Weekly Bulletin and Mass Intentions

Weekly Announcements
Month of the Blessed Sacrament

  1. Volunteers are needed for the Food Pantry on the 2nd & 4th Tuesdays and Wednesdays of the month from 10am – 2pm. We will have the food pantry April 24/25 and May 8/9.
  2. On Wednesdays at 6:00pm there is the weekly Church gathering where there will be the opportunity to join in discussions of the Catholic Faith, History and Sacred Scripture. Everyone is invited. Adults preparing for Sacraments must attend.
  3. We are still in need of various projects to be done or completed. If you have maintenance skills, please see Father to assist.
  4. Parish celebration in honor of Saint Joseph, May 1 with Mass at 6:00pm followed by dinner in hall.

Third Sunday after Easter
Rev. Pius Parsch

Yet a little while

Three weeks have passed since the glorious feast of Easter. During this time holy Mother Church centered her affection and attention on the resurrection of the Savior. Each day during the first week we met Christ in one of those beautiful apparitions described in the Gospels. On Low Sunday, together with Thomas, we saw Him and touched His glorified wounds. Last Sunday we flocked round our Good Shepherd who at Easter called us back into His fold and now leads us into the verdant pastures of His holy mysteries. Up to this moment, therefore, the Church centered the attention of eye, ear, and mind on the risen Redeemer. Beginning this Sunday she divides her attention, directing her gaze likewise to the mystery of Redemption in its final phase – with reference to Christ and to ourselves. Today, therefore, for the first time is there mention of Christ's ascension into heaven. Note how clearly it is put in the Gospel, "A little while and you shall not see Me. . . because I go to the Father." These words, however, do not imply that the Church will be sad and mournful because her Spouse is leaving. No, the joy of Easter does not diminish, rather it increases. Look at the very first words of the Mass: "Shout joyously to God, all the earth, alleluia; sing the glory of His Name, alleluia; render Him glorious praise, alleluia, alleluia." These sentiments would not arise from a heavy heart, such as the apostles have in today's Gospel. The Church is happy beholding her Savior ascending to heaven, because her own home is not on earth; heaven is her true home and she yearns to follow her Spouse as soon as possible. The Head leads, the members and the body follow. This brings us to the second point, what the future holds in store for us. When we were celebrating Easter, we felt as though we were in heaven. With Peter we could have exclaimed: "Lord, it is good for us to be here. Let us set up our tents here." It seemed as if we had forgotten our earthly existence. But now in clear and forceful words the Church reminds us and the newly baptized that a Christian's life is hard and difficult, a life filled with sufferings, struggle, and trial. We are still on pilgrimage to a heavenly home.

1. Holy Mass (Jubilate). "Cross on earth, crown in heaven!" This proverb expresses well the spirit of today's well coordinated Mass formulary. Joy, therefore, and the praise of God is the predominating mood, as indicated immediately by the Introit. Alleluia is its key word, not an extraneous appendage; this is easily seen if the wording is rearranged as follows:

"All nations, shout joyously to God: Alleluia

Sing this song to His Name: Alleluia.

Honor Him with words of praise: Alleluia, alleluia."

The Oration reminds us of the days when we all were wandering in the darkness of sin; then at Easter God showed us the light of His truth. It is now our duty to remain on the path of righteousness. In baptism we received the name "Christ"-ian! This name, this nobility obliges us to lead a holy and worthy life. The Epistle, another message from St. Peter, describes the Christian as a "stranger and pilgrim" on earth. Because his fatherland is heaven, the world remains foreign to him; and for the same reason he refrains from worldly profit and pleasures. Living among the children of the world, he walks the path of righteousness. His actions are silent, eloquent sermons that frequently prove most powerful as incentives unto moral improvement. Gladly he obeys the government, an instrument of God. The apostle concludes with four brief rules for earth's pilgrim:

Be on good terms with everyone. Show special love toward members of the (Christian) community. Maintain a childlike reverence toward God. Honor the king.

These words summarize the duties we have toward our fellow men. The Alleluia points out again how Christ is our model, "It was necessary for Christ to suffer and to rise again from the dead and thus enter into His glory." That this holds for us too is shown in the Gospel. The "little while" of the Gospel harmonizes well with the "pilgrim" theme of the Epistle. The passage is taken from Jesus' farewell sermon to the apostles at the Last Supper; here it is addressed to us as His farewell sermon before the ascension. As I hear these beautiful words the thought should come spontaneously: My Savior is leaving, these are His farewell words to me.

Let us reflect somewhat at length on these words, and isolate their mystical import. Likewise in our lives there are two "whiles", bringing the same experience to us as to the apostles. "A little while, and you shall not see Me" – this may well refer to our earthly sojourn during which our Lord is not present visibly. "You shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice." Life on earth, for the most part, holds but tears and toil with many misfortunes for the children of God. They are regarded with contempt by "the wise of this world," who pass their lives in a whirl of pleasure and boisterous gaiety.

Now it is most consoling to realize that this earthly life will last only for "a little while" and then suddenly will come the second "while" when "you shall see Me again. . . and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no one shall take from you." Yes, when we die the glorified Savior will suddenly stand before us; all suffering will be forgotten, for we will be standing on the threshold of everlasting joy. The words "a little while" have become a treasured phrase to Christian hearts; in loving repartee it passes back and forth between Savior and disciple, acting as a charm on souls longing for union with their Spouse.

With a hymn of praise on our lips we approach the altar, and under the symbol of an Offertory gift we unite the sorrow of our "little while" with the Sacrifice of Christ. Echoing the Epistle, the Secret requests that the fruit of this Sacrifice "quiet our earthly desires and develop a love for heavenly things"; evidently the Church wants us to take very seriously St. Peter's Epistle message. For the Communion we chant the "little while" passage from the Gospel, now adorned with Alleluias. The Eucharist is our viaticum during the "little while" of this earthly pilgrimage and likewise the pledge of heavenly reunion in the second "while" hereafter. "May the Eucharist be lifegiving nourishment for the soul and a means of protection for the body" (Postc.).

2. Divine Office. In Matins today St. Augustine speaks of the "resurrection of the body," a timely and important topic in the present season. "During these holy days dedicated to the Lord's resurrection, we intend with His assistance to discourse upon the resurrection of the body. For this is indeed a dogma of our faith; in the flesh of our Lord Jesus the gift of resurrection has been promised to us, and what we hope for has been realized in Him beforehand. For He wished not merely to predict but to demonstrate concretely that which He spoke about during the last days of His earthly life. “Recall how His disciples shrank away in fear when they saw Him, supposing that they had seen a ghost, until they grasped and touched His firm flesh. He spoke to them not merely in audible words, in a visible form He appeared to their eyes; nor did He stop with this—He even yielded Himself to them to be handled and touched. And He said to them: Why are you troubled and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? For they believed it was a ghost before them. Why are you troubled, He asked, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? See My hands and My feet; handle and see-a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have. But as men they disputed the evidence. For what else can men do, men who perceive only the things of men, but dispute about God, even against God's own word? He is God, they are man. But God knows the thoughts of men that they are vain. To carnal men daily experience is the one rule that determines what they should accept as true. The commonplace they believe, the unusual they do not. . . .”

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