How many times have we prayed with 1 John, reading the words, “There is no fear in love.” Apparently not enough! To be freed from fear means to be filled with love. The readings this weekend echo this same truth as we journey through the Easter season. Love trumps all fear, giving the disciples of Christ holy boldness to proclaim his word to the ends of the earth. And that love is personal, inviting, and empowering.
We build up walls of fear, doubt, resentment, anger, and pain, not allowing ourselves to forgive and be good stewards of what we have been given. There is no excuse for you and me to not be reconciled with God and accept this profound compassion. In turn, there is no excuse to not extend that mercy and reconcile with those who have hurt us.
Email phishing scams are getting more sophisticated every day, using familiar sender names and other information to lower their targets’ defenses and make them more likely to become victims. The best way to not fall for these scams is to remain vigilant, always verify, and to think before you click.
Integrating the Resurrection into our lives means accepting the mercy of God, embracing the unearned gift of it all, and sharing that mercy with others. No matter who we are or what our current circumstances, we have the potential to be bringers of mercy in our daily lives.
Each newly baptized man, woman, and child have become new creations in Jesus Christ. They have died and risen with the one who rose on the third day and whose empty tomb we celebrate every Easter. Easter Sunday morning, they awake after many months of RCIA and all have the same question before them: “Now what?”
We are called to works of mercy: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, bury the dead, and give alms to the poor. Can the person who does not believe in Jesus do these things? Absolutely! The question is what difference it makes that you are disciples of Jesus Christ.
Cultivating a community of generosity is essential to a vibrant parish. Sometimes it’s difficult to get volunteers in the door and to keep them committed. Finding yourself with a volunteer shortage? Here are top to bottom tips for refreshing your volunteer process.
It is easy to get tangled up in the world and lose sight of that which is eternal. The emotions and feelings we have in any given situation are gifts from God. Some would say we are most alive when we are in grief. However, it is also the ability to move from that point to a point of hope that makes us human.
Jesus had to die so that he might rise again. It is the Resurrection that provides the meaning for the cross. Without Jesus’ rising, the events of the Passion are simply some grotesque sequence of man’s inhumanity toward man. We must die to ourselves so that Jesus can live through us.
The power of this symbol has been diminished in popular culture. It is often used in fashion and simple wall art and on bumper stickers and T-shirts, sometimes with Christian clichés and sometimes not. But the cross is something so much more. It is a reminder of the pain, suffering, and death of one who loved us so much that he would give his very life for us.
That soul-bearing, total understanding, “heart filled with joy because someone gets me” kind of conversation with someone who sees you as just a little bit remarkable and your journey as just a little bit special — it’s the way that Christ sees us.