This weekend’s Biblical Lessons contain the famous story of Jesus’ raising of His friend Lazarus from the dead. As we view this story from the lens of conversation it opens with Jesus receiving word of His friend’s serious illness. Just like in last week’s lesson, when the blind man’s illness was not a result of personal sin but that “the glory of God may be revealed,” so too in this episode, Jesus, even when hearing the news of the illness remains in His present location for an additional two days so that the glory of God will also be revealed in His encounter. Finally, on the “third day” He announces His plan to return to Judea and the fact that Lazarus has already died. Martha hears of His approach and comes out to meet Him beginning conversation, “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died” John 11:21. This encounter and conversation yields a review of and the renewal of the profession of Martha’s tremendous faith in Jesus. Like an Apostle, Martha leaves and seeks her sister Mary and brings her to Jesus. Mary echoes Martha’s plea: “Lord, if you had only been here…..” Jesus doesn’t engage her in conversation about her faith but moved with emotion and compassion Jesus accompanies her to the burial site. At the tomb Jesus engages in a conversation with God, prayer, and raises Lazarus from the dead. Jesus wishes to accompany us along our journey of life as well. Jesus waits for our invitation. He waits for us to seek Him out and invite Him into our lives. He will walk with us through any storm and difficulty if we but seek His assistance. This week’s lesson teaches us to seek Jesus out; invite Him into every portion of our lives and we will behold the miracles of His most powerful presence.
“UPON THIS ROCK” Many of you may have heard about a project titled Upon This Rock, a historic campaign that is taking place throughout WNY. This project will help the Catholic Church in Western New York address the needs of today, and provide the strength and security needed for future generations. By June, every parish in the Diocese of Buffalo will have participated in this effort. For this year only, the 2017 Catholic Charities Appeal will be bundled with Upon This Rock. Further information on how to contribute to both campaigns will be mailed to you within the next several weeks. The ambitious campaign goal for our Diocese is $100,000,000 Dollars. To date we $91,000,000 has been raised in pledges and gifts over a five year period. This campaign is all encompassing and will strengthen our faith in many ways for the future. There are many components to this campaign. In the coming weeks, you may receive a mailing, as well as a public appeal for you to consider taking part in this historic initiative.
A GOOD FRIDAY NEIGHBORHOOD PROCESSION will be conducted at St. Lawrence Parish on April 14th as part of the 3:00PM Liturgy of Good Friday. The solemn silent entrance along with the Liturgy of the Word will be conducted. At the Gospel Acclamation, weather permitting, we will assemble outdoors in order to proclaim the Passion Narrative of the Gospel of John in our neighborhood. Our procession route will include E. Delavan, Fisher Ave., Lang Ave., and return to St. Lawrence walking up Erb Street. We will share the Passion Narrative, bless our neighborhood, pray and sing. Come share in the public witness.
A PALM SUNDAY NEIGHBORHOOD PROCESSION will be conducted at St. Martin de Porres on April 9th as part of the 9:30AM Mass. The blessings of Palms will happen at the beginning as per our tradition and at the Gospel Acclamation of Mass, weather permitting, we will assemble outdoors in order to proclaim the Passion Narrative of our Lord in our neighborhood. Fourteen times we will stop and proclaim the Word, pray and sing. We will share Palms with our neighbors and texts of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew. Come share in the public witness.