Voices of Faith

The Sixth Sunday of Easter

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Dear Friends:

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). It is remarkable to think of what love compels us to do. It is out of love that we go out of our way for someone, do nice things, make sacrifices, even risk our own lives to “lay down one’s life for a friend.” In this way, keeping the Lord’s commandments is not an obligation or a burden, but a willing response to his love for us and a natural expression of our devotion and love for him. Jesus’ words go a step further, however, and we are assured that even our response is because of the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, who enables our very devotion and inspires our faith. Faith itself is a gift, for which we must give thanks!

Next weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord into heaven. Traditionally celebrated 40 days after Easter as “Ascension Thursday,” most dioceses in the United States and many other parts of the world have transferred the observance to the following Sunday. As Jesus is taken up into heaven, we still cherish his abiding presence in our midst as he promises to remain with us. We give thanks for his presence in the Church, in the Sacraments, and in our hearts.

I hope you will join us for our annual community picnic this Thursday! This long-standing St. Joseph tradition is an opportunity for us to celebrate and thank our many volunteers who give so generously of time and talent to enable the ministries of our parish, to welcome newcomers, and to usher in the summer season with an enjoyable evening of fellowship and good food and drink. Details are printed in this bulletin. There is no charge but we ask everyone to bring a side dish or dessert to share.

This coming Saturday, May 27, our former seminarian intern, John Martinez, will be ordained a deacon at the Basilica of the Assumption, as he continues on the path to ordination to the priesthood next year. Please pray for John has he, out of love, offers the gift of himself to the Lord for service in the Church. We will have an opportunity to celebrate with John later this summer when we invite him to join us for a Mass. Stay tuned for details once the details have been arranged.

God’s peace to you this week,

Fr. Rick