From Father's Desk

Dear Parish Family,

During the Easter Season, we are focused on the new, the Brand New. Namely, the new work that God seeks to do in and through us, as new creations in Christ. Easter is the season of newness, so it is very fitting to focus on this deeply Christian theme. Many passages from Scripture could be employed to highlight this new work. Not all of them appear in lectionary for the Sundays in church.

Today I would like to dig into one such passage. Paul writes to the Colossians 3:1-17:

(The translation I am using is slightly different from what we hear on Sundays.)

“Since you have been raised up in company with Christ, set your heart on what pertains to higher realms where Christ is seated at God’s right hand. Be intent on things above rather than on things of earth. After all, you have died! Your life is hidden now with Christ in God. When Christ our life appears, then you shall appear with him in glory.” And a bit later, Paul continues, “you have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator.”

Do we acknowledge, truly, that we have died, that the old has passed away and the new is come? In Christianity, at Baptism, we have been invited to say “yes” to a whole new kind of life. As Catholic Christians we are meant to live differently, in the world but not of the world. By worldly or earthly, Paul means those lower desires and passions that move us, yet do not move us to the good. Next Paul gets concrete. He lists out earthly aspects of ourselves, those things we ought to strive to put behind us, saying “no” to the old and “yes” to the new: “fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness…” and a bit further “anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk.” All these aspects of ourselves that do not constitute the best version of ourselves, the new self we seek to be in Christ Jesus our Lord. We might ask, which of these realities do I most need to concentrate on? Even with the Lord’s grace and assistance, we cannot correct everything at once. We need to focus on one aspect that needs attention first. Triage.

He also reminds us of how we need to clothe ourselves in Christ, the process of putting on Christ, in other words embracing this new life. His list would make any mother proud: “Clothe yourselves with heartfelt mercy, with kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another; forgive whatever grievances you have against one another. Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you. Over all these virtues put on love, which binds the rest together and makes them perfect. Christ’s peace must reign in your hearts, since as members of the one body you have been called to that peace. Dedicate yourselves to thankfulness.”

On this Mother’s Day weekend, we give thanks for the examples of our mothers and the mother figures in our lives. We cherish how they have inspired us to love, forgive, show kindness and humility, and above all love - that bond of perfection. For our mothers and grandmothers who have gone before us, and we pray, now share in the Father’s glory, we recognize that they are urging us onward to become who God really created us to be. We give thanks for their good example and hopefully we can feel their encouragement, to set our hearts on heavenly things, so as to be fully clothed in Christ.

Jesus wants to give us a new heart. So, we pray for a new and profound love to turn over a new leaf.

God be with you!
Fr. Wilson