Archive for May, 2017

6th Sunday of Easter, May 21, 2017

Friday, May 26th, 2017

I dare say most Catholics don’t notice it, and if they do, they likely don’t know what it means. I’m referring to a gesture the priest makes during mass, when he holds his hands together over the bread and wine on the altar. This very important gesture, called the laying on of hands, signifies a request for the action of the Holy Spirit. It is the same gesture that Peter and John use in our first reading when they ask the Holy Spirit to come upon those in Samaria who “had accepted the word of God.”

The laying on of hands appears today not only during the mass but also in many other rituals of the Church, including baptism, confirmation, reconciliation, the anointing of the sick, and the ordination of bishops, priests, and deacons. The gesture is one of power—not the power of the person laying hands, but the power of God. Without that power of God, the Church can’t do anything: it can’t change bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ; it can’t bring in or strengthen new members; it can’t forgive sins or heal the sick; it can’t send forth those called to serve the Church as clergy.

But all of us are equally dependent upon the power of God. Without that power, we can’t do anything good: parents can’t raise children to be decent human beings; married couples can’t have or keep a truly loving relationship; teachers can’t pass on knowledge; artists can’t create things of beauty; scientists can’t figure out mysteries; lawmakers can’t make wise laws. Most important of all, we all are dependent upon the power of God to enable us to be faithful to Christ and keep his commandments, serving God and others as he did, with selfless devotion and dedication.

Whether we are at church, in need of spiritual nourishment, at home, in need of patience with family members, or at work, in need of help with a project, we all need the power of God to come upon us.

see Acts 8:5-8, 14-17; John 14:15-21

By: Rev. Gregory Kimm

3rd Sunday of Easter, April 30, 2017

Friday, May 26th, 2017

Things that happened that we wish had not happened. Things that didn’t happen that we wish had happened. Like the two disciples in our gospel story, we all have our disappointments in life—and, like the disciples in our gospel story, we could talk about those disappointments at great length with friends or anyone else who might be willing to listen. We might not think about those disappointments every moment of every day, but they are with us, perhaps to the end of our lives.

But besides the fact that all of our disappointments have been disappointing, there is one other thing that they all have in common, and that is that they are in the past. They’re history. No matter how much we might want to change what did or didn’t happen, there is nothing we can do about it now.

The risen Lord offers us the chance to walk with him on the road, to move on from the past, to live a new life. For those of us willing to take him up on his offer, there is mercy and forgiveness, as well as the grace and strength we will need to let go of those disappointments and keep walking. Jesus may have vanished from our sight, but he is still with us. If we choose to walk with him, we will not be disappointed.

see Luke 24:13-35

By: Rev. Gregory Kimm