Dear brothers and sisters,
Today St. Mark gives us one of the most amazing phrases in his entire Gospel. When Jesus gets off the boat and sees the crowd, Mark tells us: “His heart was moved...” Jesus has a human heart, and he took one on purpose: so that he could be close to us. He truly cares for us; he feels our needs and struggles even more deeply than we feel them ourselves, and he continually reaches out to be our leader, our light, and our strength. When we accept these gifts, he is pleased, truly gratified. However, when we reject them, he is hurt, truly stung by our ingratitude. This is the lesson of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which has, through the centuries, confided its sorrows to certain chosen souls, like St. Gertrude and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. When we are dealing with Jesus Christ we are not dealing with an idea, a concept, a philosophical “unmoved mover,” as Aristotle described God. In Christ, God has become man, someone just like us; in heaven, this very moment, he exists as a man, body and soul, and he is “preparing a place” for us in heaven (John 14:2). Through the Holy Spirit and the Church, he extends his friendship to us, trying to draw us more fully into the indescribable joys of his own divine life, so that someday, when the time is right, we may enjoy that place he is preparing for us in heaven. We all know this, but how deeply do we believe it? Not deeply enough; that’s why the Church constantly reminds us that God urgently desires our friendship. Every human being desires to live in communion with God; only those who find Christ get to live out that communion in the form of a real, human friendship.
Congratulations to Analia Kolakowski, our parish Director of Faith Formation, who recently completed her final project in the Diocesan Lay Ministry Program, and this past Tuesday was officially commissioned as a Lay Minister by Bishop Bambera at a special Mass in Scranton. Her three years of hard work, and the completion of her project, are not only a testimony of her growing discipleship, but also an example of servant leadership to the people of St. John’s. I offer my gratitude for her continuing service to the Church. If any person is interested in the call to Lay Ministry, please feel free to speak to myself or Analia about the formation program that the Diocese of Scranton offers.