FIFTH SUNDAY OF THE RESSURECTION
JESUS DELIVERS THE OFFICE OF SHEPHERD TO PETER
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 our 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 your 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?
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
St. Raymond’s High School Scholarships
The deadline for High School Scholarships is Sunday May 15th. If you are interested, the forms (hot pink) are on the table in the vestibule.
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 $4,890.00 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.
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
On Monday May 2nd @ 8:30 am we will be making Tabouli to serve on Wednesday May 4th. We are in need of volunteers to help pick parsley, chop tomatoes, and chop onions.
The MYO Hafli on Saturday April 30th has been canceled.
The 2016 National Maronite Youth Workshop is July 16-21 in Latrobe, PA.
Please contact Susan DuBois or the rectory if you are interested in going and would like more info. Information for the retreat will be on the table in the vestibule. All travel arrangements must be submitted by June 16th.
Weekly Finances April 17th-April 24th
This does not include Wednesday lunch
St. Raymond’s Benevolence Society
Thank you to Mary Denny and Pam Gazall for organizing the April 3rd event that raised $427. The money raised went into the Benevolence fund to help those in need.
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.
What the Maronite Church has to offer to fellow Catholics, fellow Christians, and non-Christians?
On November 21st, 1964, the Holy See in Rome, published a Decree on the Catholic Churches of the Eastern Rite, the Orentalium Ecclesiarum, as reaffirmation of the value, place, and legitimacy of the Eastern Rite Churches in the Universal Church. This document re-establishes the Eastern Rite as part of the Apostolic Heritage that makes up the Universal Church; that many of the traditions that were observed from the very birth of the Church by the Eastern Rites have become the building blocks of the Universal Catholic faith and doctrine. The document confirms the validation of the separate Rites and their hierarchy within the Universal Church; each Rite is equally considered part of the Universal Church.
An excerpt from the Orentalium Ecclesiarum:
“These individual Churches, whether of the East or the West, although they differ somewhat among themselves in rite (to use the current phrase), that is, in liturgy, ecclesiastical discipline, and spiritual heritage, are, nevertheless, each as much as the others, entrusted to the pastoral government of the Roman Pontiff, the divinely appointed successor of St. Peter in primacy over the Universal Church. They are consequently of equal dignity, so that none of them is superior to the others (as regards rite), they enjoy the same rights, and are under the same obligations, also in respect of preaching the Gospel to the whole world (cf. Mark 16, 15) under the guidance of the Roman Pontiff.”
Furthermore the Eastern Churches are given the right to honor their customs and traditions as the Universal Church recognizes that these Rites are the custodians of their liturgy, customs, and traditions. This being said the traditions of the Antiochene Rite Churches, Maronite being one of these Rites, have provided the Universal Church traditions and artifacts that continue to offer any Catholic a view to where and how the church has grown to what it is today.
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.
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