ON THIS FIFTH SUNDAY IN THE SEASON OF EASTER Jesus in today’s Gospel asks us to make our home in Him. How? The Eucharist, the sacraments, the Bible, the Rosary are just some of the ways in which we make our home in Jesus. There are many seductions and distractions in our world also inviting us to make our home in them but if we do our branch will wither and we will not bear fruit. As we all know from personal experience there are many voices in the world telling us to eat the apple from the tree and then we will have life and all will be well. But after eating the apple we discover that we are worse and even more unhappy. So we make our home in Jesus. He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life and when we make our home in Him we bear fruit. As Jesus said: “Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me” (John 15:4). It is not just a question of making our home in Jesus because it feels good. A branch which is connected to the vine bears fruit. Jesus asks each of us to bear fruit, as He says in the Gospel: “Whoever remains in me, and me in him, bears much fruit, for without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). In our second reading John also says we are to bear fruit as he says, “Our love is not to be just words or mere talk, but something real and active; only by this can we be certain that we are the children of the truth…” (1 John 3:18-19). And so we must ask ourselves today: how are each of us doing in the department of bearing fruit for the kingdom of God? We need to remember, folks, that God gave each of us many and varied gifts, abilities and talents. We use most of them every day of our lives. But do we apply these gifts and talents in His vineyard for the building up of His kingdom here on earth? Chances are we do – but only to a certain point. We limit ourselves. Let’s uncork the Spirit within us, beginning today, and apply our God-given gifts, abilities and talents, and in doing so, brick by brick, effort by effort, demonstrate to ourselves that we have a graces and the capacity to not only live a life in Christ, but through our connectivity to Jesus build up His kingdom not by mere words but by real and tangible actions.
SACRAMENTS IN OUR PARISHES: We pray for and congratulate those who made their First Holy Communion last Sunday at Holy Cross Church, and who do so this Sunday at Saint Joseph Cathedral. What a wonderful step in their faith and sacramental lives! Next Sunday at the Cathedral 10:30 a.m. Mass Bishop Campbell will confer the Sacrament of Confirmation to the young parishioners of our two parishes. Congratulations to them as they mature in their faith!
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE NEW DEACONS OF OUR DIOCESE who were ordained by Bishop Campbell on May 1: Rev. Mr. Jeremiah Guappone, Rev. Mr. Timothy Lynch, Rev. Mr Stephen Smith, and Rev. Mr. Daniel Swartz.
SPECIAL COLLECTION MAY 9 & 10 TO SUPPORT EARTHQUAKE RELIEF EFFORTS: I think it is fair to say that we have seen many images of the destruction and devastation from last Saturday’s earthquake, and aftershocks, in Nepal and in surrounding countries of the Indian subcontinent. The people there need our prayers, and they need our financial support to basics such as food, drinking water, medicine and shelter for the short-term, and longer-term rebuilding. Catholic Relief Services and Caritas are already on the ground already bringing aid and relief, but they need our support. Please read the center section of this bulletin. “Where charity and love prevail, there God is ever found…”