Donations Needed – Mamoth Parish Garage Sale

On Saturday May 12th, the Knights will again be participating in the Richmond wide Community Garage Sale. As in previous years, parishioners are kindly asked to consider donating new or gently used items – tools, sporting goods, books, toys, games,  small kitchen appliances, glassware, small furniture, etc. Items should be clean and in good working condition.  Thanks to Fr. Bob, the rectory garage will be used as a collection depot – drop off between 9 AM to noon on Saturdays April 28 and May 5.  Other dates/timings and help with deliveries can also be arranged by contacting the Knights – Luc at 838-2880 or Bill at 838-4098.  As always, your support is greatly appreciated. Funds raised will be used for the Knights’ charitable causes.

Fr. Bob Writes – April 22, 2017

This Sunday is designated as “World Day of Prayer for Vocations” and so is known as “Good Shepherd Sunday” as the gospel for today speaks of Jesus calling himself  “the good (or true, or model) shepherd.

Whether or not they had anything to do with sheep, Jewish people identified with the shepherd image in which their tradition was so deeply grounded.  Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were shepherds. Moses became a shepherd when he fled from Egypt to Midian.  David was a shepherd at the time he was anointed the future king by Samuel (1 Samuel 16).  Matthew speaks of God’s appointed ruler who will “shepherd my people Israel” (2:6, quoting from the prophet Micah, 5:4), Matthew speaks of the people needing direction for their lives as being “like sheep without a shepherd ” (9:36), and the division of people at the end of time “as a shepherd separates sheep from goats” (25:32).  The parable of the shepherd seeking out the lost sheep is found in all three synoptic gospels.  In John 10, from which our gospel passage today is taken, Jesus reiterates a number of times that he is the “good shepherd.”

The image of shepherd, then, in the Bible, is a very meaningful one, and speaks of leadership (especially spiritual leadership), responsibility and accountability, but also intimacy, gentleness and compassion.

The last verses of today’s gospel text indicates Jesus’ awareness and willing acceptance of his call.  Although deeply anxious about his impending death, indicated by the blood in his sweat during prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus chose to complete his mission in this world.  His sacrificial death was not forced upon him against his will.  Sometimes we are blessed to know that certain challenges placed before us in this life are part of God’s plan which will result in good for others and eternal blessings for ourselves.  Will we have the strength to say “yes” to God in such moments?

Fr Bob Writes – April 15, 2018

How was Jesus’ resurrected body different from that same body prior to the resurrection?  In paragraph 646, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that:  “Christ’s resurrection was not a return to earthly life” as was the case with the daughter of Jairus, the widow’s son at Nain, and Lazarus, who would all die again.  “In his risen body, he (Christ) passes from the state of death to another life beyond time and space.”

Paul’s letter to the Philippians (2:6-7) tells us that the son of God “emptied himself ” of the divine attributes (all knowing, unlimited in time and space, etc), while retaining the divine nature, taking on our human nature with its limited attributes.  In the resurrection, the divine attributes, which the Son had voluntarily set aside, were returned in a “glorified body.”

During those days following his resurrection, Jesus “weaned” the apostles off their dependence on him being physically present.  He appeared to them only for brief visits.  On at least three instances, he had a different appearance and voice than what they were used to.  With the Ascension and coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the disciples would come to understand that Jesus was still present with them but in a less limited way in which they had known his presence before.  One most important way in which he would be present to them would be in the eucharist.  As our gospel this weekend tells us, his disciples recognized him “in the breaking of the bread.

Fr Bob Writes – April 8, 2018

In our gospel today, we are presented with the intriguing character of Thomas, who was absent when Jesus appeared to the other ten apostles on Easter Sunday night.  Thomas, you may remember, was the one who said to his colleagues emphatically, that he would not believe in a risen Jesus until he had the opportunity to put his hand into the wound in his side and his fingers into the marks of the nails in his hands.  He got his wish seven days later in the gospel passage for today.

Thomas, we are told, is also called “Didymus”, which is the Greek translation meaning “Twin.”  Why does John give the translation?  Recall that wherever John appears in  his gospel, he never uses his own name, but writes “the beloved disciple” instead.  Rather than being a point of pride, this is a stylistic way of inviting every reader to place him or herself into the gospel narrative as the disciple loved by Jesus.  The reference to Thomas as the “twin” could be another literary way of inviting any reader who has had doubts or needed a little extra proof to stand in as Thomas’ “twin.”

I confess I think Thomas is an outstanding example for Christians, especially young people in this day and age when it is so easy to be swayed by the influence and values of the world.  Thomas was willing to stand up against the pressure of all his friends telling him what to believe.  He had already shown himself to be a strong fearless individual earlier in John’s gospel when he encourages the others to put their fears aside and be willing to die with Jesus if need be (cf John 11:16).  Years later, when all the other apostles were ministering in the more familiar Greco-Roman world, Thomas would go east and bring the faith to India.