Dear Community and Friends of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi,

May the Lord give you peace.

Our Easter Season is drawing to a close. As we began on Ash Wednesday, I suggested that this is a 90-day journey of transformation for all of us. How are you doing? Our goals were to be more loving, kinder, and to deepen our relationships with the Lord and with one another. We have gathered Sunday after Sunday to attend to God’s Word and be nourished by our sharing
in the Eucharist.

We had incredible celebrations of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. It was amazing to see so many people come to participate in the foot washing. Some folks were so overwhelmed by the experience that they were in tears. (Next year, the friars asked for knee pads!) The veneration of the Cross highlighted our remembering of the Passion of the Lord on Good Friday. The reverence and awe of each person as they approached the cross was very moving. The Easter Vigil was an extravaganza! The fire was spectacular, the new Paschal Candle was decorated for the praise of creation. I hope you have had a chance to look at it. We were blessed with the celebration of baptisms, confirmations, and the First Eucharists.

In the weeks since Easter Sunday, we have listened to the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel of St. John. As we attend to the Acts of the Apostles, we see the early church modeling what Jesus had done and realize our challenge to do the same. In John’s Gospel, we have accounts of the disciples’ experiences of the Lord’s resurrection. Jesus offers peace, gives the Holy Spirit, and empowers them to forgive. In the encounter with Thomas, Jesus invites him to touch his wounds and believe. We, too, often touch his wounds in the brokenness of our world and are called to believe. The disciples on the way to Emmaus do not recognize the One who recounts the constancy of God’s love until he breaks bread with them. Often, we only realize that the Lord’s grace has touched us in our reflection on our experience.

In the return to the earlier chapters in John, read through the lens of the resurrection, Images of the Good Shepherd, the gatekeeper, and the gate. Jesus identifies himself as the way, truth, and life. Jesus calls his hearers to love and prays for the disciples.

As we prepare for Pentecost, let’s look at how far we have come and give thanks for the support of the community as we have made this journey together. In our reflection rooted in experience and the scripture, we may realize that the Lord has been on the road with us. He lovingly leads us into ever deeper communion.

Peace and all Good,

Fr. Tom, ofm