Bulletin Reflections and Announcements

Scripture Reflections

Second Sunday of Easter

April 27/28, 2019

Doubting, stubborn, weak Thomas

Everyone knows the expression, “doubting Thomas.” This is among the most famous passages in the New Testament where a doubting, stubborn, weak apostle, Thomas, outright refuses to acknowledge that the Lord has risen from the dead unless he sees him for himself, sees the wounds of crucifixion, and touches the flesh of Jesus. Unless “I can place my fingers in the wounds,” he exclaims, “I will not believe.”

He wanted proof. As we all do at one time or another. It is a weak but all too human response. Saying I Believe is not always as easy and simple as it might seem.

Believing in the Resurrection of Jesus, the eternal presence of the living God, is a lifelong response by each Christian. Sometimes our faith is strong, sometimes weak. Nonetheless, all that we do is a reflection of our faith . . . in times of doubt, stubbornness and weakness. Through it all, a life of giving is the preeminent centerpiece of the Christian life. This means giving ourselves to others, sharing our blessings and gifts, and designating part of our wealth to help others. Renewing an annual commitment to the Annual Catholic Appeal can be an important part of a declaration of faith.

We seek the grace to overcome our doubt, stubbornness and weakness, just like one of the twelve hand-picked founders of the Catholic Church – St. Thomas.

Third Sunday of Easter

May 4/5, 2019

Do you love me?

Have you ever asked this question of someone you love?

These are the words of Jesus to Peter after the resurrection. In this famous passage, Jesus asks him three times. Over and over again, Jesus persists. “Do you love me?” It must have hurt Peter to hear his Lord and Master repeat this penetrating question. Exasperated, Peter says, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you!”

Jesus knew Peter believed, but he also knew how fragile his faith was. Only a short time before did Peter deny Jesus and run away when Jesus was crucified. Jesus doesn’t demand an expression of faith, so much as encourage us to be confident and sure when we say, I Believe. Jesus knows once Peter is confirmed in faith, he will do anything for the proclamation of the Gospel.

The Annual Catholic Appeal asks the question, “Will you give?” In some ways it is the same question as “Do you love me?” or even “Do you believe?” It is really one question, not three, to which the Christian is invited to make a response. I Believe, in short, means I love and I will give.

Fourth Sunday of Easter

May 11/12, 2019

An invitation to Believe

How many chances do we get? Who gets the chance? When?

In the reading from the Acts of the Apostles today, we see those who were given the opportunity to believe St. Paul’s witness to Jesus. But many rejected Paul’s preaching of the Word, thereby condemning themselves as “unworthy of eternal life” (cf. Acts 13:14’ 43-52).

Many of the Gentiles, on the other hand, Paul writes, who were “destined for eternal life came to believe.” Faith is a gift, freely given by God and lovingly accepted by believers. God gives us many opportunities, sometimes every day, to respond. Often we do, other times we do not.

The Annual Catholic Appeal is an invitation to Believe. It is an opportunity to acknowledge the many blessings of God in our lives, and an opportunity to share these blessings. It all starts with faith. It begins when we say I Believe. Each person has the chance to say yes, to make a conscious decision to believe.

We don’t often think of “giving” as a way to choose eternal life. Certainly we cannot buy salvation with money. Giving, however, is a reflection of who we are, followers of Jesus. Giving demonstrates how we love, and how convincingly we care.

Fifth Sunday of Easter

May 18/19, 2019

Jesus' Commandment to Love One Another

In today’s reading from the Gospel of John, Jesus revealed to His disciples that He would be with them for only a little while longer (cf. John 13:33). He had been preparing them to share the word of God with those who were ready to receive it, in the days and years that would follow.

As a final instruction, Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (cf. John 13:34-35). In other words, when we love others – those we know and those we may never meet – we bear witness to our faith.

The Annual Catholic Appeal brings a special opportunity to follow Jesus’ commandment, to show Him and the world that you are His disciple. Your gift, no matter how large or how small, is a demonstration of unity with your fellow Catholics, your family and friends, and your community. It is an expression of love and mercy for people you may never meet. It is a joyful witness to your love for Jesus Christ.

 

 

Bulletin/Pulpit Announcements

April 27/28, 2019 – Second Sunday of Easter

Doubting, stubborn, weak Thomas

In the reading Gospel this weekend, the apostle Thomas refuses to acknowledge that the Lord has risen from the dead. He asks to see the wounds of crucifixion and touch the flesh of Jesus for himself. He wanted proof. We all do at one time or another. It is a weak but all too human response.

Saying I Believe is not always easy. Believing in the Resurrection of Jesus is a lifelong response by each Christian. Sometimes our faith is strong, sometimes weak. Through it all, giving is central to the Christian life. The Annual Catholic Appeal is one way we declare our faith in Jesus by sharing our gifts with others. Together we respond to Christ’s call to new life this Easter season, as we seek to overcome doubt, stubbornness and weakness.

 

May 4/5, 2019 – Third Sunday of Easter

Do you love me?

“Do you love me?” These are the words of Jesus to Peter after the resurrection. Over and over again, Jesus persists, “Do you love me?” Exasperated, Peter says, “Lord you know everything; you know that I love you!” Jesus knew Peter believed, but he also knew how fragile his faith was. Jesus doesn’t demand an expression of faith, but encourages us to be confident when we say I Believe.

The Annual Catholic Appeal asks the question, “Will you give?” In some ways it is the same question as “Do you love me?” or even “Do you believe?” It is really one question, not three, to which the Christian is invited to respond. I Believe in short, means I love and I will give.

 

May 11/12, 2019 – Fourth Sunday of Easter

An invitation to Believe

In the reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we see those who were given the opportunity to believe St. Paul’s witness to Jesus. While many rejected Paul’s preaching of the Word, many Gentiles who were “destined for eternal life, came to believe” (cf. Acts 13:48).

Faith is a gift, freely given by God and lovingly accepted by believers. God gives us many opportunities every day to respond. The Annual Catholic Appeal is an invitation to say I Believe – to acknowledge the blessings of God in our lives and to share them with others.

We don’t often think of giving as a way to choose eternal life. Certainly, we cannot buy salvation with money. Giving, however, is a reflection of who we are – followers of Jesus. Giving demonstrates how we love, and how convincingly we care.

 

May 18/19, 2019 – Fifth Sunday of Easter

Jesus' Commandment to Love One Another

Today’s reading reveals Jesus’ final commandment for the apostles and for all Christians: “Love one another” (cf. John 13:34-35). When we love others – those we know and those we may never meet – we bear witness to our faith.

The Annual Catholic Appeal brings a special opportunity to follow Jesus’ commandment to say, “Yes, I Believe!” If you are able, please consider making a gift today as a joyful witness of our faith.