Ordinarily, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord forty days after Easter Sunday, and this usually falls on the Thursday of the sixth week of our Easter celebration. This gives us ten days before the feast of Pentecost which comes up fifty days after Easter. However, most Dioceses in the United States now celebrate the Ascension of the Lord on the seventh Sunday of Easter in order to emphasize the solemnity of the day, and so, today is the day when we celebrate the return of the resurrected Jesus to heaven after spending forty days preparing His Apostles for the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit that would empower them to witness to the Gospel all over the world.READ MORE
You must have observed that the First Readings during Eastertide have consistently been taken from the Acts of the Apostles. This is deliberate. Acts of the Apostles is said to have been originally written as part of the Gospel of St. Luke. It tells the story of the post-Resurrection Church: How the Apostles reacted to the Resurrection of Jesus, how they waited for and received the Holy Spirit, how the disciples remained connected and completely reliant upon the promptings of the Holy Spirit, how they encountered and responded to persecution from various individuals and groups, how sacred orders and ministries evolved; essentially, how the early Church began, lived and grew. One of the defining moments in the Acts of the Apostles is the encounter of the Gentiles with the Gospel and the resultant implications of this encounter.READ MORE
Cast your mind in retrospect to the event of the Transfiguration of our Lord where the three Apostles caught a privileged glimpse of the Glorified Jesus as he conversed with Moses and Elijah, the lawgiver and the greatest of the prophets. On that particular occasion, the presence of Moses confirmed the discernment of the Apostolic trio, that Christ is the Divine Lawgiver. Jesus exercised this peculiar prerogative at the Last Supper after He revolutionized leadership by washing the feet of His disciples, and after Judas Iscariot had sneaked out to arrange His betrayal. Jesus viewed His impending passion as Divine glorification and chose this solemn moment to legislate “a new commandment.” “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you should love one another.”READ MORE
As I announced last weekend, I am so glad we finally received the Building Permit from the City of Phoenix. Here is an update from the Building Committee regarding the construction process for the next few weeks:
Next week the contractors will begin the safety review and protocols.
The week of May 23 the contractors will conduct the site set-up and pull power to the construction trailer.
Work will begin the week of June 1st.
Please continue to pray for our building project, parish community, and for the protection and safety of all those working to construct our new Church home.
Traditionally, the Fourth Sunday of Easter is celebrated as “Good Shepherd Sunday” since the Gospel is taken every year from John 10, the “Good Shepherd Discourse.” This Sunday is also customarily observed as a day of prayer for vocations to the priesthood and religious life, since priests and religious are, in a special way, visible manifestations of Christ in His role as the Good Shepherd. The readings trace this line of thought.READ MORE
Congratulations! I am so thrilled to inform you that we obtained the Building Permit from the City of Phoenix on Wednesday this week. I am so excited the long awaited day has finally come! I thank Bob Prezkop and Deacon Ed for working so tirelessly behind the scenes with the City of Phoenix, the contractors and the Diocese of Phoenix. I also thank you all for your prayers, patience and understanding through the past several months of waiting for the beginning of the construction.
I believe I know the question in your mind right now: “When will the construction start?” The contractors are getting ready to start the construction soon. I hope to hear from them about the exact starting day by next week. Again, thank you all so much for your prayers and support. Let us continue to pray for a successful construction.
According to Matthew’s Gospel (Matt4:18-22), when Jesus called His first Apostles, He asked them to “follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”. This invitation required them to jettison their prior occupation of fishing in order to embrace, wholeheartedly, the noble vocation of Apostleship. They tried to do this until they were confronted with the trying period of uncertainty between the Lord’s resurrection and His glorious ascension. Simon Peter, the designated Apostolic primus, suggested going back to their old occupation and a good number of the eleven followed him. Like Peter and the other Apostles, our moments of decisive encounter with Jesus required us to give up any lifestyle or culture that does not please God and injure our conscience, in order to follow Jesus. Moments of crisis, transition, spiritual dryness and skepticism often make our hitherto foregone lifestyle attractive. At such moments, we should pay attention to the voice of the resurrected Jesus who gently calls us back to right relationship with God and our neighbor.READ MORE