Message: The Bible and the Eucharist sustain us; the pope and bishops keep us from meandering and getting lost.
This has been a difficult week for our parish. Like me many of you feel traumatized by the death of Fr. Valencia. Before giving the homily I want to thank you for your prayers, hugs and condolences.
At the end of the homily I will introduce our 2017 Annual Catholic Appeal witness speaker. I will say something about Fr. Valencia's ministry in relation to the Appeal.
The Annual Catholic Appeal relates our Easter theme: Life in Christ. Life in Christ as we have seen so far means listening to God, opening ourselves to the abundance of his mercy and his Word. Today we focus on Life in Christ as a walk with Jesus.
In the Gospel we see two disciples walking to a village called Emmaus. They feel discouraged, even heartbroken because of Jesus' death. A stranger, a pilgrim, joins them. Like us they do not recognize the presence of Jesus, yet he walks with them.
The walk with Jesus involves the Scriptures. Last week I invited you to my Take the Plunge Bible Study. Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus our hearts will burn within us. Like them we will see how Jesus fulfills the Jewish prophecies, psalms and history.
But there's more, much more. When they invite the pilgrim into their home, he takes bread, says the blessing, breaks and gives it to them. They then recognize Jesus. He disappears from sight because of his true presence now in the Eucharist, the Mass.
So Word and Sacrament; the Bible and the Mass - both are essential to our walk with Jesus. And the Gospel shows another detail. The two disciples run back to the Apostles. They hear, "The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon."
In our walk with Jesus we need Simon Peter and the Apostles. For us today that means the pope and bishops. In our Parish Mission statement we say, "Blessed to live in this beautiful valley, we are Christians in union with Pope Francis and Archbishop Sartain..."
Our walk with Jesus includes union with the pope and bishops. With that in mind I turn our attention to the Annual Catholic Appeal. It supports the Archbishop and all the ministries he supervises. The Bible and the Eucharist sustain us; the pope and bishops keep us from meandering and getting lost. So the Annual Appeal is part of our walk with Jesus.
The Appeal connects with Fr. Valencia. He personally gave to the Appeal and he was passionate about ministry to youth - a crucial part of what the Appeal supports. By a nice coincidence our witness speaker will report on our United Youth Group and how the Archdiocese supports youth ministry in St. Mary of the Valley. With that in mind I ask you to now give full attention to ________________.
From Archives (Third Sunday of Easter, Year A):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
Take the Plunge Bible Study (audio resources)
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Fr. Brad's Homilies
Fr. Jim's Homilies
Fr. Michael White's Homilies ("messages")
Bulletin (St. Mary's Parish)
Parish Picture Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru