From the Pastor's Desk
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As a human like us, Jesus experienced the same challenges and frustrations with relationships that we do. The eleven disciples who met Jesus in Galilee had been with Him from the beginning ... they had seen His miracles ... they had heard His teaching ... they had witnessed His healing ... they saw Him die ... and now see Him alive ... the Risen One. Yet, "they doubted." Beyond doubt, the disciples had denied Him, betrayed Him, and resisted Him. I don't know about you, but I think that would put a strain on any relationship! But instead of giving up on them, Jesus commands them to carry forth His mission. So these individuals ... these disciples who strain relationships are entrusted to hand on Jesus' very ministry! Jesus' faithfulness and trust in His followers lets us see something of the mystery and the wonder of who God is. That is something that cannot be separated from God as the One who desires to be in relationship with His people at all costs. The readings show us a God who always acts on our behalf ... strengthening the intimate bond of love and relationship between God and us.
At the Masses this weekend honoring the Trinity, the first reading describes what our Creator-God did for the Israelites ... made them heirs of the land and of a long life. This reading says something about who God is. God is a doer of mighty deeds. God creates. God elects a nation to be His own people. God enjoins the people to keep the statutes and the commandments, which He has given to them. God desires life and prosperity for the chosen people. This passage from Deuteronomy suggests that all that God does is an extension of who He is. God is strong and beneficent.
The second reading describes what God does for us in Christ. The depth and intimacy of God's relationship with us goes to our identity ... "we are children of God" and "heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ." As children and heirs, we share in the identity of Christ and therefore, of God. Moreover, we participate in God's saving work because we share in the power and the mission of Christ through the Holy Spirit. Sharing in the divine identity is to share in the divine doing ... we are called to do mighty deeds. To be formed in the identity of Christ (and of God), therefore, is to be formed in His mission.
The Gospel lays out our mission. Jesus charged the disciples (and all of us) with this mission before He ascended into heaven. "Make disciples ... baptize in the name of the Trinity ... teach and observe (follow) 'all that Jesus has commanded.'" Jesus can entrust this mission to us because we share in His identity through the power of the Holy Spirit. If you think about it, has anything more wondrous or greater ever happened before?
This weekend's liturgies and the liturgies celebrated every day do for us what the Deuteronomy texts did for Israel. They help us to remember God's mighty deeds and enter into a covenantal relationship with the Divine. Liturgy calls us together to ask, "Who is this God?"
Knowing God isn't something we can find out in the abstract. Knowing God is sought and expressed by how we live our lives and by what we do. We need to take up Christ's mission and live our own privileged identity as sons and daughters of God "until the end of the age." Without doing as Jesus did, we can't answer the question "Who is this God?" This "doing" is nothing less than to "suffer with" Christ (as we read in the second reading). That means a constant dying to self. By our own self-emptying, we are filled with the divine identity ... the identity of the Most Holy Trinity ... the identity of God.
This weekend, we also remember in a special way, those who gave their lives in service to our country. Growing up, this was always a special weekend. We would travel to my grandmothers' houses and visit the cemeteries where relatives rest. The Parish Priests would make it a point to visit every cemetery and say a prayer of blessing. Yesterday (Friday 05/25), I traveled to the military cemetery in Arneystown where my Mom & Dad are buried to meet my sister and her family and to visit my parents. The Boy & Girl Scouts in the area placed an American flag on each grave. My niece, Faith, and nephew, Erik, helped the Scouts and were able to place the flag on my parents' grave. I thought about my Dad and Mom and everyone who gave their lives so that we are able to enjoy the freedom we now possess.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them ...
Monday: 12 noon to 4 PM
Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
In the case of an EMERGENCY when the Rectory Office is closed, please call 856-881-9155.
Liturgical & Sacramental Schedule
Monday at 9 AM - Saint Catherine of Siena
Tuesday at 9 AM - Nativity
Wednesday at 9 AM - Nativity
Friday at 9 AM - Nativity
Saturday at 9 AM - Saint Catherine of Siena
Weekend Mass Schedule
Saturday at 4 PM (Vigil) - Nativity
Sunday at 8 AM - Saint Catherine of Siena
Sunday at 10:45 AM - Nativity
Saturday: 3 - 3:30 PM
(*or by appointment)
Holy Day Mass Schedule:
Vigil (night before) at 7 PM - Saint Catherine of Siena
Holy Day at 9 AM - Nativity
Holy Day at 7 PM - Nativity
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Click here for Current Ministry Schedules for the Parish of Saint Michael the Archangel
Click here for Daily Scripture Readings
Click here for the Diocese of Camden Website
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