At Mass today, we hear this passage from St. John’s Gospel: “No one has greater love than this to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”This is what Jesus did and what we are asked to do. I believe that in all of our lives we have experienced the “laying down of one’s life.” Parents do this, families do this, friends do this. These are the times when we are asked, to not just observe what is happening to others, but to become involved and even to go out of our way. We put aside our own comforts and needs because there is something greater that asks for our attention. In our self-centered world, what Jesus did for others is needed even more. As followers of Jesus, we are the ones who “make a difference”, who take seriously the command to “love one another.”

The Gospel also says “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you.”

This Thursday, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. You may have lived in another part of our country where it is celebrated on a Sunday, but not here in the northeast. Our vigil Masses are Wednesday afternoon, and on Thursday we will follow our regular Mass schedule. We will also have our regular Confessions schedule Wednesday afternoon and Thursday.

Next weekend I will be accompanying members of our Filipino community and other parishioners on a pilgrimage to Boston. We will have Mass at our Franciscan St. Anthony’s Shrine, visit Holy Cross Cathedral and have a tour of the Kennedy Library. It will be a full two days. Pray for us!

-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.