Dear Parish Family,
“The Lord does not want us to keep thinking about our
failings. He wants us to look to
Him. In our failings He sees children to
help up; in our misery He sees children in need of His merciful love.”
Remember to call the office each week – 601-856-2054 – Monday thru
Thursday, 8:30 – 4:00, to make Sunday Mass reservations.
Sunday of Easter
Reading: Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
Peter said to the
people: “The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of
our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and denied
in Pilate’s presence when he had decided to release him. You denied the Holy
and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. The author of
life you put to death, but God raised him from the dead; of this we are
witnesses. Now I know, brothers, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your
leaders did; but God has thus brought to fulfillment
what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that
his Christ would suffer. Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins
may be wiped away.”
Psalm: Psalm 4:2, 4, 7-8, 9
R. Lord, let your face shine on
When I call, answer me, O my just God,
you who relieve me when I am in distress;
have pity on me, and hear my prayer!
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
Know that the LORD does wonders for his faithful one;
the LORD will hear me when I call upon him.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
O LORD, let the light of your countenance shine upon us!
You put gladness into my heart.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
As soon as I lie down, I fall peacefully asleep,
for you alone, O LORD,
bring security to my dwelling.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
Reading: 1 John 2:1-5
My children, I am
writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we
have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is
expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole
world. The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments.
Those who say, “I know him,” but do not keep his commandments are liars, and
the truth is not in them. But whoever keeps his word,
the love of God is truly perfected in him.
Gospel: Luke 24:35-48
The two disciples
recounted what had taken place on the way, and how Jesus was made known to
them in the breaking of bread. While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” But they were
startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Then he said to them, “Why are you
And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that
it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have.” And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his
feet. While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them,
“Have you anything here to eat?”
They gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of
them. He said to them,
“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that
everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms
must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise
from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of
sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from
Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”
they were still speaking about this, [Jesus] stood in their midst and said to
them, ‘Peace be with you . . . Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have
flesh and bones as you can see, I have.’”
In this Easter Season as we hear
all the stories of Jesus’ resurrection it gets confusing. Last Sunday from the Gospel of John we heard
about the disciples gathered in a locked room and Jesus standing before them
offering peace and giving the gift of the Holy Spirit. This Sunday we hear from the Gospel of Luke
and he picks up with the story of the two disciples who were heading out of
town to Emmaus and Jesus walked with them, and they recognized him when they
sat down to eat and Jesus took the bread, broke it and gave it to them. Immediately they recognized that it was Jesus
who had been with them. They could not
wait, they had to go back to Jerusalem and tell the ‘brothers’ that they had
just met Jesus, the Lord. And as they
are telling their story Jesus comes and stands in their midst again and, again,
they are filled with fear and doubt. You
might think why didn’t they get it. Well
maybe they thought they were seeing a ghost, maybe they didn’t know what to
think. What would you do if someone from
the dead was all of a sudden in your kitchen talking to you. Maybe you would question what you were seeing
or wonder if you are losing your mind.
Three days after Good Friday. So
much to take in, so much confusion and uncertainty.
two disciples represent every man and woman who seeks to walk the path of faith
and truth. But like the rest of us they
walk in darkness. All that they had
believed in and hoped for had seemingly disappeared. Isn’t that true of us as well. I know for myself there are many things
happening around me and in the world that cause me to wonder and ask why, to
ask what can I do. It certainly was part
and parcel of the preaching of Jesus. Faith
involves seeing in a new way and understanding life. On the way to Emmaus, like a good teacher,
Jesus asks his disciples to first reflect on their own experience. He asks them to retell the story of the
events of the past few days. He then
interprets those events for them in light of the Old Testament and Jewish
Once there was a small monastery
led by a very wise abbot. A young man, who had recently entered the monastery,
was having a hard time adjusting to the monastic life. He was constantly
complaining and criticizing. The older monks of the community had grown tired
of his constant whining and went to the abbot with their concerns about the
One morning the abbot sent the
novice to fetch some salt. When the novice returned, the abbot instructed the
unhappy monk to put the salt in a glass of water and drink it. The novice did
as he was instructed. “How does it taste?” the abbot asked.
“Bitter!” spit the novice.
The abbot smiled. “Get some
more salt and follow me.”
The abbot and the novice,
clutching another handful of salt, walked to a small lake near the monastery.
“Throw the salt into the lake.” Again, the novice did as the abbot
Father Abbot said, “Now,
take a drink from the lake.”
As the water dripped down the
young man’s chin, the abbot asked, “How does it taste?”
“Sweet and clean,” the
young man, said wiping his mouth on his sleeve.
“Do you taste the
“No,” the novice
The abbot sat next to the
serious young man – and explained, “Brother, the pain of life is pure
salt. The bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So
when you are in pain, when you hurt, when you feel broken, the only thing you
can do is enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a
The Jesus of the Gospel enlarges
our sense of things; the light and hope of his resurrection enables us to
become a “lake” that can absorb the hard and difficult
“salt” of our lives in order to taste the clear, sweet
“water” of love, reconciliation, peace and mercy that are part of
every one of our lives. The Risen One walks among us in family and friends who
offer their love to us and receive the love we yearn to give; the Risen One is
the poor and troubled who challenges us to imitate his compassion and
servanthood. Authentic Easter faith enables us to transform the pessimism of
being a glass into the optimism of becoming a lake in which the compassion and
forgiveness of God springs forth in hope.
This is an important lesson for
us as well, to stop and reflect on our lives in the light of the Bible and what
the Church teaches. At times we
experience God profoundly like at the time of a birth or a death, times when
emotions are strong. At other times we
experience God simply, like walking through the woods or in conversation with a
friend, or at Mass.
Luke certainly is interested in
conveying much more than a past incident here.
His point is hopefully clear to us: through the eyes of faith, we too
can see the presence of the risen Jesus in the Eucharist, in the breaking of
the bread. The breaking of the bread
reaches so deep into who we are as Catholics.
But hopefully we also are able to recognize Jesus present to us in the
scripture we share and the faces of the people gathered around us. We are the Body of Christ. The story reveals that faith is more than
intellectually agreeing that Jesus is present in the Eucharist, it is a journey
in which we see through a glass darkly.
An Act of
My Jesus, I believe that You are present
in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You
I ask You to come spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You, trusting that you are already
there and I unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
A minor Easter miracle on — of all places
— social media:
Molly Steinsapir was seriously injured when she fell from her bike. In the
ambulance with her daughter, her mother Kaye took out her phone and began to
type: Please, please, please. Everyone PRAY for my daughter
Molly. She has been in an accident and suffered a brain trauma.
“I was so
helpless,” Kaye would say later. “I just wanted to broadcast to anyone who
could lift Molly up in prayer and could lift me up in prayer, too.”
plea for prayers went viral. More than 600,000 responded with prayers,
messages of support and stories of survival from traumatic brain
injury. “Team Molly” had been set into motion.
that all these strangers gave us sustained us,” Kaye remembers. “If we
didn’t have that hope, I don’t know how we would have been able to do what we
needed to do, to parent Molly and parent our [two] boys,” Nate and Eli.
sent out that first tweet, Kaye never imagined that it would be the beginning
of a 16-day-long conversation among thousands of strangers from all over the
world about life, death, family, faith and ritual. Because of the
restrictions of the pandemic, other family members could not gather at the
hospital with the Steinsapirs, so most of the time, Dad was at home taking care
of their boys and Mom was alone at the hospital, keeping vigil, waiting and
praying for her daughter to wake up. As she shared her daughter’s
condition, Kaye heard regularly from moms and dads and medical professionals
from around the country.
sitting here in this sterile room hour after hour, your messages of hope make
me feel less alone,” Kaye typed in one tweet.
reported on the ups and downs of Molly’s care, praised her doctors and nurses,
and told stories of her daughter, an environmentalist and animal lover who
decided to become a vegetarian in kindergarten, a girl on the threshold of
adolescence who was devoted to her Jewish faith – but mostly, Kaye called
for support through prayers.
February 15, Kaye announced to Team Molly that her beloved daughter had “been
called home” to God.
our hearts are broken in a way that feels like they can never be mended,” Kaye tweeted,
“we take comfort knowing that Molly’s twelve years were filled with love and
joy. We are immensely blessed to be her parents.”
agreed to tell her story because Molly would have wanted to console all those
families who have lost loved ones. Molly’s last act on earth was to bring
together people from around the world in compassion and peace. [“The New York
Times,”February 21, 2021]
manages to form a community of grace on Twitter. The support and prayers
of those good folks who connected via “Team Molly” mirrors the scene in today’s
Gospel: the peace of God’s Risen Christ restores hope and mends the broken
hearts and spirits of Jesus’ friends.
Easter Gospels, the Risen Jesus appears, greeting the disciples with “peace” –
but the “peace” of Easter is nothing like our understanding of “peace.” We
often settle for peace that’s merely the absence of conflict, peace that
settles for nothing bad happening, peace that is equated with the status quo –
but too often fear and tension lie just below the surface of such
“peace.” True peace is rooted in the Gospel of justice and mercy; lasting
peace is possible only when the reasons for fear and doubt are
confronted. Peace – Christ’s peace – is realized when all are respected
and honored as sisters and brothers in the light of the Risen One. Thomas
Merton wrote that “instead of loving what you think is peace, love other[s] and
love God above all. And instead of hating the people you think are
warmongers, hate the appetites and the disorder in your own soul, which are the
causes of war. If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate
greed – but hate these things in yourself, not in another.” May we
become “witnesses” of Christ’s peace in our families and communities, our
churches and workplaces – and may the work of peace begin within