Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We are coming to the culmination of the Easter season on this last Sunday before Pentecost. Since Easter Sunday we have been reading in consecutive fashion from the Acts of the Apostles, tracing the development of the young Church. Today’s passage records the first formal action of the Church in providing a replacement for the betrayer Judas. From her very beginning, the Church was concerned about Apostolic Succession. We affirm our belief in this divine truth every time we profess the Creed. Apostolic Succession is necessary for the preservation of the Truth revealed to the Apostles by Our Lord and the lifeline for bringing Jesus’ Presence to us in His Word and Sacraments, most especially the Holy Eucharist and Holy Orders. Bishops, the successors of the Apostles, are bound to preserve Christ’s teachings unaltered and unaffected by the faddish trends of the world. To do otherwise would negate their authority and gravely jeopardize the salvation of their souls. Daily prayers are necessary for our Bishops who have such spiritual and moral responsibility for the flocks entrusted to their care.
The Gospel brings us once again to the intimacy of the Upper Room on Holy Thursday night. Our Lord speaks His final discourse to the Apostles and draws them by His Priestly Prayer into union with Our Heavenly Father. They are moments away from exiting that quiet space and going to Gethsemane where the suffering begins in earnest. They seem to quickly forget Our Lord’s word of comfort and solidarity and are caught up in the raucous around them; fear overcomes and all but one flee for their lives. It seems that the pressures of the world have overcome, but in the end the Lord prevails. It reminds us of how temporary trials and troubles are. Rather than fleeing we need to remain close to Him Who gives the strength and courage to withstand it all. This is why have the Advocate, the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit with us to conquer our fears and to remain steadfast in the Lord. As we continue in our Novena to the Holy Spirit may we be confident that the Lord never abandons us and that in the long run He will conquer.
This Sunday our seventh graders will make their commitment to prepare diligently and faithfully for the reception of Confirmation next year on Pentecost. May they also be assured to our prayers and spiritual support.
And on behalf of all our parishioners I wish to extend thanks to Judy Poltanis and the crew of Honesdale public works for their rapid response to our recent flood situation in St. John’s parking and their getting it back to normal. And our thanks to Mike Cavage and his crew from Pioneer Construction who restored the bank and sidewalk that were severely damaged by the heavy rains. We are most grateful.
Blessings to All,