From the Pastor's Desk

June 18th

     On Holy Thursday we celebrated the institution of the Holy Eucharist, The Divine Mandate and the Clerical Priesthood. Two months later, we come together on Sunday to commemorate that gift again. On Holy
Thursday, the celebration was solemn and our attention was focused on Jesus’ death. Today, our celebration proceeds from Pentecost: to be empowered by Christ and to act on behalf ofHim.
     In the New Testament, Jesus presents Himself as the New Moses. According to the ancient prophecies, signs would usher in the time of the New Moses. The first sign was an abundance of wine which was Jesus’ first
miracle at the wedding of Cana. Through Jesus, God gave the people a new sacrificial lamb, a new living water and the bread from heaven that would be food for the journey of life.
     The words of the Gospel are powerful. Just as the flesh of the paschal lamb nourished the Israelites for their journey from slavery to freedom. In addition, the blood of that lamb protected them from death. In the same way, the body and blood of Christ sustains us as we live out our mission. Jesus came to bring to fulfillment the project that Moses began on Mount Sinai.
     Jesus body was a place of action. In His body, Jesus sanctified, healed, fed, forgave and taught. Through our Lord’s body, people felt God’s love for them. The Church is the Body of Christ extended into to time. As we
receive the Body and Blood of Christ at Mass, we too are missioned out to live the Divine Mandate given to us on Holy Thursday: “To love and care for one another as Jesus loves us.”

“To be your bread now, to be your wine
now, Lord, come and change us to be a sign of
your love. Blest and broken, poured and
flowing, gift that you gave us, to be your body
once again.” (David Hass 1981)

     “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.” (Genesis 1:26)

     In 1985, Spanish singer, Luis Migel wrote a song that captured the hearts of young people in Europe. In Spain it was sung as, Nosotros, los Muchachos de hoy, nosotros. In Italy, his song made number one as, Noi, Ragazzi di oggi. The title of the song was also the hook-line, “We, the young people of today.”
     The message of the refrain told us about the so called “young people of today.” We are the friends you don’t know that you have. We give color to this city. We know what to believe. We are the ones you can trust. We are the fire beneath the ashes. Come with us, the young people of today.” According to the singer, this group of young people can be the fire beneath the ashes because they know what they possess. This is also the message of Pentecost.

    Today is the “next to the last Sunday of Easter.” Next Sunday we will celebrate Pentecost and then return to Ordinary Time for the next six months. The readings that have been given to us for today are filled with many helpful themes to reflect upon. In the Acts of the Apostles, Luke tells us what the Apostles and women following Jesus did immediately following the Ascension of Jesus.                    
     They returned to the Upper Room where Jesus had celebrated the Last Supper. It was also the location where Jesus had appeared to them twice before - each appearance was on Sunday, when they were gathered together.            
     In those days before Pentecost, we may wonder what they were thinking and praying about. Who was this other Advocate? What would His presence do to them? In this week before Pentecost, we may reflect on the same thoughts. Who is the other Advocate and what good thing will He do to us?