May 2 – Fifth Sunday of Easter
One of the most challenging things that many of us struggle with is not allowing the past to dictate the way in which we live life today. The past, which we cannot change, can often linger negatively. It will always be part of our lives. But, we can change the present moment. We can always move into a positive way of living and thinking. Through God’s grace, St. Paul with the help of Barnabas made his conversion experience known to the apostles. His life was dramatically changed and his work began in the early Church. The Holy Spirit was the driving force in his life and can be the same for us as well. These remarkable readings from Acts of the Apostles inspire us throughout the year. The liturgies we celebrate together pour those graces into each one of us. ALL WE NEED IS THE WILLINGNESS TO SAY YES AND MOVE FORWARD.
The reading from the 1st Letter of John reinforces the fact that the power of the resurrected Jesus can see us through the trials and tribulations of life. When all seems hopeless, or at is seemingly at a dead end with nowhere to turn, there is always an incredible light to show us another way. Through the love of God and one another, new ways of life can unfold.
The parable of the vine and the branches is a wonderful reminder to prune away the baggage in our lives that constantly wears us down and robs us of the energy to live our lives as fully as possible. One thing we can learn in life is to be not only compassionate to others but to learn self-compassion. We constantly need to forgive ourselves, acknowledge our mistakes or compulsions, fearlessly address them, and move on. Otherwise, we run the risk of stagnating and making ourselves miserable. It takes much courage to face our hardships and challenges in life. God’s grace and a fearless self-honesty can work miracles!
Fr. James and some of our prayer team warriors are being trained in a special ministry of prayer based on the book “Unbound – A Practical Guide to Deliverance” by Neal Lozano. If you would like to be prayed over using this type of prayer, please e-mail Fr. James.
Several people have asked how I am doing since the surgery I had on March 25th to remove my isthmus, the bridge of tissue that connects the two lobes of the thyroid gland. At the time of surgery tissue samples were sent to pathology and no classic features were displaying at that time. However, the full pathology report received two weeks later show that I have encapsulated papillary carcinoma cells present. Therefore, I now need to have my entire thyroid gland removed. That surgery is scheduled for June 10th.
Have a Blessed Easter Season!