From the Pastor's Desk

June 25th

     In the Gospel today, Jesus says, “Fear no one. Do not be afraid of those who can kill the body, but cannot kill the soul. God cares for the sparrows, and you are more important than any of them. God cares for you, so fear no one. Whoever acknowledges me publicly, I will acknowledge before My Father.”
     After calling His Disciples, Jesus does something important. He tries to take away their fear. Fear is the enemy of generosity and love. Fear impedes healing. If we reflect on what keeps us from a deeper commitment to service, the answer is always because of some kind of fear.
According to the Bible, fear came into our lives through the sin of Adam and Eve. As they rejected God’s Law, they voiced the objections first spoken by the fallen angels, “I will not subjugate myself to the Law of God. I will be my own God. No one will tell me how I should live.” This was more than a change in ideology; it was the opening through which evil worked its way into humanity. And with it came fear.
     There is a difference between fear and “self-preservation.” Self-preservation is that natural instinct that saves us from predators or enemies. Without it, we would lose all the gifts God gave to us.
     In our secular society, when people have little room for God in their lives, the self becomes the ultimate concern. The ultimate sign of this is when a person sees everything and everyone in relation to “what is best for me.” “How do I look? Why is nobody is thinking about me? I have my priorities, so don’t over commit me! I am not your guardian…” When the focus of everything becomes ourselves, we lose everything. Jesus says, “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it” Luke 17:33.
     In our Gospel today, Jesus is telling us that if we place our lives in His hands, we have nothing to fear. Placing our lives in His hands means living “His lifestyle.” It means being liberated from self-preoccupation. It means modeling our parents and grandparents who gave their lives in service to their country, church, community and family. A beautiful legacy of faith has been handed on to us, let us continue the tradition.

"Heavenly Father, Give me the courage to strive for the highest goals,
to flee every temptation to be mediocre.
Enable me to aspire to greatness,
and to open my heart with joy to Your call to holiness.
Free me from the fear of failure.
I want to be, Lord, firmly and forever united to You.
Grant me the graces I ask You by the gentle intercession
of the angels and saints, and through the merits
of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen."

     On Holy Thursday we celebrated the institution of the Holy Eucharist, The Divine Mandate and the Clerical Priesthood. Two months later, we come together on Sunday to commemorate that gift again. On Holy
Thursday, the celebration was solemn and our attention was focused on Jesus’ death. Today, our celebration proceeds from Pentecost: to be empowered by Christ and to act on behalf ofHim.
     In the New Testament, Jesus presents Himself as the New Moses. According to the ancient prophecies, signs would usher in the time of the New Moses. The first sign was an abundance of wine which was Jesus’ first
miracle at the wedding of Cana. Through Jesus, God gave the people a new sacrificial lamb, a new living water and the bread from heaven that would be food for the journey of life.

     “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.” (Genesis 1:26)

     In 1985, Spanish singer, Luis Migel wrote a song that captured the hearts of young people in Europe. In Spain it was sung as, Nosotros, los Muchachos de hoy, nosotros. In Italy, his song made number one as, Noi, Ragazzi di oggi. The title of the song was also the hook-line, “We, the young people of today.”
     The message of the refrain told us about the so called “young people of today.” We are the friends you don’t know that you have. We give color to this city. We know what to believe. We are the ones you can trust. We are the fire beneath the ashes. Come with us, the young people of today.” According to the singer, this group of young people can be the fire beneath the ashes because they know what they possess. This is also the message of Pentecost.