Voices of Faith

The Sixth Sunday of Easter

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Dear Friends:

At the heart of the call to follow Jesus is the command to love: to love God and to love our neighbor. Jesus’ words to the disciples at the Last Supper (John 15:9–17) give more insight into where that love comes from and what it looks like. “Love one another as I love you.” We give what we have first received, so we have to pay attention to the ways in which God shows his divine love to us. To do that, we must be able to look beyond the present and the immediate future to what lies in store beyond that. “There is no greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Selfless love is the love of the God who gave his Son for us. Jesus’ words to his friends foreshadow what he would do for them—and for us—on the Cross at Golgotha. Even as we bask in Easter joy we are never far from the Cross. That is why we do everything “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (and SIGN ourselves with the cross).

It might seem very early to begin planning such an event, but I will be leading a pilgrimage (together with Fr. Jerry Francik at St. Mark in Fallston) to participate in the Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany in May 2020. Travel companies rolled out their plans at the beginning of this year and are already taking reservations. The Passion Play is performed every 10 years by the townspeople in fulfillment of a promise to God in gratitude for being spared from the Black Plague in the 17th Century, and it has been a destination for spiritual pilgrimages ever since. The tour will also include other destinations in Eastern Europe: Prague, Budapest, Vienna, and Munich. More information is found in the bulletin, and the complete brochure with all the details is available at the Parish Office.

Next weekend, as we celebrate Mothers’ Day, we will offer a special blessing of mothers at the end of each Mass, and in doing so we will also remember mothers who have gone before us. Here in the month of May, we give thanks for Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and Mother of the Church. She watches over us, and as the Church, we seek her intercession in prayer. I encourage you to take some time during the month of May to call upon the Blessed Mother as a source of blessing and protection.

God’s peace,