This was certainly an active week in many ways. Locally, we heard about the resignation of Archbishop Nienstedt and Bishop Piche and the appointment of an Apostolic Administrator for our Archdiocese by our Holy Father, Pope Francis. This is a big change. Please see the inserts for more details. Pope Francis also released a new encyclical on the environment. I encourage you to read the document. Do not believe what the media states about the document. Find it online and read it yourself. The document has many good points. Finally, we must join in very sad and tragic shooting in a Christian Church in Charleston, South Carolina. This tragedy reflects a profound and disturbing hatred. We must pray for peace. We must ask God to forgive our sins and those of our brothers and sisters who have turned away from God and allow the spirit of hate to dominate their hearts and minds. I encourage all to go to the Sacrament of Confession, especially if it has been some time.
This weekend we celebrate Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day to all Fathers! All fatherhood points toward and is founded in the One who created human fatherhood: God the Father. Let us not forget to consciously unite ourselves in the Holy Spirit to Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of our Heavenly Father, and praise God our Father! Here is an excerpt from a catechesis from St. John Paul II on God the Father (given December 16, 1999):
“I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father” (Jn 16:28). The starting point for our reflection are the words of the Gospel which show us Jesus as the Son and Revealer of the Father. His teaching, his ministry, his very style of life, everything in him refers to the Father (cf. Jn 5:19, 36; 8:28; 14:10; 17:6). The Father is the centre of Jesus’ life, and Jesus in turn is the only way which gives us access to him. “No one comes to the Father, but by me” (Jn 14:6). Jesus is the meeting-point of human beings with the Father, who is made visible in him: “He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father?'. Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me?” (Jn 14:9-10). The most expressive manifestation of Jesus' relationship with the Father is his condition after the Resurrection, the summit of his mission and the foundation of new and eternal life for those who believe in him. But the union between the Son and the Father, like that between the Son and believers, comes through the mystery of the “lifting up” of Jesus, according to a characteristic expression of John’s Gospel. With the term “lifting up”, the Evangelist indicates both the crucifixion and the glorification of Christ; both are reflected on the believer: “So must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:14-16). This “eternal life” is no less than the participation of believers in the very life of the risen Jesus and consists in their insertion into the movement of love uniting the Father and the Son, who are one (cf. Jn 10:30; 17:21-22).
The deep communion in which the Father, the Son and believers meet includes the Holy Spirit, for he is the eternal bond that unites the Father and the Son and involves human beings in this ineffable mystery of love. Given to them as the “Consoler”, the Spirit “dwells” in the disciples of Christ (cf. Jn 14:16-17), making the Trinity present. According to the Evangelist John, Jesus says to his disciples, precisely when he is promising to send the Paraclete: “In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you” (Jn 14:20). It is the Holy Spirit who introduces man into the mystery of the Trinitarian life. “The Spirit of truth” (Jn 15:26; 16:13), he acts deep within believers, making the Truth that is Christ shrine in their minds. St Paul also stresses our orientation to the Father through the Spirit of Christ who dwells in us. For the Apostle this is a true sonship, which enables us to call God the Father by the same familiar name that Jesus used: Abba (cf. Rom 8:15). This journey of humanity and the world to the Father is sustained by the power of the Holy Spirit, who helps us in our weakness and “intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words” (Rom 8:26).”
Through the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God, St. Joseph, St. Michael and St. Paul, may the blessing of our Heavenly come upon us and lead us to true homeland in Heaven!