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Cath·o·hól·ic

Gospel reading John 10:11-18

Fourth Sunday of Easter: April 26, 2015

Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.

These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd. This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father.”

Click here to read a brief commentary >>

Msgr. Jim Fetscher

St. Sebastian Church

Fourth Sunday of Easter: April 26, 2015

Dear Family,

I am sitting in my doctors office – normal check -up - trying to figure out where the apostrophe is on the keyboard of my mini iPad. So far no luck, which means I have to say the office of my doctor rather than my doctor(missing apostrophe) s office.

Now I am wondering how much time I spend on lost apostrophes. How much of today will be all about my issues and will you get any time in there at all (question mark is also missing.) It sort of makes you question your perspective when you realize the world is going to hell in a hand basket and your issue is a lost apostrophe.

Guess what! I just figured it out by accident. Now I have the apostrophe ['] and the question mark [???]. I couldn't begin to tell you how it happened. All I can tell you is that when I do it correctly a green light flashes. I've never seen that light before but now I know it means I have an alternative keyboard.

Maybe I have too much time on my hands. As I wait, I am feeling a growing gnawing in the pit of my stomach. It has nothing to do with my physical state. I'm thinking of the children I saw on 60 Minutes who were killed by the Sarin gas in Syria in 2013. Still, no one has been held accountable. I'm thinking of the hundreds of people who drowned trying to leave Libya and make it to Italy. (Shades of Haiti and Florida.) Then there are the latest horrors of beheadings and shootings by the group that shames Islam by even using the name. Who needs this time to think about such things. But surely I can't avoid them. So what do I do? What do you do?

I must confess, the mystery of the elusive apostrophe certainly preoccupied me. Perhaps looking for it is a self-defense mechanism. I can flee the remembered images of atrocity by seeing if I can find the right button on my iPad to make it work.

Is that our response? No. The other thing I can do while I wait is pray. "Lord, let those murdered children become our intercessors before you. Bring the light of your Spirit to the incessant challenge of refugees all over the world. Lord, do not let evil triumph but let the blood of your Son which we have seen and honored in these Easter days, wash over the wounds and corruption of broken souls. Come, Lord Jesus."

Last Sunday we began our reflection on Pope Francis and his first message to us, "The Joy of the Gospel." Jerry Braun and the Friends of Francis continue the presentation today after the 11:00 Mass. After the heavy thoughts and the prayer I offered above, as I continued my wait, the Holy Father came to mind almost as an answer to the prayer I prayed. You know what? Take out the 'almost.' Francis's example of kindness and consistency in the face of the world's pain is exactly what we bring to the challenges of the brokenness of our world. We join him with him in prayer. And we pray for him as well.

Do you place value on the prayer that you offer for the heartaches of the world? God does. Why else does Jesus ask us to ask, seek, knock? We have to trust that he wants the prayers, hears the prayers and brings them to bear on the brokenness of our world. It's not for us to set God's agenda. Rather we ask to be a part of it, and that means being open to whatever he asks of us, as Church, as individuals.

Now my doctor is ready for me and I can hardly wait to hear what will come as no surprise: “You gotta lose some weight.” I will try and act surprised, but she is a very intelligent woman and I won’t get away with it. So maybe stop bringing me any good food except low fat cottage cheese?...

I’d say this was a good cause for serious prayer as well, but God forbid in mild humor I trivialize anything I said earlier in the Twitch.

Peace in the Risen Lord,

The sacraments of initiation: baptism, confirmation, Communion

April 23, 2015

Full initiation into the Catholic Church means that we participate in the ministry of the Church as priest, prophet and king. By virtue of our initiation we are called to act as disciples of Christ and to evangelize in the world in which we live and work.

There is a movement within the Catholic Church to restore the order of the sacraments of initiation. In the ancient Church, people were confirmed immediately following baptism and then were invited to participate in the liturgy of the Eucharist. Today, most dioceses spread out the initiation process for children over several years.

What does your initiation in the Roman Catholic Church mean to you?

Source: Fountain of Grace, published by archdiocesan Office of Lay Ministry

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