Our Mission: Sent Forth to Proclaim and Live God’s Mercy
Fr. Raymond LafontaineSeptember 6, 2015
As you entered church today, hopefully you noticed the new banner hanging over the altar. It will remain throughout the coming year, as a visual reminder of our theme in this, the third year of our journey to the heart of “The New Evangelization.” If you remember, in our first year, we were inv
Last Sunday, we interrupted our sequential Year B reading of Mark’s Gospel to hear St. John’s version of Jesus feeding the multitudes with the loaves and fishes. And now, for the next four Sundays, we are invited to meditate on the spiritual significance of this event: we meet Jesus himself as the living Bread come down from heaven. These texts, from the Bread of Life discourse in Chapter 6 of John's Gospel, seem at first glance to be very repetitive; Jesus seems to be going back and saying the same thing over and over. I remember becoming vividly aware of this the summer of my second year as a priest, when I had to preach five Sundays in a row on what seemed to be the same readings!
Today’s readings begin on a harsh note: God’s stinging condemnation of “shepherds who destroy and scatter, who have failed to care for God’s flock.” This is a hard message to hear – especially for those among us, clergy and lay leaders alike, who bear responsibility for shepherding. When we hear
In today’s Gospel, we meet Jesus, preaching for the first time in front of the folks from home – the villagers who had seen him grow up, including his own extended family. This was a tough challenge. Small towns, which have their definite advantages, also sometimes breed small-mindedness.
Like many of you, I was shocked to hear the news last week of the killing of nine innocent people – all African-Americans – attending a Bible study at the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. At a memorial service for their pastor (and South Carolina state Senator)
Given that World Environment Day actually occurs on June 5, it is a marvelous gift that the readings for our liturgies this weekend provide us with such rich images for our celebration of this special day.
We celebrate today “Corpus Christi”: the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. For those of “a certain age”, it conjures up images of processions through the streets with the Blessed Sacrament: candles, flowers, people in the streets bowing and even kneeling on the sidewalk as the
“If being Christian were a crime ... would there be enough evidence to convict you?” I read that rather disturbing question when I was a teenager, and it left enough of an impression that 30 years later, I still remember it. Every so often, I even ask myself the question again!
The Christian community’s experience of the Resurrection is so profound that we continue to meditate on this great mystery for fifty days. Today’s Feast of the Ascension and next week’s Feast of Pentecost are really a continuation of Easter, the celebration of the great Paschal mystery.