Congratulations to all of our high school students who this weekend receive the Sacrament of Confirmation and to our second grade students who are making their First Holy Communion! We also welcome family members and friends who are visiting our parish to celebrate with our newly Confirmed and First Communicants – we are honored and thankful for your presence. As a parish we have offered prayers in support of our youth preparing to receive these Sacraments of Initiation and continue to feel tremendously blessed and grateful to God for the gift of these young people. This weekend we especially pray that the gifts of the Holy Spirit they receive or the Body and Blood of Jesus in which they partake for the first time will remind them of God’s love for them and help them to grow even more deeply in their faith.
The Gospel reading for this Sunday is one of the most complex set of words not only contained in the Bible, but maybe written down as a passage anywhere. The Gospel of John is known for its twists and turns, for words and phrases that seem to weave in and out, and passages that go around and through. (Which kind of explains some of my homilies!) The verses we read this week live up to the Gospel’s style and push it to the extreme.
Three themes can be drawn from this maze of words:
Unity exists among the Father and Son because of the love the Father has for the world
The Holy Spirit will be present to aid the disciples after Jesus’ departure from the world
Jesus provides peace in the lives of his disciples that the world cannot give
Remember that what we are reading this week is really a response Jesus gave to a question posed by Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Jesus. Judas asked Jesus how he was going to reveal himself to the disciples and not to the whole world. We hear these words after Good Friday and Easter Sunday for we too are Jesus’ disciples. Just as Jesus’ response was meant to be reassuring to the early disciples, they are also meant to reassure us that we are not orphaned – that the one who loved the disciples enough to send the Son still loves us and seeks to dwell not only with us – but more profoundly – in us.
Finally Pamela Phillips, a 14-year veteran in our Faith Formation Department, has announced her resignation effective May 15. Pamela had a number of responsibilities, including administrative assistance to the Faith Formation Department as well as the Safe Environment Coordinator for all of Saint Patrick Parish. Her expertise and knowledge of our parish families will be greatly missed. We have begun the process of establishing a committee to review this position’s responsibilities and hope to hire a person over the summer to fill this gap. Please join me in thanking Pamela for her years of service to the parishioners and families of Saint Patrick Parish.
Fr. John Gerritts