My Dear Parishioners,
The Easter message, announced at the tomb of the risen Lord, is the story of God’s great love for us. It is the story of God’s unending mercy as seen in the life of Mary, and in God’s plan of reconciling us to himself through Jesus. It is the story of God’s people throughout history and the Christian era. Each of us is invited by God to make this story our own, to acknowledge God as creator and thank him for our redemption through Jesus. We believe that God created us in his image and likeness. We sometimes find it difficult to understand how God can love us so much that he will forgive us, even our most serious sins. Yet today’s psalm reminds us that God is full of mercy and is ready to deliver us if we place our trust in him. Are we willing to give ourselves over; to admit our need; to trust in God? How can we come to know God better? This is the challenge for each of us especially in the midst of this crisis. We should never give up or lose hope. God is always with us and will give us the strength and hope needed to stay the course and get through this together. “Do not be afraid.”
In today’s Gospel from St. John the message is clear. We can only know the Father through Jesus, so we must first know Jesus. As the story unfolds Jesus reminds his disciples that they already know the way to his Father’s house. After all, he had been teaching them and revealing to them God’s mercy and love. Yet, Thomas says they do not know where Jesus is going nor do they know the way to the Father. It looks like the disciples could not see the forest for the trees.
The disciples might also be telling the truth. We sometimes have a difficult time finding our way to the Father. Like the disciples, we do not always see or remember that Jesus is the way. Yet, each of us has met Jesus. We receive his word in Sacred Scripture and share in his Body and Blood in the Eucharist. We are one with Jesus in each of the sacraments of the Church. However, each of us must also grow in our understanding of Jesus. We must deepen our relationship with him by letting him into our lives and into our hearts. We are to share our innermost selves and weaknesses with him because he is our loving Savior.
If we fail to grow in the knowledge of Jesus we will find ourselves asking the same questions as Thomas and Philip and missing the opportunity to know the Father and of his great love for each of us. By the guidance of the Holy Spirit we will be given the wisdom to trust in the words of Jesus that he is the way, the truth, and the life.
God Bless, Msgr. Maresca