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“Do not let your hearts be troubled” – Staying Connected to St. Charles 5th Sunday of Easter

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Dear St. Charles Family and all Friends in Christ,

When the circumstances of life shake our faith, the Lord speaks to us and says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  You have faith in God; have faith also in me.”  These words, from this Sunday’s Gospel, are what Jesus says to the disciples at the Last Supper after they have heard from Jesus that one of them would betray him, that he would be with them only a little while longer, and that Peter would deny him three times before the next morning.  The disciples are filled with uncertainty about the future, but Jesus reminds them that they have experienced the certainty that is the fruit of faith.  It is the certainty that moved them to leave everything and follow Jesus.  He says to them, “you know the way.”  What was it that they recognized in Jesus that moved them to leave behind their livelihood and families and set out with Jesus when they didn’t know then where he was leading them?  They recognized in Jesus the presence of God – a presence that filled them with hope and a certainty that the road ahead was good.  In this time of pandemic, when no one can predict with any certainty what the “new normal” will look like or where this is all headed, we can feel a lot like those disciples at the Last Supper.  It is not the circumstances of uncertainty that have caused the crisis of faith, but that the disciples have forgotten who Jesus is for them.  They have in a sense taken him for granted and instead put their hope in their own plans, ideas, and efforts.  Like Philip in this Sunday’s Gospel, we can be with Jesus a long time and still not really know him.  This pandemic, if it has shaken us, has made clear that we have placed our faith in something other than Jesus.  Jesus is calling us today to renew our faith or to deepen our faith in Him.  He is calling us to recognize his presence.  He has not abandoned us.  Anyone who has said “yes” to Christ’s call to “follow me” in the vocation of marriage or a religious or priestly vocation has known the “way” of which Jesus speaks.  The presence of God that we have encountered makes sense of our life, fills us with new life, and sends us forth with great hope.  We are a people of faith – we have faith in God, but sometimes we forget who Jesus is for us.  May we remember the times that we have felt chosen by Christ and “called out of darkness into his wonderful light”.  These are experiences of his mercy upon us that make us aware that we belong to Him.  So even in uncertain times, we place our trust in Him.

Please join us via our Facebook live stream as we celebrate the Mass this Sunday at 10:00 a.m. (in English) and 12:00 p.m. (in Spanish).  Please follow the Mass on our Parish Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/scbbensalem/ and share this link with family, friends, and other parishioners.  Please also subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSf0XIKmwgRsxkG80ItXrwg to view the Mass posted on YouTube.  Please share the YouTube link with those who do not have Facebook.

The readings for Mass this Sunday are available here in English: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/051020.cfm

Or through Magnificat’s Celebration of the Word: https://us.magnificat.net/skin/frontend/default/theme278k/images/site/Celebration_US.pdf

Or here in Spanish: http://www.usccb.org/bible/lecturas/051020.cfm

This Sunday’s Bulletin is available here: https://www.e-churchbulletins.com/bulletins/511434.pdf

The St. Charles Borromeo Website is the best way to keep up to date with parish news and Archdiocesan updates.  Please bookmark our website: http://stcharlesbensalem.org

I ask for your continued financial support of the parish during this time when we cannot gather for Mass.  I am very grateful for the generosity of the many people who have maintained their weekly offering or given even more at this time.  Thank you to all who have made a special gift for our families in need.  If you have not already done so, please become an on-line donor using our electronic giving service accessed here: https://scbbensalem.churchgiving.com  Those who prefer not to give on-line, please mail your offering envelope to the rectory or drop it through the mail slot in the front door of the rectory office.  No gift is too small.  Every gift makes a difference.

St. Charles Borromeo Church will be open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. for private prayer.   Please note, until the suspension of public Mass is lifted, the church will be closed temporarily during the time when I am celebrating Mass in the church privately.  During the week, the church will be closed between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m.; on Sunday, between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

 I invite everyone to join me in a weekly on-line reflection on the Sunday readings.  Please email me at fr.forlano@stcharlesbensalem.org, and I will send you a link to join the on-line meeting through Zoom.  The discussion for men is at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays.  The meeting time for women will be determined based on the response.  Please suggest a time (morning, afternoon, or evening).

Jesus says in this Sunday’s Gospel, “I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be”  (Jn 14:3).  One of the ways that Jesus fulfills that promise and makes this communion with God possible is through the mystery of his real presence in the Holy Eucharist.  We are offering a four week study through formed.org on the Eucharist.  Please sign up for Formed at https://formed.org/signup and join us! (details below)

 

 

A happy Mother’s Day to all mothers!  All mothers living and deceased will be remembered at the 10:00 a.m. Mass this Sunday.  Have a great weekend and “Do not let your hearts be troubled”!

Sincerely in Christ,

Fr. Forlano

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