From the Pastor’s Desk

My Dear Parishioners,

We heard in today’s first reading how our Lord Jesus is the font of salvation. It is only through Him that we are truly saved. He made it impossible for believers to bring the news of this salvation to others by sending the Holy Spirit. One of the first ways this was communicated was when Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, was able to affect a cure for one who was crippled. Peter’s power was not of his own making; he was given the power to do as Jesus had done in His name here on earth. The Scriptures are filled with examples of how the Lord Jesus cured those who were ill, and manifested God’s love to all that He encountered.

Unfortunately, Christ’s salvific message sometimes fell on deaf ears. This is why Peter had to explain to those who saw the miracle cure that it was truly Jesus who brought it about. Peter taught them that by crucifying Jesus, they had made Him the stone that was rejected. Yet, now it was becoming more evident that Jesus had become the Cornerstone of humanity’s salvation.

The idea of Jesus as a Cornerstone is expanded in our Psalm response. In it we also hear it is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. There is much truth to this. Throughout the ages we can see how this has borne itself out. Knowing that we have Jesus to rely on is, indeed, a message of hope for each of us. We celebrate that in a special way during this season of Easter. Those who trust in Jesus are the ones who can truly rejoice in His victory over sin and death. This may bring to mind the words of John, that God so loved the world that He sent His only son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish (Jn 3:16). This tells us in a very clear way of God’s love and mercy for humanity.

This love has become known and felt by us. It is revealed to us as we listen to today’s Gospel. In it we hear that Jesus is the Good Shepherd. It is through His gentle leadership that we are able to fully and happily live our lives. As it states in the second reading, we are children of God. Think about how parents protect and nurture their children. In an even greater way, the Good Shepherd nurtures and protects us. God sent His only Son into the world, so that we may have the hope of eternal life in heaven.

Jesus states in the Gospel that, like the shepherd protecting his sheep, Jesus lays down His life for the flock. But Jesus not only talks about laying down His life, but also about taking it up again. This is a reference to the Resurrection, which we are celebrating during this Easter season. The Good Shepherd does not let us stray too far from Him. We are His flock and He keeps us close to His heart, continually guiding us back to the Father. In the Lord Jesus is the salvation that we seek. It is the Lord in whom we find true refuge. Knowing this helps us experience the Lord in a wonderful way. Blessed be His Name, now and forever! All Blessings of the Risen Lord,

Msgr. Maresca