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God is the Master Gardener

Pastor’s Column 5th Sunday of Easter April 29, 2018 The Lord’s image of the vine and the branches is familiar to anyone who gardens (John 15:1-8). Many plants need to be pruned regularly to control their growth and increase their fruitfulness. The raspberries growing by the rectory are a good example of this: the older shoots will not produce much, so they must be cut away to allow the new shoots, those that will bear fruit, to grow. God the Father is the master gardener; the Lord is the vine; we are the branches. One thing we can expect for sure in this life is that God will be pruning us! There are two kinds of pruning the Lord mentions: he cuts away completely those branches that do n

Jesus, Our Good Shepherd

Pastor’s Column 4th Sunday of Easter April 22, 2018 “I am the Good Shepherd. A Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11 The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. Jesus has no limits to his love: he has done everything possible for me. What limits do I have in my love for him, or for others? I lay down my life for Christ by dying to my own will, by being obedient to the voice of the Good Shepherd; so any follower of his will be led to lay down his or her life at some point as part of our lesson plan of life. This is one of the key lessons Jesus teaches the sheep who follow him. A hired leader, someone who works for himself, whose primary interest is to get pai

The Great Sending

Pastor’s Column 3rd Sunday of Easter April 15, 2018 When Jesus appears in the gospels after rising from the dead, he is always a commanding presence. We know immediately that something has changed! In each Easter appearance, Jesus confirms the faith of the disciples and gives them a mission. What mission has the Lord given to me? When we attend Mass, we have an encounter with the resurrected Jesus in order to confirm and strengthen our faith. We hear the Lord speak in the Scriptures as surely as if it were coming from his own mouth. When we partake of the Eucharist, we receive his Body and Blood as surely as the disciples did at the last supper. At the end of Mass, (the last thing the

Thomas the Doubter

Pastor’s Column Divine Mercy Sunday April 8, 2018 Who can blame Thomas for doubting that Jesus rose from the dead? After all, it had never happened before. I think Thomas gets a bit of a bum rap here. Mary Magdalene was the first witness to the resurrection, and when Jesus sees her, he gives her a commission: Go and tell my disciples the good news. So, Mary goes and finds the disciples – she knows where to look even though they were in hiding – and when she tells them, what is their reaction? Disbelief -- all eleven of them. Thomas was not with the others, but that’s not the reason for his unbelief – when Mary Magdalene came and announced that Jesus was alive, at first none of them coul

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