Friday, May 22, 2015

May 2, 2015

Do you love me? What a question. What words. We hear that question often in our lives when someone wants assurance from us that we love them. We ask that question when we need assurance that we are loved. The question is so basic: Do you love me?
It is with this mood that we approach the gospel lesson for today in which Simon Peter, the big fisherman and the leader of the disciples, is asked that same question by Jesus three times. Do you love me? Jesus wants to know about Peter’s love.
This question gets right to the heart of the matter. It deals with the central issue between us and God. God doesn’t ask what church activities we are involved in. God doesn’t want to know if we are a theological conservative or liberal. God detours around our stand on church issues and doesn’t question the amount we give to church causes. Though all of these are important they are not the most important. Rather, God focuses on our hearts. He asks if all that we do, say and are, flows out of love for Jesus Christ.
Jesus too is feeling our pulse for a passionate, burning devotion, He wants to know, “Do you love me?”
What happens when we answer:”yes God, I love you. Yes Jesus, I love you. Yes, spirit, I love you.” What happens? Notice the final two words Jesus says to Peter: “Follow me!” Do you see the connection? I can follow Jesus only when I love Him. I can deny myself, take up my cross, and follow Him only when I love Him. I can profess Him and join His church only when I love Him.
Have you even wondered how fans can stand in line for hours to buy tickets to a rock concert or a football game? It is because they love the band or the team. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had people doing the same thing to get into church? Love makes sacrifice a privilege, service an honor, suffering a joy.
We see that in the life of Lord Jesus. We see that in the life of the disciples. We see that in the life of the Apostle Paul. “Do you love me?” The bottom line is this: the Lord wants our love. Think of the Great commandment that God gave and recorded in the Old Testament, “ Love the Lord you God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” God, in Christ, wants our love. He wanted Peter’s love, even though Peter denied Him three times. The Lord Jesus wants your love: no matter how faithful or faithless you have been, no matter whether you denied Him or professed Him, no matter how strong or weak your faith may be, no matter how you have fallen into sin or practiced righteousness, no matter what! “Do you love me?” What is your answer?

As everyone is aware, Saint Raymond Parish has the wonderful custom of gathering for coffee and donuts after the 9 am and 11 am Sunday Liturgies.  These coffee socials are an important fabric of Saint Raymond Parish as they unite family and friends week after week.  We are in need of some help in continuing the hospitality of our coffee socials.  Please consider forming a small team of one or two people to prepare the coffee with the help of the instruction booklet! Our hope is to get several small teams so that each team would only volunteer once per month.  Please considering serving in this important ministry for the Cathedral Parish.  If you want more information, or wish to volunteer, please contact the rectory office at 314-621-0056 or May God bless you abundantly.
The sound system is complete! To date, we have collected about $20,000 of the $48,000. Please consider donating if you haven’t already. Thank you to those of you who have. Hopefully you can  HEAR the difference! God Bless you all.
Loving God,
You wrap your arms around your people and show your everlasting love in the same way a mother loves her children. We are grateful for the love you have taught us through the mothers in our lives: our own mother who brought us into this world, the mothers of friends who have welcomed us into their homes and families, our grandmothers who took time for us,  and the mothers who have helped us even though we were not their children. Bless all the mothers of this world today. May they know the fullness of love they have shared and be blessed every day of their lives.

Sincere thanks and appreciation  to those of you who sent a contribution to the Eparchy Appeal. We reached our goal of $8,500.00  The money raised will help our National  Shrine, our seminarians , our Missions and many other important casues.

The NAM convention will take place in Cleveland, Ohio July 1-5, 2015. Those who wish to attend and participate may pick up fliers and information from the vestibule of the church or visit the website of NAM at for more details.

A general meeting for the festival will take place on Monday May 11, 2015 at 7:00 pm in the Lebanon room. Everyone is welcome to attend and participate! Remember it is a parish function and every person is part of it!

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