Category Archives: Pastor’s Corner

Father Harrison’s Message for the Seventh Sunday of Easter

I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
(Psalm 27 – Psalm for the Seventh Sunday of Easter)

During this bleak time of the pandemic these words may seem hollow.  Where can we actually see the good things of the Lord?  When will we be able to do everything just as we had done in the very recent past?  How will we be able to live as before?  We are continually confronted by the problems created by one of God’s smallest creature – a virus.  And we, the best of all creatures, are confounded by the workings of this minute organism.  Where are those good things?  Are they just the promise of heaven, whenever we may arrive there?  Do we have to “tough it out” here in order to receive the reward hereafter?

When Philip asked Jesus to let the apostles see the Father, He questioned Philip, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and still you do not understand?  If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.”  Have we been with Jesus all this time (the whole of our lives for most of us) and still we cannot see the good things of the Lord?  They are all there, in that same living person, Jesus.

Jesus is everything to us, quite literally.  In Him do we find the image of God, the love, mercy and understanding of God, not as coming from a philosopher or an academic paper, but from God, Himself!  He has described the kind of world that He wants for us, not merely as a possibility but as a project to be completed – by us!  Look beyond the evils of the day and ask what is needed here or there.  You will find that the answer lies in the descriptive words of Jesus – love your neighbor as yourself.  The answer to our present problems is not simply in a vaccine for the virus – as significant as that may be – but rather in the strong, vibrant faith of the individual follower of Jesus – us.  We carry around in our hearts the answer to the problems of mankind.  When the virus has diminished, there will still be hunger, hatred, prejudice, inequality, etc.

Do we really want the good things of the Lord – here, on earth?  Then we must open our eyes and recognize the answer before us: we must be peace in the midst of war; we must be love in the face of violence; we must be hope in the face of despair; we must be self-sacrifice for the oppressed; we must be home for the homeless!

To do this we must not be distracted. We must stay focused on Jesus!.

A Message from Father Harrison

Alleluia!   Alleluia!   Alleluia!

Happy Easter to everyone!  Now each of us must ask ourselves the question – “Has Easter changed us this year?  How has it changed us?  Or did it just slip by?”

Easter tells that world that we are part of a new life, a new life style, with new goals and strengths and vision.  It does not just speak of a day in the past when this Jesus rose from the dead, as though that were all that is involved in the celebration.  If that were the case, would there really be any reason for us to be excited about one man riding from the dead?  None!  We say that we are also part of His new Life – that we are united to Him, personally, not simply institutionally – that as St. Paul tells us that we already one with Him in glory.

How will we live that glory; how will we explain what that glory is; how will anyone else come to understand our new situation, our new life style – except that we act differently from what we were before Easter.  That is how we, human beings, communicate the most important thing about ourselves – by acting them out.  Our lives become the most basic and dynamic tools for telling someone else about what is happening in our hearts – not just a philosophy about life, but what is really occurring in the inmost recesses of our characters, what has begun to burn away the callous characterizations of others that have allowed us to ignore their needs or their human dignity, or that have caused us to consider our good more important than the good of others (…love your neighbor as yourself…).

All should see that we are changed and that the model of that alteration in Jesus, Himself.  Nothing short of that!  That is what Easter is all about.  If He were dead and gone, we could not be like Him.  But He is not dead!  He is alive!  Therefore, we can be united with Him in this life, and be like Him, and love like Him, and hold the needy in our arms like Him, and address the pain of others like Him, and embrace the rejected of the world like Him, and give hope to those cast to the periphery of life like Him.  We can do all things like Him because we live in Him!

That is Easter!  But is it happening in us?  During the corona virus troubles, we see the human condition as vulnerable – because of the sickness; but also powerful – in its ability to sacrifice for others.  Now, if we consciously keep Easter vibrant and active in our hearts and allow that life to grow throughout the course of our future, we will begin to see the real power of our Easter celebration – what the whole world can be like with Jesus!

Pastor’s Corner: All Talk> Where Will the Light Come From?

We are now continually offered various visions of a future America from a host of imaginations – Republican and Democrat. They are offered in good will and with well founded hope that they can actually be elected to bring those visions to fruition. These visions are offered from the candidates’ experience and their love for our country.

Ultimately, it will be up to the voters to make a choice among these good people. How will we listen to them  in order to make the best choice? Will it be from a purely partisan viewpoint? Will we hear from the prejudice of our own expectations? Or will we listen to these possibilities from the perspective of the Wisdom of God as expressed first from the Scriptures, and then, from the teachings of the Church over two thousand years?

As voters, we must supply a light to read the plans offered by each candidate. Through the prism of Scripture and faith we can see the real value of the presentations and discern what will be the most important steps to be taken, and by whom. We cannot make the mistake of relegating Scripture and the moral teachings of the Church to the privacy of a humble, individual opinion. Nor can we seek to impose such views on anyone. As our Holy Father, Francis, has insisted – we must propose them to others as the truest way for mankind to reach its highest levels of development and reciprocal care. And the proposal must always be couched in a credible witness to the Gospel of Jesus – a life dedicated, in fact, to the Gospel! Without this, our words will ring hollow and be seen for what they are – superficial and hypocritical. That will gain nothing for anyone. We must bring the light of commitment to the teachings of Jesus if the truth will be known and voters will be able to see a new direction offered, not by candidates, but by God, Himself.