Parish of St. John the Apostle
Dear Parish Family and Friends,
Before the Risen Lord ascended into heaven, he entrusted his Disciples to Peter, and asked Peter to love Him more than all the others. This was due to Peter’s denial of our Lord before His Passion and death on the cross. Peter had made the great confession “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God” and our Lord’s response was “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” and within a short time he was denying Jesus outside the gates of the High Priest’s house. This was a final test for Peter, that he declares his true love for Jesus. Jesus asked, “Peter do you love me?” “Yes Lord” replied Peter. Then Jesus said, “Feed my lambs, “feed my sheep”. Peter does not own the disciples. Christians belong to the Lord. But the Apostle will make the Lord visible to them as their Good Shepherd. From Peter, this mission which is a grace and a service of love has passed to his successors, the Bishops, who continue in this line of succession. Our Bishops are a sure and unfailing sign of Christ’s presence in his Church. In their word and guidance, we find the very word and guidance of Jesus.
The end of the month of May brings to close the forty days after Easter when we celebrate Jesus’ ascension into heaven. By frequently appearing to his Disciples during those forty days, he had ensured their faith in his resurrection, and he had spoken to them about the reign of God. Now he could return to the Father. But his return was not the end, so we should not be sad.
The Ascension of the Lord into heaven gave joy to the Father, who was pleased with the love and obedience of his Son. It also inspired joy in Jesus himself, who by dying and rising had saved humanity and entered into glory. The Ascension is a source of joy for us. When our Lord ascended into heaven he lifted our humanity to the Father and as members of his body we live in hope of being reunited with him in heaven. Our redemption was successful and the entire universe rejoices in the majesty of Jesus, who alone has gone before us into heaven and is awaiting for us there.
See you at Mass on Sunday and on Thursday, May 25th at 6:00 p.m. on the feast of the Ascension.
In Christ, Risen and Ascended,
Father Thomas B. Wirth, Rector