Date: Sunday, May 07, 2023
I am grateful for the people who ask questions. A question indicates the person is listening and is seeking clarification. Thomas and Philip ask critical questions of Jesus at the Last Supper. Facing the cross, Jesus tells the disciples the end of their fellowship is near. The disciples are naturally upset. Jesus calms them. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God and faith in me.” Jesus explains, “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places, and I am going to prepare a place for you.” Jesus promises, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way.” Thomas speaks up, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus responds, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Philip then pipes in, “Show us the Father.” Jesus replies, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?”
The question of Thomas and the request of Philip are both profound and childlike in their simplicity. Our inner child wants to return or be at home with God and to catch a glimpse of God. Jesus is both the way to and the reflection of God. For all of us who remember the questions and answers in the Baltimore Catechism, we are created to know, to love and to serve God on earth and to be happy with him in heaven. We cannot see God intensely now, but we can see God indirectly in creation; we can see God revealed and hidden in Jesus and disguised in the poor; and in our acts of love and of goodness and in works of beauty here on earth.
Apostles Thomas and Philip are important to us because they have the spiritual curiosity and honesty to ask questions and then to interpret the meaning of the words of Jesus and of his redemptive/sacrificial life, death, and resurrection. The apostolic witness articulated in the New Testament remains normative for all Christians. All of us who are entrusted with responsibility of living and sharing the faith are indebted to the witness of the apostles. We are inspired by Thomas and Philip (and Martha and Mary of Bethany) mentioned in the Gospel according to John who engage Jesus in conversation and ask questions that clarity and explain our belief today. They are asking questions for us!
The closing of the spring semester of our Family Faith Formation and Y-Disciple programs is happening this weekend. Saturday afternoon our teen confirmation candidates are on retreat with John Wilde (Homer’s son) and present at 5 PM Mass. Families are meeting Sunday morning in Selbert Hall for an interactive session on how we can live our Catholic Faith during the summer months. On Monday evening, May 8th at 7 PM, Bishop Mike Fisher will be here to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation for us and for teen and adult candidates from the five parishes in our Family and candidates from two parishes outside our Family. Melissa Weisenburg (Director FFF) and Marty Ruhland (Y-D) are speaking at Masses on Saturday and Sunday to thank parents and guardians for the primary role they play in sharing/living the faith. Melissa and Marty will also ask for new volunteer catechists and mentors to assist the parents and children. Family Faith Formation is the responsibility of the entire parish community. In the Church of the Annunciation, we joyfully announce with Mary of Nazareth, our blessed Mother, the mystery that God is with us in Jesus Christ.