5th Sunday of Easter

05-07-2023Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian Manning

When I back out of the driveway at the Church, I always get to see the house which was constructed only a few years ago in my view. I often think of all the time and many steps it took to build the house. There were many, many trade and craft people involved, besides the necessary plans and permits. The General Contractor had to be licensed and this “GC” had to employ many licensed sub-contractors, such as electricians and plumbers for the construction. The “GC” has to be a good leader and also knowledgeable and experienced in the construction trades. The “GC” has to start with the first steps and work on the project until it is completed and the owner has a Certificate of Occupancy.

Construction in our state has a clear process, but for the early Christians and the church, their early building of the church did not have a clear process or printed plans. Our reading from Acts tells us that there was a great deal of confusion and blame going on in the early days in the church because there was no clear leadership. People took sides. It took a while for the apostles to show some leadership and get things organized in a productive way.

In his letter, Peter illustrates much more graphically what happens after the foundation is poured. Jesus Christ is also the cornerstone of the Church. He is a precious stone to those who believe. For them, he will be the foundation. For those who reject the stone, however, he will be the rock that causes them to stumble.

This theme of step by step planning and building continues as John describes in the Gospel how Jesus goes before all of us to prepare our rooms. We are free to imagine what the room will look like and how the construction takes place. One thing we know for sure is God will call us to come to that room if only we accept the Son, the cornerstone. We are, in fact, the living stones of the Church. We bring new life day after day, generation after generation.

As living stones of the Church, we are invited to look constantly at things in a new way. We are called to be open and creative in our view of the world, to be enthusiastic about our graced mission. Our mission is but one block in the construction of the whole Church. Each one of us is an integral part of a significant structure. If we accept this, we are promised a room in the Father’s house.

First Communions and Graduations

This is a wonderful season of the yearfor many families. Parents, grandparents, aunt and uncles and all sorts of relatives and family friends rejoice in our next generation. Some of our young people will receive the Lord Jesus for the first time. We welcome these young people to the holy table of the Lord and encourage parents to come each week to Mass with their child. We are so proud of our many, many graduates from all the various institutions of learning. Your graduation is a step further in your life and we pray the Lord’s grace surround you as you go forth to new challenges.