Diocese of Toledo, Ohio

Browsing From the Pastor

March 30/31 Bulletin Article

From the Pastor:

Easter blessings and joy to you! Hopefully the Easter season will be one of continued growth in understanding and living the Catholic faith. 

The three years of Jesus’ public ministry brought a much needed newness to the world. The newness was a reawakening to God's plan for humanity. The people of the time did not realize how far they had drifted from God and how that was hurting them in more ways than they realized. The created had lost touch with the Creator, and all of creation was suffering as a result. Humanity needed a Savior, but would God's people both recognize the Savior and follow His plan for redemption?

The path for salvation had always been with God's people but had become lost in the background. The reasons for this are many, and differ from person to person. However, the gospels give us the beautiful image of Jesus standing before each person, knocking at the door of his or heart. God is personally interested in each and every person, but where is our heart? Is our heart like the old wineskins that Jesus spoke about in the gospels? If wineskins were not regularly receiving fresh wine, they would become hard and no longer receptive. Jesus said this can happen to our hearts. 

How tremendously sad it is when we, the created, allow ourselves to drift away from God, our beloved Creator. The relationship God wants with each of us is similar to the best parent-child relationship, but even greater. The gospels tell us that Jesus came that we may have life and have it to its fullness. Are we experiencing the "fullness of life" that Jesus speaks about? Even though we might experience exceptionally beautiful moments of life, we also know there are plenty of challenges and difficulties. Looking more broadly, we see that our world is struggling in every way. Our world needs a Savior now as much as ever. The good news is Jesus wants to be our Savior. He's knocking on the door of our hearts, but have our hearts become stiff and unreceptive? 

The path for redemption is in regaining our love for Christ, who is the Savior of humanity. Christ also helps along the path of redemption with this critical reminder: if you love Me, you will keep My commandments, and My commandments are not burdensome. So, we need to ask ourselves, who do we love? Have we lost the love of our Heavenly Father for earthly things? Affection for material things should never stand in the way of love for other persons, especially the Three Divine Persons, who we call God. The more we allow ourselves to be taken and consumed by the “stuff” of this world, the fainter the voice of God becomes to us. We should be careful not to rationalize away the seriousness and truth of not living according to God's teachings and commandments. Jesus, who stands victorious after having conquered every evil and temptation of this world, tells you and me to unclutter our minds and hearts to experience the joy and freshness that Christ offers. 

Where to start the uncluttering process? Begin with the first day of the week, which is Sunday. If you reorganize this one day of the week, it will change the other six in a surprisingly good way. In Genesis, God instructs us that Sunday is unlike all the other days of the week. Then in the next chapter of the Bible, God says, remember to keep holy the sabbath day. In the third chapter, God says: for six days work may be done, but the seventh day is the sabbath rest, a day for sacred assembly, on which you shall do no work. The sabbath shall belong to the LORD wherever you dwell.

Notice God saying that Sunday was created for the sacred assembly. The entire day belongs to God and is meant to be directed to God and for God. You might be thinking to yourself that Sunday is my one day of the week to sleep later or go shopping or to do whatever else wouldn’t fit into the week. Think about it, six days for us and one day for God. Isn’t that more than fair? More than we realize, we need Sunday to be a holy day – 24 hours uncluttered with worldly things and focused on Godly things. That might even include a nap after returning home from the sacred assembly (Mass) Sunday morning!

A very blessed Easter to you!
Fr. Miller


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