Fr. Lara's Lines
Fifth Sunday of Easter
Love One Another
One of the most famous statements of Jesus is the
new commandment: “Love one another. As I have
loved you, so you also should love one another.”
This commandment speaks of God’s love for us and
the love we are to have for our neighbor. Jesus asks
us to love the same way God loves. Certainly, it is not
easy to love the same way God loves us. For some, it
might seem impossible, but the saints all throughout
history have shown us differently. God so loved the
world and we are to do the same.
God’s love is unconditional, selfless, and steadfast.
God created everything out of love. He did not need
to create anything or anyone, but out of unconditional
love, he wills everything to exist. God’s love is
unconditional because it is freely given. He wants us
to follow his commandments not for his own benefit
but for ours. God’s love is selfless because he gives
everything to us. He gave his only begotten Son; and
Jesus gave his own life for the sake of humankind.
Jesus’ greatest expression of selfless love is his death
on the cross for our sins. God’s love is steadfast
because God will love us no matter what. There is
no sin that cannot be forgiven, except the sin which lacks
repentence. In the sacrament of confession, God shows
unwavering love for us. He never abandons us but
always keeps his promise.
As followers of Jesus, we are to imitate God’s love
for us. It is easy to love God because he loves us
perfectly; however, loving others the same way God
loves us is not an easy task. How can we love those
whom we do not know? How can we love those who
have offended us? How could we love our enemies?
We face the temptation to pay back in the same coin.
People retaliate against others for the wrongdoings
they have gone through. But Jesus calls us to love
one another. We need to remember that love is not
a feeling but an act of will. Love is to wish good for
the other. When Jesus told us to love one another, he
meant to do good to one another. What are some
concrete ways you can love others? Do you love in
unconditional, selfless, and steadfast ways?
School May Crowning
During the month of May, Catholics around the world
honor Mary in a special way. May reminds us of new
life which we see in the flowers and trees coming back
to life after a long winter season. We honor Mary
because she brings new and eternal life through her
son, Jesus. A couple weeks ago, on May 1, we crowned
Mary after the 11:00 am Mass. Last Tuesday, the
school children celebrated May Crowning as well.
They had a beautiful service in the Church. Second
graders have now made their First Communion and
eighth graders are looking forward to their graduation.
We are in the home stretch before the end of the school
year. Let us keep our students in our thoughts and prayers.
The sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is one of
healing. This sacrament is not only for those who are at
the point of death; it is also for those who are suffering,
the elderly, and the infirm. The Church brings the healing
power of Christ to the souls of those who need it. The
sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick brings peace
and strength to the suffering. The oil of the sick is a
visible sign of the healing touch of Jesus and the prayers
for the sick bring the Church’s strength to sustain them in
Priests often visit sick and injured people at hospitals,
nursing homes, and in their homes. There is a great
need to mister to the sick and suffering. Many times,
they struggle to know and feel God’s presence in their
lives. Through the Church, Jesus brings peace, mercy,
and love to them. Priests are not the only ministers to
the sick; all Catholics are. For instance, Ministers of
Care pray with, bring communion to, and give comfort
to the sick. All of us have the responsibility to pray for
the sick and injured. The Ministry of Care at SCL has
organized a Healing Mass next Sunday, May 22 at
the 11:00am Mass. At this Mass, some parishioners
will receive the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.
God’s love and healing mercy will come into their lives
even in the midst of their suffering and pain. Let us
keep praying for the sick, especially those in our
Live the Liturgy
The resurrected Christ gives us the strength
to do things we can never have imagined.
Life will often give us mountains to climb, and we
wonder how we will find the energy, ability, and
determination to forge ahead. But, with a good
dosage of faith and a fervent life of prayer we
find ourselves succeeding and ascending to
heights that once frightened us. What we realize
after we have reached the other side is that this
hardship we once saw as an obstacle has become
a vehicle for something better and greater. We
are stronger. The same is true with the Gospel.
The prospect of loving one another may seem
idealistic or unobtainable. Yet, when we risk
moving beyond just looking out for or helping
each other to actually LOVING each other,
miracles happen. There is something wonderful
that occurs with love. We see people in ways
we never saw before, understanding and
appreciating each other’s journey. Love leads
to reverence. Faith is strengthened and we move
on to try again.
Please Pray for Ukraine
For our sisters and brothers involved in or
affected by the war and devastation in Ukraine--
the deceased, the injured, the frightened, the
displaced, the fighters, the protesters, the leaders.
May God give them solace, healing, comfort, and
hearts and minds directed toward peace.
Donations can be made here:
Knights of Columbus: https://www.kofc.org/secure/en/donate/ukraine.html
Ukrainian Catholic Archdiocese of Philidelphia: https://ukrarcheparchy.us
"May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war" - Pope Francis