Student members of The St. Columbkille Secret Agent Kindness Group will be collecting used cell phones throughout the year. The phones will be donated to a non-profit organization, "Cell Phones for Soldiers," that will recycle used cell phones to purchase calling-cards for deployed active military soldiers to talk to their loved ones.
All makes, models and conditions (new, used, cracked or broken) are accepted. Cell phones can be dropped off at the St. Columbkille Parish Office throughout 2017.
The Scriptures of this Sunday mark a turn in the celebration of the Easter Season. We begin to focus on the promise of the Holy Spirit. In the selection from Acts, after the people of Samaria are baptized “in the name of Jesus” and accept the word of God, apostles are sent to pray over them so they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Three elements are indicated as necessary for living lives of faith: hearing and accepting the word of God; baptism with water; and the prayer for the Holy Spirit.
The selection from the First Letter of Peter seems to speak to a community that is undergoing trials or persecution for their faith. The sacred writer indicates to the community what is meant by being one with Jesus in his suffering, death and resurrection. Instead of reacting to violence with violence, the community is encouraged to join their sufferings to the suffering of Christ, and thus enter into redemptive suffering to be made holy and grow in faith. Christians may suffer for doing good, but they will grow in the Spirit the more they enter into the paschal mystery of suffering.
In John’s Gospel, Jesus promises to send the apostles (and community) the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide them on their Christian journey and strengthen them in time of adversity. The evangelist encourages those who may have become disillusioned with the fact that Jesus had not returned in glory with salvation for all. This part of the farewell discourse of Jesus is intended to give hope and strength to the believers, and give confidence to the doubters.
04/13/17: Holy Thursday: The Lord's Supper - Fr. Dave Reeson
(3:13, 2.95 MB)
The richness of the readings during the Triduum is a marvelous explanation of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. These days are filled with strong images of how God sees us in the line of the chosen people of Israel, and how we are to be open to the gifts of salvation.
The readings for Mass of the Lord’s Supper take an interesting approach. The account of the institution of the Eucharist comes to us only in the second reading from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, which frees up the proclamation of the Gospel to present us with Jesus washing the feet of the disciples.
Both of these readings put before us the real meaning of the covenant that God would have with us, the covenant that was once established at the Passover, which is recounted in the first reading and celebrated in the psalm. The return we can make to God for all that God has done for us in the mystery of Easter is found in the washing of the feet, in service to our neighbor.
That is how we can lead lives worthy of the Gospel, and how we can lead, in the other sense of the word, our friends and family to a deeper response to God’s call.
04/14/17: Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord - Fr Dave Reeson
(6:31, 5.97 MB)
The celebration of Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion seems to focus more on the historical reality that is the death of Jesus. The celebration of the same reality in the context of the Easter feast (which is what the Triduum celebrates) takes on an almost triumphant tone.
The Gospel of John, which is always used today, presents Jesus as ruling from the cross, and the reading from the Hebrews presents this death as the work of a high priest, of one who is the source of salvation for all who allow the grace of God to change their lives. Even the song of the suffering servant has a happy ending, with the servant growing rich and will save many from their sins.
I always enjoyed the translation which read, “Hence I will grant whole hordes for his tribute,” not only for the alliteration, but also for the vastness of the reward that these words seemed to imply. Christ’s passion was real, and it was not a pleasant thing; but the purchase made by such a price is more than any can comprehend. And so this day in the midst of the Easter feast informs on two matters: that nothing is without price and that no good act is without its reward.
04/16/17: Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord
04/16/17: Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord - Fr Dave Reeson
(5:11, 4,75 MB)
04/16/17: Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord - Fr Pat Nields
(6:58, 6.38 MB)
Witnesses are big business these days – judicial proceedings and crime scene investigation and all the crime shows on television and in books rely on them. Who saw what? Are you sure you know what you saw? Easter, it seems is about witnesses too.
The descriptions of the resurrection are remarkable in that no on seems to have seen Jesus rise. The guards – asleep, the disciples – hiding. The empty tomb is all that we are given today. There is no appearance in the upper room or at the seaside. What the disciples first experienced is how we experience the joy of Easter. There is nothing but faith, and yet faith is everything for us. Jesus has risen and we know it in our hearts. And because we know it, as the second option for the second reading tells us, we are leavened; we are changed forever.
The appearance of Christ, as the first option for this reading proclaims, will be at the time of our own glorification, a time when our lives will have a meaning beyond anything we could ever know. That is why we rejoice, why we sing a sequence before the Gospel, and why we will never be the same this Easter or any other day God grants us.