From Father's Desk

Dear Members of Christ,

During this Easter Season, as the flowers are blooming and the birds are singing, we are focused on the new, the Brand New. Easter is the season of newness, so it is very fitting to focus on this deeply Christian theme. With Christ, we are “turning over a new leaf.” Yet much more profoundly, we remind ourselves of the entirely new work God began in us at Baptism and how he continues to renew, refresh and even to transform us with his grace, above all through our living a Sacramental Life. Truly, a life deeply rooted in the Sacraments of the Church, knit us together into one Body, and join us to Christ, the one who makes all things new! (See: Rev 21:5).

This weekend we celebrate First Eucharist for our second graders. We are inviting these children for the first time to receive our Lord and God in the holy Eucharist, to be joined to Him. All the families are invited to attend the 10am Mass, to sit up front, to celebrate and worship. Indeed everyone is invited to share in the beautiful wedding feast of the Lamb we hear described in our second reading (Rev 5:11-14).

For the first time, these young people will become one with Christ Jesus in the Eucharist, by receiving holy Communion. In so doing with willing and open hearts, the work of belonging to Christ begun at Baptism, leaps forward with renewed energy and vigor, as they are transformed into the one they receive. Truly a mystical moment, and a reminder for all of the great majesty and power hidden under the appearance of simple bread and wine. Our divine Lord is present among us, within us, seeking to continue the work begun in us. The first eucharist is a great reminder for all Catholics of the awesomeness of the Eucharist. Upon receiving our Lord in the holy Eucharist, we members of the body of Christ - are more deeply configured to our Head. By this process and the reception of sacramental grace, we are made new. Jesus refreshes our spirit!

Today in the Gospel, Peter needs some refreshment (Jn 21:1-19). He seeks that solace and comfort first in old ways, in his old career as a fisherman. “I am going fishing,” Peter tells the guys; and they join him. Here we can observe that our conversion is not “one-and-done” but an ongoing life-long process. Even after witnessing the Passion and Resurrection, after seeing the empty tomb and the glorified wounds, Peter returns to his former ways. Hard it is to overcome old habits.

Yet Jesus comes again. Jesus bridges the distance and waits on the shore, to show his chosen followers again the newness that can be found in Him. The great catch of fish is the radical sign of what can be done when we follow faithfully. When we go our own way, we catch nothing. Care should be taken to observe how Jesus also invites Peter in a particular way to embrace his mission: feed my sheep, tend to my lambs, tend the flock. This is Peter’s new mission, his new way of life; Peter is invited to leave behind the old, the former life of fishing, and to embrace the new life. Jesus’ invitation confirms and reiterates his initial invitation to leave behind the boats and become a fisher of men.

As fellow disciples, followers of the Lord, we prayerfully seek to listen to God’s voice in our hearts. What is the invitation Jesus extends to us? It may be a new invitation, or it may be a renewed calling to pick up where we have left off on the road to become more and more a new creation in Christ Jesus.

Happy Season of Newness!
Fr. Wilson