Jesus Appears to His Disciples
When life gets difficult, when we become lost, confused, and afraid, when the changes of life are not what we wanted or think we deserve; we tend to run away.We try to go back to the way it was before – to something safe, something familiar. Often we revert to old patterns of behavior and thinking. Even when we know better and do not want to go backwards it seems easier than moving forward.
Peter and six others have returned to the sea. They have left Jerusalem. They have come home to the Sea of Tiberias, the place where it all began. Discipleship, the upper room, the cross, the empty tomb. Peter decides to go fishing. He knows how to do that. It is familiar and comfortable. Perhaps it takes him back to life before Jesus. The others are quick to join him.
We can leave the places and even the people of our life but we can never escape ourselves or our life. Peter may have left Jerusalem but he cannot get away from three years of discipleship, the last supper, the arrest, a charcoal fire, denials, a crowing rooster. He cannot leave behind the cross, the empty tomb, the echoes of “Peace be with you.” So he fishes. Peter fishes for answers. What have I done? What were those three years about? Who was Jesus? Where is he? Who am I? What will I do now? Where will I go? What will happen to me? Peter is searching for meaning, a way forward, a place in life. Peter is dark night fishing.
We have all spent time dark night fishing; asking the same questions as Peter, looking for our place in life, seeking peace, and some sense of understanding and meaning. More often than not dark night fishing happens in the context of the failures, losses, and sorrows of our lives. It happens when we come face to face with the things we have done and left undone. We have all been there, fishing for answers in the darkness.
“Children, you have no fish, have you,” Jesus says. This is more a statement of fact than a question. Jesus is not asking for a fishing report. Peter is living in the pain and the past of Good Friday. He is fishing on the Good Friday side of the boat and the net is empty. There are no fish, no answers. The nets of dark night fishing contain nothing to feed or nourish life.
Wonder if we have been fishing on the wrong side of the boat? Jesus seems to think so. “Cast your net to the right side of the boat,” Jesus says, the resurrection side of the boat. This movement of the net from one side of the boat to the other symbolizes the disciples’ resurrection. Jesus calls us to move out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life. In so doing we see and proclaim, “It is the Lord,” and
· Emptiness gives way to the abundance of a net full of fish, large ones, a hundred fifty-three of them;
· Darkness dawns a new day with new light;
· A new charcoal fire kindles hospitality in place of the cold ashes of rejection;
· The last supper has become the first breakfast;
“It is the Lord.” Good Friday is real. Pain, death, sin are a reality of life. But the greater and final reality is Easter resurrection. “Follow me,” Jesus says, “and live as resurrected people”. Follow me and fish in a different place. “Follow me” is the invitation to examine where we have been fishing. On which side of the boat do we fish? On which side of the cross do we live? Good Friday or Easter Resurrection.
ANNUAL BISHOP’S APPEAL
We kindly ask you to respond to the Eparchial Appeal for this year. We appeal to each one of you to give generously so we can meet our goal. Please be generous to extend a hand of support to our mission.
St. Raymond’s has collected $4,470.00 so far and our goal is $8,500.00. If we don’t reach our goal, the parish has to make up the difference. We have to reach our goal by the end of April.
St. Raymond’s Cathedral
Our Lady’s Inn
We will be collecting baby items for
the month of April. Please place your generous donation in the boxes.
Thank you for your generosity!!
Save the Date
On Sunday May 22nd one liturgy will be celebrated at 10 am during which His Excellency Bishop A. Elias Zaidan will ordain Mr. David Wahby and Mr. Anthony Simon to the ministry of Sub-deacon. Following the Ordination there will be a celebration lunch in the Cedars Hall.
MYO Hafli — April 30th at 7:00pm
Come join the fun (you only have to dance if you want to). We will provide pizza and soda. Bring something to share (chips, fruit, veggies, etc) and plan to have a great time! Young people ages (13-18) are encouraged to attend and participate. Current 8th graders should come too and get to know MYO.
RSVP Susan DuBois text 636-579-3442 so we know how much pizza to order.
Flyers for the NAM Convention hosted by the Maronite Parish of San Francisco are available in the vestibule. We encourage you to consider joining all the Maronites nationwide for this special gathering from July 6-July 10, 2016.
In Defense of Christians (IDC)
In Defense of Christians is a nonprofit organization committed to the preservation and protection of Christians in the Middle East. IDC’s goals are to unite the Middle Eastern Christians, to make the general public more aware of the plight of Christians there, and to stand in solidarity with the Christian communities in the region. A chapter of IDC will be established here in St. Louis. Anyone interested in participating or being a part of this chapter, please contact the Rectory (314-621-0056).
A meeting for all participants in IDC will be held on Tuesday April 19th at 7pm at the Cedars Hall. Your support and presence are appreciated.
Mondays Rolling Cabbage Rolls @ 8:30am
Tuesdays Making Kibbi Aras @ 8:30am
Wednesdays Preparing Lunch 8 am– 11am and
Serving lunch on the line 11:00am–1:30pm
Carry-Out 11am- 2pm
Liturgy Time Change
Beginning Sunday June 5th, there will only be one liturgy celebrated on Sundays at 10 am until the Fall. Saturday liturgy will remain at 5 pm.
Men’s Society Golf Tournament
On Sunday June 5th, the Men’s Society will be hosting their Annual Golf Tournament in Memory of Mike Buckley. The Golf Tournament will take place at Union Hills Golf Course. Registration and Sponsorship forms are available in the vestibule of the church.
Sub-Deacon Candidate’s Corner
As part of our formation, one of the goals of our ministry is to help parishioners develop a greater understanding of our rich Maronite Catholic History and Heritage. In furtherance of that goal we will be adding a short explanation to each bulletin about some aspect of our faith. This continues the discussion about our Maronite Liturgy.
Blessing with the Gifts: In a natural gesture of benediction, and as a fitting conclusion to the Eucharistic mystery, the celebrant blesses the faithful with the consecrated gifts.
Prayers after Communion: The first prayer is normally addressed to God the Father and is a prayer of thanksgiving. The prayer usually develops the theme of our thanking God for making us worthy to partake of the Holy Mysteries, which enable us to persevere in piety, grant forgiveness of sin and life in the world to come. The second prayer is usually addressed to the Son and is known as a prayer of imposition of hands, which is a traditional gesture prior to dismissal. The last blessing and dismissal stresses the theme of peace, the Eucharist is spiritual nourishment, and that the altar of Christ is a "Purifying Altar." The invocation of the Trinity is reminiscent of Christ's final words to the disciples before He ascended into Heaven.
The Farewell to the Altar : The Divine Liturgy of the Syriac Churches includes a final prayer where the celebrant privately addresses the altar. This prayer symbolizes in striking manner the intimate bond between the priest and the altar. It implies that the essence of priesthood revolves around the eternal sacrifice of Christ and its inexhaustible graces. The human priest is called to be the steward of these awesome mysteries. In this prayer the altar is personified and the priest offers a gesture of peace. He expresses the desire to return in peace, which is the hope of all of humanity as it struggles in this unstable world. Realizing his sinfulness, the priest hopes that the Divine Gift that he has offered would obtain his own forgiveness and prepare him for the judgement that all humans must undergo. Again, the priest expresses his anxiety about the uncertainty of the present age and asks Christ, whom the altar symbolizes, to guard him. Since the Church herself is sailing on stormy seas, he asks Christ to protect her as she fulfills her mission to be the "way of salvation" and the "light of the world."
Taken from A Commentary on the Holy Mysteries: The Holy Mystery of Offering (Qorbono)
By Chorbishop Seely Beggiani (https://www.stmaron.org/divliturgy.html)
If you have questions about Catholic teaching or our Maronite tradition, or would like to suggest a topic, please email us or tell us the next time we see you. Thank you and God Bless.
Weekly Finances April 10th-April 17th
Expenses: $6,136.75 (Examples: Laclede Gas for Church and The Cedars, Building Insurance)
This does not include Wednesday lunch
As we have announced in the past, we are still in great need of altar servers at ALL MASSES. We are looking for all interested BOYS AND GIRLS that would like to serve at mass to send an email to Tony or David. We would love to have more servers and can teach you everything you need to know. NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE NECESSARY