We all know that when the daily news sources report an event and say they have a “confirmed” report of a certain issue, we are relatively certain of the accuracy of their story. They will often wait on their reporting until other sources can substantiate their original claim. At the end of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John there are various recorded appearances of Jesus after His death and resurrection. Though some of the details are a bit difference many of these stories confirm each other. After hearing such stories over the last two weekends from the Gospel of John, our church now turns to the stories from Luke. Here again Jesus appears to the disciples who are gathered together. His greeting is: “Peace be with you.” His presence helps to dispel the doubts and fears that His disciples had after his brutal torture and death. These appearances helped His followers recover from the horror of the past events and prepare them for the gift of the Spirit that would embolden them to preach and teach in His name as witnessed in the account of St. Luke in the Acts of the Apostles; this weekend’s first reading. Peter helps others to understand how all the pieces of the puzzle about the Messiah come together in the current events that took place with Jesus of Nazareth. There would come a time that these “appearances” would cease and the gift of the Spirit would take over; then would begin a new dimension of “seeing the Lord.” St. Martin of Tours, not to be confused with St. Martin de Porres, was a young soldier who while serving in the military met a homeless man. He had nothing to share with him but cut his cloak in two and gave him half. Later that night Martin had a dream in which he saw Jesus standing before him wearing the half of cloak he had shared. Truly the words of Jesus “whatsoever you do to the least of my sisters and brothers you have done to me” are fulfilled in such actions. Let us all keep our eyes open to the many ways that Jesus awaits our care and concern.
MESSAGE FROM OUR BISHOP’S OFFICE: Bishop Malone and his Presbyteral Council are currently looking into ways to promote both the spiritual welfare of priests and the liturgical life of each parish. They are particularly concerned about the number and quality of Masses celebrated at each parish. With a declining number of priests, we should not expect priests to celebrate more liturgies on a weekend than are needed; and, fewer Masses with larger attendance would encourage more vibrant celebrations of the Eucharist. The Bishop is asking all parishes to engage in a collaborative effort to look at Mass schedules and Mass attendance. This will be coordinated at the Vicariate level with suggestions to be sent to a Diocesan Task Force that has been established by the Bishop. Engagement in this process at the parish level will be vital in creating a revised and coordinated Vicariate Mass schedule that will promote the physical and spiritual well-being of priests as well as provide quality liturgical celebrations in each parish. This procedure will take place through this month of April.