Sixth Sunday of Easter

My dear parishioners and friends of our parish community: Jesus Christ is Risen!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!  He is truly Risen!  Alleluia! 

In today’s Gospel of the Sixth Sunday of Easter, the mutual love of the Father and the Son provides the basis for both Jesus’ love of His disciples and the love Jesus commands the disciples show one another.  The Catholic Church understands Jesus’ love for His own as the commandment of charity. 

Charity is a virtue of faith by which “we love God above all things for His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994, #1822-1824).  Our life in Christ, lived out for others, shows that we are friends of Christ today, living in imitation of Him in the world.  The world today might, and does at times, reject Christian disciples and Christian values.  Yet we are compelled by Jesus’ example to continue loving one another.  Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ love abides with us as we carry out this mission.

On this Sunday, May 17th, 2009, it is now almost certain that the University of Notre Dame at South Bend, Indiana, will violate our U.S. Bishops’ clear prohibition against honoring pro-abortion leaders at Catholic institutions – ignoring the pleas of nearly 70 Catholic Bishops and more than 350,000 Catholics who support the right to life in America. 

The University of Notre Dame will bestow an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Laws upon President Barack Obama, the most pro-abortion President this nation has ever seen.  So what are we to do?  Right now, Bishop Thomas Wenski, D.D., of Orlando FL said in his Mass of reparation, “I am not going to send upset Catholics to storm Notre Dame with pitchforks, I’m going to tell them to PRAY.” 

Graduates of Notre Dame who oppose the Commencement honor have invited others to join them in Eucharistic Adoration, recitation of the Rosary, Holy Mass, and prayer at the Grotto of Our Lady of Notre Dame’s campus.  For details please visit their website, www.NDResponse.com . 

With the faithful “Fighting Irish”, we continue to witness the truths of our Catholic faith, especially the Catholic Church’s support for authentic pro-life leaders, amidst this scandal at Notre Dame and the importance of not giving up the fight.  In that same spirit let us pray for the graduating seniors, Notre Dame, and the renewal of faithful Catholic education in our country.

Finally, it is the beautiful month of May, the month all Catholics turn to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth.  Our Blessed Mother is Mater Ecclesiae – Mother of the Church.  She will always help us to remain faithful to her Son and his Church. 

Thank you to all who joined us for the beautiful outdoor May Crowning of the statue of Our Lady last weekend, especially the children of our First Holy Communion Class 2009.  I am sure that our Mother was very pleased with our efforts in showing public love and devotion to her.  Please continue to honor her every day.  Parish May Devotions continue daily after 8 AM Mass in the chapel.  Join us in reciting the Litany of the Blessed Virgin and the Holy Rosary.

                                               Blessings on your Easter Days! 
                                                            
                  Father Jim
                                           SaintJohnChurchMiddletown.com
 

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