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May 19 - John 16: 5-11

Fr. Michael MachacekNativity of Our LordMay 22, 2020
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For the readings of today’s mass, go to

http://usccb.org/bible/readings/051920.cfm

Jesus says goodbye.  And sorrow fills the hearts of the apostles.  So St. John tells us as he continues his narrative of the farewell discourse of Jesus (chapters 13-17).  Now we know that this is not the final goodbye.  For the apostles will see Him again after his resurrection.  But within 40 days, Jesus would be gone for good, with His Ascension into heaven.

But they wanted Jesus to stay, which was only natural.  After all, He was their leader, their teacher, their guide, their friend, and brother.  With Him they could find strength even in the most difficult of circumstances.  But He says, no, He must go.  And He must go or else the Advocate, the Holy Spirit will not come to them.

He has done almost all His work.  It is time for them to prepare to take over, which they do, as we read throughout the Acts of the Apostles during this Easter season.  One can only imagine the apostles’ initial uncertainty – “Who, us?”  “Yes, you”, Jesus says.  You will continue My work.  And you can do it, with the help of the Spirit. 

I trust everyone reading this reflection can think of the times when we were forced to “step up to the plate”, to use a baseball terminology.  It was much easier to sit on the team bench and watch the game unfold. But then it’s our turn.  We need to step forward.  We are called to do what needs to be done.  No one else, just you. 

That’s where the Holy Spirit comes in to play.  Please remember when wading into a challenging situation, never be afraid to pause for a moment and call on the Spirit.  That’s what Jesus would tell the apostles.  That’s what Jesus tells us today. 

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The Archdiocese of Baltimore last week released an excellent video on the reopening of churches in that area of the State of Maryland.  It begins with a one minute address from Archbishop Lori and then the plan is unfolded.  This video may (an I emphasize the word “may”) be giving a preview of what we will doing in the Archdiocese of Toronto when the Province of Ontario gives us the go-ahead to prepare to open up. The link for the video is below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNIJVIgDYrk