APPEAL ~ I am pleased to announce that in two short weeks we are just shy of reaching two-thirds of our Diocesan goal of $53,055.01. Thank you to those who have thus far made your pledges. Remember that once our Diocesan goal is met, we can then focus on reaching our enhanced goal of $101,655.01 – and increase of $48,600.00 to pay for the replacement of the Cathedral lighting system. The present lighting system has been refurbished a couple of times since it was originally installed in the 1980’s – but the original manufacturer has long since gone out of business, replacement parts are unavailable, and after several decades of service our lighting system needs a total replacement. The addition of LED lighting will also be more energy efficient. Like any home, replacement of original equipment needs to take place from time to time; our parish home is no exception. Since we all benefit from a safe, well-lit Church, I am asking that every family consider pledging $250.00 in one lump sum to the BAA – or pay just $25.00 per month per family over a 10-month payment period. My hope and prayer is that every registered person/family contribute to the BAA this year, recognizing the physical upgrades and needs of our parish of which we fondly call our home. Remember, every gift counts; all of us share in the responsibility of supporting the work of the BAA and in maintaining our parish. An update on the progress of the BAA here at Saint Joseph Cathedral is included in this bulletin. Thank you!
-Fr. Mike Lumpe