Happy Feast Day! How exciting it is to celebrate the Feast of Saint John Paul II on Sunday this year with the assigned Scripture Readings and proper prayers for the feast, to sing a festive Mass setting, and to continue the celebration with brunch at Saint John Paul II Parish Center. I would like to express my gratitude to the Pastoral Council for suggesting a parish brunch as a way of bringing people together, Judy Rugenstein for overseeing the food preparation, and all who helped out in any way. Special thanks to all who have chosen to celebrate this festive occasion with fellow parishioners.
Today’s Gospel passage is taken from the end of John’s Gospel. The risen Christ has eaten breakfast with the disciples. When finished, he asks Peter: “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Following Peter’s response, Jesus says, “Feed my lambs,” yet Jesus asks him twice more, “Simon, Son of John, do you love me?” Peter gets a bit distressed at having to answer the question again and again. His last response is, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus tells him, “Feed my sheep.” Recall what we know about Peter from the Gospels: he made a profound profession of faith in Christ, Christ called him the “rock” upon whom he would build his church, Peter denied Christ three times, and after the Resurrection, he professed his great love for Christ (a love that led him to give his life totally to Christ, ending with crucifixion). We, as disciples of Christ, are called to continue to enter into deeper relationship with him and to witness our faith in Christ through word and action, and thus, “Open wide the doors to Christ!” Saint John Paul II certainly did this. His motto was, “Totus tuus,” a Latin phrase which means “totally yours.” This is a great motto to adopt in imitating our patron and following his example of faithful discipleship. Saint John Paul II, pray for us!
Today is World Mission Sunday. It is sponsored by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith as a day set aside for Catholics worldwide to recommit themselves to the Church's missionary activity through prayer and sacrificial offerings. Our support of the World Mission Day collection is vital to the missionaries serving in 1,150 dioceses throughout Asia, Africa, parts of Latin America and Europe, and on the Islands of the Pacific. Please use the special envelope that has been included in your envelope packet; you may place it in the collection any time this month.
Two Missions are taking place in our area in November: one is in our vicariate at Christ the Good Shepherd Parish. The topic is: A Spirituality for an Evangelizing Parish. The dates are Sunday night through Wednesday nights, November 5th- 8th from 7:00 – 8:15 PM. The speakers are Paulist Father Ed Nowak and Felician Sister Judy Blizzard. Please check out the bulletin boards this weekend and the bulletin inserts next weekend for further information.
Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ