From the Pastor's Desk

May 21st

     Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” But faith, church and Christianity is not about keeping laws and rules. No relationship will grow or survive if the goal is to keep laws and rules. In fact, in Luke 17:10, Jesus says, “When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are useless servants; for we have done what we were obligated to do.’”
     When we stop being obedient to God, Church and each other because we feel compelled to be obedient to the laws and rules, and choose to attach ourselves to God, Church and each other because of love and goodness, then our Christian living has taken a giant step forward.
     It is not a set of rules that define us as Christians; however, it is the desire of our hearts to be close to Jesus that makes the difference. We are faithful to Jesus because we want communion with Him. People united in marriage are faithful to each other because their hearts belong to each other. In the same way, our hearts belong to Jesus.
     As we grow in faithfulness to Him, He sends the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. Christianity is about “Communion.” The Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father. They are in the Holy Spirt and together they form the Trinity. One God; three persons. The goal of Christianity is communion with the Trinity in this life and eternal life with the Trinity. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit makes this happen in our lives.
     As Christians, our life together as the “Church” calls us to be in “communion” with each other. We are united in what we believe, how we pray and how we see our church structured. We express this unity most beautifully when we receive the Blessed Sacrament. Our communion of faith and life is made sacred by our Communion in Christ.
     As beautiful as this sounds, Jesus cautions us, this Advocate, Holy Spirit is rejected by the world. This is because those entrenched in a worldly lifestyle cannot see Him and neither can they accept Him. The movements of the Holy Spirit cannot be perceived by those who live for themselves and live while they can.
     At the end of this passage, our Lord promises us, “whoever loves me will be loved by My Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” The key, then, is love. Love inspires us to be faithful. Fidelity deepens communion with the father. And, communion with God makes eternal life a reality.

Today is Mother’s Day

     The theme for today is “Good Shepherd Sunday.” The very words call us to think about Jesus, pastors and the call to be flock of the Lord. In ancient times, shepherds were believed to be men without honor because they left their families unattended while they took sheep out to pasture. When our Lord referred to Himself as the “Good” shepherd, His listeners thought the very idea was an oxymoron (a contradiction). But His words were calling people to look more deeply at what is required of the person who is the shepherd. A shepherd can be noble, sensitive and righteous. As Jesus said, “The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.”            
     The shepherd led his flock to nourishment and he watched over them as they drank by the stream. At night, a new demand was placed upon his shoulders. After finding a safe location for their rest, he would watch them enter the gate, noticing whether they were healthy or sustained some injury.            

     On Sunday, April 23, Mr. Charles Houk and Mr. Cosmo Morabito received the Blessed John of Vercelli award at the 51st Annual Beaver County Holy Name Society Banquet. Of the ten awardees, two of them are from our parish.
     As their pastor, I felt a deep sense of pride and humility as “Chuck” and “Cos” received their award, their first words were to congratulate and complement each other. They presented themselves as brothers. More importantly, they revealed to everyone at the banquet the “spirit” that makes our parish family so special.
     “Chuck” attends Mass every morning. He has worked tirelessly for our Social Services, assisted our Golden Agers, served the Holy Name Society, serves as an usher, in SAG, has worked for our Bazaar, is a member of the Knights of Columbus and Catholic Men’s Fellowship.
     “Cos” is also a daily communicant. He is a member of Holy Name Society, an usher, and a member of the Knights of Columbus. “Cos” is a senior altar server, has organized the Holy Thursday Seven Church visit and the Good Friday Stations of the Cross.