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Fifth Sunday in Easter (Year C)

Dear Parishioners,  “Now has the Son of Man been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.” What has just happened that Jesus should talk this way? These words which open today’s Gospel place us back on Holy Thursday, after the Last Supper, and immediately after Judas’s departure. In both of these things his Passion is already present. The betrayal of Judas sets in motion Jesus’s death but it is the love of God driving him to make of himself an offering for our salvation which is the true cause. This love has already been manifested in a hidden way in the Eucharist, and its full manifestation at the Cross constitutes his and the Father’s glorification. Death on a Cross would appear to be the very opposite of glorious, but if glory ultimately has to do with manifestation, then the Cross is truly the place where the Father and the Son will be glorified. In the Son’s complete offering of himself the Father’s true face will at last be fully revealed. We now know who God is: the one who loved the world this much. “From this time forward” Jesus will say a little later this same night, “you have both seen and known the Father”. But the glorification that the Cross represents is not complete without the Resurrection. This is what Jesus alludes to when he speaks of the Father in turn glorifying the Son in himself. The Father is glorified at the Cross only if we can identify Jesus with God: it is at the Resurrection, which is Jesus’s glorification in the Father, that this becomes truly evident to the disciples. In this Easter light we look back at the Cross, and all of Jesus’s life, and now can see, through his humanity, the glory of God humbling itself out of love to lift us up.  In Jesus’s last words he speaks of another kind of glory, of manifestation, without which the first two could have no effect in the world. The truth which shines forth in the Death and Resurrection of Christ, and which alone has power to save, can only reach the world through our witness, and this witness is primarily a question of the love we have for one another, a love like His. Only through this will people be able to touch the redeeming love of God: without it this truth of all truths will only seem so many empty words. Let us set no limits to this love in our lives. So much is at stake, so much to be won for the world by the witness we give! Br. Jan

Fourth Sunday of Easter (Year C)

Considering Diocesan Priesthood. Over the past couple of weeks Vatican Astronomer Br Guy Consolmagno SJ has been on a speaking tour of New Zealand. As expected he spoke of science and astronomy, but audiences were even more captivated when he reflected on life and love, hope and freedom, and of how his commitment to following Jesus Christ has enabled him to have even greater influence as an astronomer.  He was talking about the default human relationship between “outer space” and “inner space”. Most people make life choices without robust and honest consideration of their inner, personal, spiritual unique reality and needs. If we make these decisions considering only earthly realities and availabilities, (money, success and even relationships) we may experience a superficial and fleeting satisfaction, but will continue with a persistent dissatisfaction: “there must be more to life.” I was inspired by Br. Guy’s enthusiasm and happiness. It was evident from his manner and his words that he is striving to live full, and that he is happy. As a diocesan priest I can relate to this since this deep joy in life is also my experience. As a young man still in my teens I was already looking for more in life, an adventure that was worth a whole life. I have found this as a diocesan priest. Sure there have been ups and downs, but these highs and lows are the rich stuff of every healthy human life, and when we desire to live with God every reality of life finds purpose and promise. Perhaps you are a young(ish) man who has a sense that God might be calling you to consider life as a diocesan priest. Don’t be afraid of seriously considering this exciting possibility and don’t hesitate to speak to any priest, or contact the Vocations Director Fr. John O’Connor *protected email*. I also encourage parishioners to be active in your own promotion of vocations to diocesan priesthood to ensure that parishes are well served in the future. It is significant that of the almost 500 priests ordained in the United States this year, 92%  first considered priesthood as a real possibility when the suggestion was made to them by someone they respected. Fr. John O’Connor www.foodforfaith.org.nz