Next Friday is May 1st, the beginning of the month dedicated to our Blessed Mother. Our 8th graders will crown the statue of Mary at the 8:30 morning Mass. Because our parish and our Capilla are both dedicated to Our Blessed Mother, and because we are aware of the many blessings we have received as a community, it is important for each of us to focus this month on the gift the Mary is to us. This is a good time for families to pray together the rosary; it is a good time to be sure that our children know the rosary. Our Gift Shop has booklets to help you if you need them.
Also, May 8-10, our school children will be presenting "The Wizard of Oz" musical in our hall. The children have been practicing and they are very excited. Tickets are available at the school office for only $5. I expect the performances to be sold out, so get your tickets early.
Next Saturday is a special day for our community, our faith family. We will celebrate the sacraments of Confirmation and First Holy Communion with 230 of our children. It is not just a special day for the children and their families, it is a special day for our entire community. Please remember to pray for these young people during the week as they prepare to receive the Holy Spirit into their lives, and then to receive our Lord in the Eucharist.
Please pray for the families of these children as well. Parents are the first teachers of their children in faith, and that role does not end with Confirmation and Communion. Actually, this is just the beginning for these parents. Now they must guide their children in learning to live as Catholic Christians in a world with so many competing values. May the Holy Spirit come again on these parents so that they may be the best of teachers.
For me, this is such a special day; as "father" to all of these children, I rejoice with them as our parish family grows. Many of the children will serve with me at our Lord's altar. What a blessing they are to all of us.
Having just celebrated the Solemnity of Easter I wanted to share with you from the Pastoral Constitution on the Church from the Second Vatican Council.
"Holy Scripture...teaches the human family that human progress, though it is a great blessing for man, brings with it a great temptation. When the scale of values is disturbed and evil becomes mixed with good, individuals and groups consider only their own interests, not those of others."
The result is that the world is not yet a home of true brotherhood, while the increased power of mankind already threatens to destroy the human race itself.
If it is asked how this unhappy state of affairs can be set right, Christians state their belief that all human activity, in daily jeopardy through pride and inordinate self-love, is to find its purification and its perfection in the cross and resurrection of Christ..
This is why our celebration of the Easter mysteries, and our continued celebration through the season of Easter until Pentecost is so important. Come Holy Spirit!
He is risen!! Alleluia!
Now the question is: will you rise with Him? Will you rise out of the temptations of consumerism and materialism? Will you rise out of the temptation to think the everything is "all about me", which is a form of idolatry. Will you rise with Jesus to the glory of eternal life with our God? This is God's desire for us, is it our desire as well?
Remember, when Jesus rose from the waters of baptism, he was sent into the desert and was tempted. Those temptations are our temptations as well: to materialism, to individualism, and to self-dependence rather than depending on our God and His was of life. Jesus resisted those temptations and spent His life in obedience to His Father. He calls us to do the same. Yes, we will sometimes fall, but our celebration of Easter is a reminder to get up and start again, to live our baptism.
Easter tells us that we are part of salvation history, part of God's saving plan of creation. The whole liturgical year leads up to this day. With those who are reborn in the waters of baptism at the Easter Vigil, we are reminded of our baptism as well into the Body of Christ. That is why we can partake of communion, we can receive His Body and Blood because we are already part of that same Body through our baptism.
So let us rise with Jesus and commit ourselves to live as members of His risen Body, present in our world today.