Livonia, Michigan

From Fr. Tom

Hopefully you had a blessed week filled with many signs of God’s love and His presence. Keep your eyes open, He is alive and always present in your life!

On this third Sunday of Easter, we continue to hear Gospel accounts of Jesus’ appearances to his disciples following his Resurrection. Today’s reading, taken from the Gospel of Luke, follows immediately after the report of Jesus’ appearance to his disciples on the road to Emmaus. This is the event being recounted by the disciples in the opening verse of today’s Gospel.

Consistently in the reports of Jesus’ post-Resurrection appearances, Jesus greets his disciples with the words, “Peace be with you.” This is a most appropriate greeting. The disciples have witnessed the death of someone they loved, and they now fear for their own lives as well. Peace is what they need more than anything else. Jesus often connects this greeting of peace with another gift—forgiveness. In today’s Gospel, this connection is made in the final verses.

Even as they hear Jesus’ greeting of peace, the disciples are startled and terrified. They are uncertain about what to make of the figure before them and, quite understandably, they mistake Jesus for a ghost. Yet the figure before them is not a ghost; Jesus invites them to experience his resurrected body with their senses, to look and to touch. The figure before them is flesh and bone, still bearing the marks of crucifixion. Although the disciples cannot forget his suffering and death, peace begins to take root in their hearts, as their fears turn to joy and amazement.

As further proof of his identity and of his resurrected body, Jesus eats with his disciples. The disciples have known Jesus best through the meals that he has shared with them. Descriptions of these meals are a defining element of Luke’s Gospel. By eating with his disciples after his Resurrection, Jesus recalls all these meals, and most importantly, he recalls the Last Supper.

Luke’s report of the Last Supper and the meals that Jesus shared after his Resurrection unveil for us the significance of the Eucharist. So, too, our celebration of the Mass is an encounter with Jesus, through the Word and the Sacrament of the Eucharist. As Jesus commissions his disciples to be witnesses to what Scriptures foretold, our celebration of the Eucharist commissions us. Like the disciples, we are sent to announce the good news of Jesus’ forgiveness of sins.

P.S. I’d like to thank all of you for coming last Sunday for The Divine Mercy Hour. It was truly a blessing to celebrate God’s Mercy with you. We had three priests ministering the sacrament of reconciliation for many people. The Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was beautiful. Thank you, Pat and your crew, for the uplifting music. Please, never stop praising God’s Mercy, because “it endures forever!”

Over this weekend you will see a new statue in our church, the statue of St. Michael the Archangel. One of the first things that really surprised me when I came to St. Genevieve – St. Maurice parish was the prayer to St. Michael. When I started that prayer after my first Mass, people immediately responded. Being a Michaelite, a member of St. Michael the Archangel religious community it’s my obligation to spread his message. Every third Tuesday we celebrate The Devotion to St. Michael, and to have his statue in the church is crucial. Why should we develop our devotion to St. Michael?

Michael, Hebrew Mikhaʾel, Arabic Mīkāl or Mīkhāʾīl, means Who is like God!!! He is repeatedly depicted as the “great captain,” the leader of the heavenly hosts, and the warrior helping the children of Israel. Early in the history of the Christian church he came to be regarded as the helper of the church’s armies against the heathen and against the attacks of the Devil. He holds the secret of the mighty “word” by the utterance of which God created heaven and earth, and he was “the angel who spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai” ( Acts 7:38). The numerous representations of Michael in art reflect his character as a warrior: he is shown with a sword, in combat with or triumph over a dragon, from the story in the Book of Revelation. May St. Michael always protect us and our parish Community from the Devil and his attacks. May we always proclaim through our life “Who is like God.”

You are all invited on this Tuesday for 7 pm Mass and the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with the chaplet to St. Michael. Just before Mass we’ll bless our new statue and entrust our parish to St. Michael’s powerful protection. St. Michael – pray for us.

May your week be blessed!

Fr. Tom