Fifth Sunday of Easter

The Easter Season is certainly going by quickly.  It is already the Fifth Sunday of Easter.  We have so much for which to be grateful here at Saint John Paul II Parish.  We continue to rejoice in the new life among us.  Four members were received into full communion with the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil.  Last Sunday, we celebrated the baptism of Ellie Jean Beach.  Beginning this Sunday and for the next two Sundays, two infants and one child will be baptized.  On Saturday, May 5, six young people in our parish will complete their sacraments of Initiation with the celebration of First Eucharist.  On Saturday, May 12, another child will do the same. These seven children (receiving First Eucharist) were Confirmed by Father Pete Gaspenny (delegated by Bishop Cistone) at one of the regional Confirmations on February 15 at Holy Spirit Church.  Please pray for all the young members of our parish, especially those preparing to receive First Eucharist.

The Gospel passage from John for this Sunday presents us with another of the “I am” sayings of Jesus.  Last week, we heard Jesus say, “I am the Good Shepherd.”  This week, he says, “I am the vine, you are the branches.  Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.”  This image of the vine and the branches helps us understand what it means to be Church.  It expresses the strong connection between Jesus: the vine, his Father: the vine grower, and all of us: the branches.  Jesus accomplishes the mission of his Father and we, the Body of Christ, the life-giving branches, are an extension of Christ’s ministry he began while on this earth.  The life of Christ we received through the grace of Baptism established a relationship not only between each of us and the Trinity, but also with each of us and all our baptized brothers and sisters, as we are all daughters and sons of God.  We are called to holiness in Christ and to work together with Christ to bear fruit in building the kingdom of God.

Congratulations to Kurt and Joey Beach on the baptism of their daughter, Ellie Jean, on April 21!  May God bless you and your family!  May you know the support of our parish family as you introduce your daughter to the ways of the faith and help her grow in her love for Jesus.

Please note that May Crowning takes place at 6:00 PM this Tuesday.  Please join the members of the Rosary Altar Society for this devotion which will be followed by the Celebration of Mass at 6:30 PM.

Blessings on your Easter Season!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ