Most of the Scripture passages between Easter and Trinity Sunday have to do with Jesus empowering the Apostles to spread the Good News and Jesus himself trying to convince his disciples that they would become the “Body of Christ.” His message was not always accepted with enthusiasm and was more often with disbelief and hostility. One of the greatest difficulties was in the notion that Jesus could actually give the people His body and blood. He made this a reality at the Last Supper. The second challenge was that He saw his role of Messiah as that of the Good Shepherd sent to heal, teach and expel demons. The response of the people over the past two thousand years has certainly been hot and cold and today we seem to be in the “ice age” of spiritual growth. It reminds me of the chilling words of Dostoevsky:
This was the lesson of the Grand Inquisitor in Dostoevsky’s story “The Brothers Karamazov: Jesus returned during the Inquisition and started healing people and challenging the people to really live the message of love and sacrifice. The old cardinal in charge of the Inquisition arrested Jesus when he returned to heal the sick one more time. Jesus’ crime was that he called the Christians to a life of freedom and love that is too difficult for ordinary people. The Church stopped following Jesus long ago, says the cardinal. Instead, religion gives people what they most need: authority, security, world-dominion, proof, and plenty of pomp. He accused Jesus of sinning by not heeding the devil in the desert. If he truly loved humanity, he should have turned those rocks into bread. Only real bread, not spirit, brings happiness. Although originally written in 1880, the message and warning are as prevalent today as then. Take heed we are all susceptible to this lie!
Today the “bread” that most people want is simply money (material goods). People want their cupboards full not realizing that the cupboard of their souls is usually empty. This weekend is Divine Mercy Sunday, the unconditional gift of Mercy and Eucharist and like the message of Pope Francis it is very counter-cultural. This Feast Day is Jesus reaching out to our world to offer us help and witness to walk the narrow road which is contrary to all the worldly Madison Avenue proclamations. It is the only road which leads to the abundant life now and eternal life to come. No one can lead unless they are willing to be led. Obedience is the core message of Jesus. I invite you to come this afternoon and participate in our Divine Mercy Novena and Mass. Confessions will be heard from 1pm until 3pm, followed by the Divine Mercy Mass. You are permitted to receive the Eucharist 2x’s today. Take advantage of this great gift.
My most profound thanks and gratitude are extended to all those who participated in the many Lenten activities that we offered this year. It was a joy to see so much growth. My thanks and prayers are also extended to all those who worked so tirelessly and with such joy to decorate our Church and help us celebrate the Triduum, it was all truly magnificent.
In these coming weeks of Easter we all receive the invitation to be adorned with the glory of the Lord. May we all shake off the deadness of the Inquisitor of the Brothers Karamazov and use the many gifts we have received from our God to share the Good News of Jesus.
Holy Thursday- Morning Prayer Service 8AM, Mass of the Lord’s Supper-7:30PM
Good Friday-Morning Prayer Service 8AM, Exaltation of the Cross-3PM, Tenebrae Service-8PM
Holy Saturday-Morning Prayer Service 8AM, Blessing of Food, 12(Noon) Easter Vigil-8PM
Easter Sunday- 7:30, 9:00, 10:30AM, 12:00 (Noon)
St. Elizabeth Church-10:15AM