It seems that nearly every Sunday, when I read the Gospel for the Mass, I find myself saying, “This is my favorite passage in the Gospels.” The encounter of the Lord with Saint Peter recorded by Saint John in today’s Gospel is another such instance. Three times Jesus asks Peter, “Do you love me?”, and three times Peter says, “You know that I love You!” Jesus gives Peter a chance to make up for his threefold denial after His arrest by affirming three times that he loves Him. But Jesus knows that love does not consist in merely proclaiming it; it is made real in action. Therefore, Peter is commanded to “feed my sheep”. The Lord entrusts Peter with the care of His Church.
But the care of the Lord’s Church is not only the responsibility of Peter and his successors. It must be the responsibility of us all. The fulfillment of this obligation demands an active love from each of us. We contribute to the common good of society and to the welfare of the Lord’s Church by the wise use of our time, treasure, and talent. In this regard, I wish to thank the many parishioners who support our parish generously. Your generosity is truly a great blessing for us all! As your pastor, I need to remind you that the support of Christ’s Church is not only an obligation, but a privilege! You and I together have the privilege of sharing our gifts for the good of our parish. Another very simple way of serving and strengthening the Church is to extend an invitation to others (particularly inactive Catholics) to join us for Mass on Sunday and to a regular participation in the life of the Church. You probably frequently encounter Catholics who have drifted away from the practice of the Faith. This is a great opportunity for you to share your faith – and you may be pleasantly surprised at the favorable response you may get.
Last weekend we were privileged to celebrate the Confirmation of the young people from our parish and the other parishes throughout the deanery. Today, Sunday, we celebrate the First Communion for our children. May the Lord, Who nourishes us with His own Body and Blood, strengthen in faith these young children, their families – and all of us – through the reception of the Most Holy Eucharist!
May God bless you!