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Cath·o·hól·ic

Gospel reading Luke 24:35-48

Third Sunday of Easter: April 19, 2015

The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way, and how Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of bread. While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.

While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them. He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things."

Click here to read a brief commentary >>

Msgr. Jim Fetscher

St. Sebastian Church

Third Sunday of Easter: April 19, 2015

Dear Family,

Coming forth from our Holy Week celebrations is like being shot out of a cannon. As usual it seems so inadequate to say “Thank You” to the many who made our celebrations happen. Also, as usual, I hesitate to mention names because I so fear leaving someone out. Perhaps as symbolic of all the other “thank-yous” is the one we give to Charlotte Newbury and Patricio Diaz along with Annie for the graceful material hung at the main altar which calls attention to the risen Lord. Charlotte did the sewing and Patricio did the hanging – and that came close to being literal.

There were so many remarks about the effect, especially from people who were present at the Easter Vigil and saw “the revealing.” God forbid it would ever be seen as a "good show" and not the effort it was meant to be, namely calling special attention to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. His rising from the dead shines at the core of who and what we are as believers. “If Jesus is not risen from the dead, your faith is in vain.” (I Cor 15:17)

Throughout these Eastertime days – 50 days of celebration after 40 days of preparation – we hear the various Gospel writers give us their accounts of the appearances of Jesus. We also hear St. Peter’s first outpouring of enthusiasm after the Spirit comes upon the apostles. Don’t forget the Spirit came on the day of Resurrection in John’s Gospel. The Spirit is also described coming after the Ascension in the Acts of the Apostles, the tongues of flame.

Like I said, it is a huge explosion of gifts and joys and celebration being shot out of the cannon of God’s overflowing mercy. Don’t worry about keeping it all straight in the details. Keep it close to the core of your heart, the place where gratitude simply loses its ability to be described, only felt.

I haven’t seen a lot of pictures of Pope Francis when he isn’t smiling. How appropriate then, that one of his first messages to the Church is "The Joy of the Gospel." Today after the 11 a.m. Mass, we begin a three week series, reflecting on that message. We’ll supply some donuts and coffee and you supply yourself for an hour. I’m looking forward to hearing some of your reactions and the ways in which you hear the Holy Father. “The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8) The way I read that is a good inspiration can come from anywhere as long as we put ourselves in a position to "catch the breeze."

I suspect sometimes we avoid breezy places, especially if it’s downwind from my favorite Boston terrier, (Msgr. Fartsalot to the members of the Finance Committee.) Others avoid drafts on general principles. It’s always good to have principles as long as they don’t become an excuse for rusting habits. In other words, come and learn something new. Come and bless us with your Spirit-given gifts.

We’re getting a call to go to Broward Health and the deadline for sending the bulletin is also here, so I’m quitting early. The next empty seven lines are dedicated to your peace and quiet. Pray for the people I am visiting. Your prayer will be retroactive.

In Our Risen Lord

The sacraments: Confirmation (part 2)

April 16, 2015

Like baptism which it completes, confirmation is given only once, for it too imprints on the soul an indelible spiritual mark, the “character,” which is a sign that Jesus Christ has marked a Christian with the seal of his Spirit by clothing him with power from on high so that he may be his witness. (Council of Trent, 1547)

This “character” perfects the common priesthood of the faithful, received in baptism, and “the confirmed person receives the power to profess faith in Christ publicly and as it were officially (quasi ex officio).” (St. Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologiae III)

Preparation for confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a more lively familiarity with the Holy Spirit — his actions, his gifts, and his biddings — in order to be more capable of assuming the apostolic responsibilities of Christian life. To this end, catechesis for confirmation should strive to awaken a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church as well as the parish community. The latter bears special responsibility for the preparation of confirmands. (Catechism #1305)

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

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