May 7 – Fifth Sunday of Easter

Being the only son and “baby of the family,” I do have the claim to being my mom’s favorite and perfect son (her words, not mine).  It also doesn’t hurt that I also became a priest!  However, as you all know by now, I am certainly not perfect, nor completely self-sufficient.  This becomes particularly clear given the fact that I too seek out the Sacrament of Reconciliation about every other month—I need Jesus just as much as anyone else!—and given the fact that some ministerial tasks prove to be too big for me to handle on my own—I need to depend on others!  But there is a beauty in not being perfect in ourselves! As St. Aelred put it, “Almighty God can complete anyone He pleases. But God desires that we depend on each other, and what anyone does not have in himself, he finds in the other. Thus, humility is preserved, love increased, and unity realized.”

This quotation shows us that God has a beautiful purpose for giving us the gift of each other!  Do we realize what a gift it is to need to depend on others? Or to have to ask for help sometimes? This is seen in our first reading from Acts of the Apostles as a lesson to the early Church.  In this passage, there was a serious need being neglected as the Hellenist widows were being ignored.  So how did the Church respond?  It called forward seven new deacons, each with Greek names.  The response to the problem came from within the community! “Humility is preserved, love increased, and unity realized.”

What a beautiful lesson that we can learn from the early Church.  If we see a legitimate need within our community, that’s okay! We can trust that the Holy Spirit will call forward generous volunteers to complete the task. In fact, if God is raising that need before your eyes, perhaps He’s asking you to respond to it! Let’s ask the Holy Spirit this Easter season where He may be asking us to serve others within our beautiful parish of Our Lady of Mercy.  That way humility is preserved, love increased, and unity realized.

Father Michael