On this Third Sunday of Easter two of the disciples encounter Jesus whose greeting to them is “Peace be with you.” They are still trying to grasp all that has happened to him and the fact that he keeps appearing to them. He says to them, “Why are you troubled? … Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.” They are still overcome with fear that the Jewish leaders and the Roman soldiers will come after them and do to them what they did to Jesus. Jesus spends time with them, helping them understand that what the Scriptures had foretold has indeed taken place through him. He says “You are witnesses of these things.” This word “witness” is important for us because we too are “witnesses” of Jesus.
Monday, April 16, is the date in 1209 that Pope Innocent III approved the First Rule of Life for St. Francis. This is regarded as the date for the founding of the Franciscan Movement. We, Friars, generally renew our vows on that day.
This week I will be celebrating Mass for the Sisters of Divine Providence at Jeanne d’Arc Residence a few blocks away from here as they celebrate the 120th Anniversary of the founding of this residence for young women. When you think of all the women that they have served for these 120 years, we certainly can offer them a whole hearted “Congratulations” and a big “Thank you.”
-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.