My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Sometimes novels, plays, and movies use flashbacks as a literary technique to help tell the story or to fill in the details that are helpful for the audience to understand the unfolding tale and / or to remind them of previous incidents. The Gospel this weekend functions in the Lectionary (the book of Scripture readings we use at Mass) as something of a flashback for us. The Gospel’s content is Jesus’ farewell discourse to His disciples at the Last Supper – an event that took place before Jesus’ Passion … His Suffering, Death, and Resurrection. Now we read this Gospel after those events and hear Jesus’ words in a new light. Death simultaneously reveals Jesus’ glory and the full measure of His love for us. Jesus is willing to suffer and to die not only that He might live but also that all of us might share in that same glory and new life.
This flashback also helps us to understand more clearly Jesus’ command to His disciples: “love one another.”The “new commandment” Jesus gives is not simply to “love” but to love as He has loved us. With respect to loving, “how far?”is the question. Jesus’ commandment to love requires a new way of living … regard for the other without counting the cost to ourselves. Jesus’ death simultaneously reveals the full measure of His love and His glory. Our death – dying to self – reveals the full measure of our love for others and leads to a share in Jesus’ glory. Love is the gateway to glory.
Jesus doesn’t ask anything of us that He Himself hasn’t already done to the fullest … Holy Thursday, Good, Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday … those events make clear the extent of Jesus’ love for us – He will lay down His very life so that we might have a share in His risen life. As disciples, we are commanded to love as the Master loved. If our love is to imitate His, then our love must also include the willingness to lay down our lives for others. The kind of love that Jesus commands leads to self-emptying dying to self.
Glory and love are promised to us – but we share in them only if we take up Jesus’ mission. As the Gospel this weekend says, Jesus was with His disciples only a little while longer. Through our own self-sacrificing love, we continue His mission of love whereby God is glorified. Loving one another, then, isn’t just a nice idea shown in a flashback to a pleasant meal with friends and supporters. Loving one another is the very way in which we are called to live.
The Gospels tell us over and over in so many ways that love means self-sacrifice. We live the Paschal Mystery only when our own lives emulate the love of Jesus … giving one’s all for the sake of another. In many human ways we already do this and could think of no other way to act. Most parents sacrifice plenty for their children. We readily respond to others’ tragedies with gifts of money and service. We reach out to the perfect stranger on the street who is in need. In so many ways, we already act out the love that Jesus commands in this Gospel. Perhaps this Gospel flashback reminds us that we need only do the everyday things we are already doing with new meaning. We share in Jesus’ mission when we love. On the other hand, if an examination of our lives suggests that perhaps we are not as self-sacrificing as Jesus, then this Gospel is an invitation to love more completely. What is at stake is a share in Jesus’ everlasting life and glory. This is worth loving for!
May Saint Michael the Archangel defend, guide, protect, and intercede for us always!
~ Fr. Larry
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Parish Trip to Lancaster ... December 3-5, 2018
Parish of Saint Michael the Archangel
Feast Day & Social
On September 29, 2018, the Parish celebrated its 8th Birthday with a social.
Pictures from our Social can be seen by clicking here:
(through September 1, 2019)
Monday: 12 noon to 4:00p
Tuesday & Wednesday: 8:30a to 4:30p
Thursday: 8a to 12 noon
Friday, Saturday, & Sunday: Closed
Please Note: The Parish Office will be closed Monday, May 27th (Memorial Day) and Thursday, May 30th (Ascension Thursday).
In the case of an EMERGENCY when the Parish Office is closed, please call 856-881-9155. (Please press "0" to by-pass the auto-attendant.)
Liturgical & Sacramental Schedule
Monday at 9:00a - Saint Catherine of Siena
Tuesday at 9:00a - Nativity
Wednesday at 9:00a - Nativity
Thursday: NO Mass
Friday at 9:00a - Nativity
Saturday at 9:00a - Saint Catherine of Siena
Weekend Mass Schedule
Saturday at 4:00p (Vigil) - Nativity
Sunday at 8:00a - Saint Catherine of Siena
Sunday at 10:45a - Nativity
Saturday from 9:30-10:30a at Saint Catherine of Siena
Saturday from 2:30-3:30p at Nativity
(*or by appointment)
Holy Day Mass Schedule:
Vigil (night before) at 7:00p- Saint Catherine of Siena
Holy Day at 9:00a - Nativity
Holy Day at 7:00p - Nativity
*** (Please confirm by checking the bulletin.) ***