Celebrate Sunday Mass - Fifth Sunday of Easter - 5.2.21

Join us for Sunday Mass.

Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash.

Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash.

5/2/2021 (3 years ago)

By Deacon Keith Fournier


Dear Catholic Online Community and Catholic Online School students...

I AM HAPPY TO OFFER EACH OF YOU AN INVITATION TO HOLY MASS ON THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER in the Catholic Diocese of Tyler. The response to offering these liturgies online has been overwhelming. 

The readings, as always, offer so much for us to reflect on. It is helpful to pray through them and reflect upon them before we assist at Holy Mass. 

In our first reading on this Fifth Sunday of Easter we continue in the Acts of the Apostles, the historic account of the early Church. Chapter nine tells the story of the wonderful conversion of Saul, the Rabbi who was persecuting the early Christians. 

He stood by at the martyrdom of the Deacon, St Stephen. As is often the case, his name was changed to reflect that conversion and he becomes Paul, the soon to be great Apostle to the Gentiles. 

He arrives in Jerusalem and shares his wonderful testimony of encountering the Risen Lord on the way to Damascus. Barnabas and some of the disciples protected him from some who sought to kill him. Others were afraid of him. Barnabas brought him to the Apostles.

 The conversion of St Paul is an example of the power of the Holy Spirit to totally transform men and women. He would later write to the Corinthians "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation...all things of old are passed away. Behold all things become new" (2 Cor. 5:17ff) 

That includes you and me and all who call on the Lord. When we repent, turn away from sin and are baptized. Do we really believe this? Do we live as though we do?

In our second reading for Holy Mass, we heard an excerpt from the third chapter of the First Letter of St John. St John is called the beloved disciple for good reason. He had a unique and special relationship with the Lord. The image of him resting his head on the chest of the Lord at the last supper is a beautiful image of that relationship. 

His Gospel and letters are filled with the proclamation of the love of the Father and the Son - and instructions concerning our own call to love one another as the Lord loves us. 

The entire third chapter of this letter is about that call to love one another. This portion also assures us that if we live that way, loving in both word and deed, we remain in Him and He remains in us and He hears and answers our prayers. Let us choose today to live in love. 

On this fifth Sunday of Easter, we also heard a portion of the 15th chapter of the Gospel of St John proclaimed. Jesus tells His disciples - and that includes you and me - that He is the vine, and we are the branches.

We are called to stay joined to Him in order to bear fruit. This essential and living connection to Jesus is maintained when we pray, stay in the state of grace, read the Word of God, frequent the Eucharist, and make Him the center of our lives. 

Yesterday's relationship with the Lord is not sufficient for today. We are called to remain attached to Jesus, the Vine, and to receive from Him divine life, that is what grace is. It is this kind of ongoing, dynamic relationship with the Lord that makes ordinary men and women extraordinary and turns sinners into saints.

May you and your family have a wonderful Lord's Day. Jesus Christ has been raised. Alleluia! Alleluia! Come, Holy Spirit and set us on fire!

Deacon Keith Fournier
Dean of Catholic Online School
Chaplain of Your Catholic Voice Foundation

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