Rev. Father Francis Stevenson, Pastor
Assigned Tahoe City: July 1, 2019
From Our Pastor Father Francis
Sixth Sunday of Easter
May 9, 2021
One particular aspect of the Byzantine Catholic Church I appreciate is their refreshing perspective on so many different things that we, as Roman Rite Catholics, sometimes take for granted. For example: the beautiful way they name their special liturgical celebrations. The beautiful theme for Easter Monday, the day after Pascha, is called “Birthright Monday.” How many of us see our faith as our spiritual birth right?
We can apply this solemn theme to our readings this Sunday. Jesus defines again what genuine agape love is all about. It’s about laying down our lives for our brothers and sisters and abandoning our Wills to Almighty God. But how do we do this? We do it simply by embracing His Commandments and the teachings of His Church. Do we see the Commandments and His Divine teachings as our birthright? They are gifts for us—not burdens. So many Catholics want to dismiss the Commandments, and Church teachings, because they find them difficult. They don’t see them as necessary gifts and tools needed to grow in Divine Grace. Paraphrasing the 6th Chapter of John’s Gospel v. 66– “the saying was hard and many walked away.” The Commandments and the teachings of the faith are our birthright which we receive at baptism. Why don’t we appreciate them? Let us not try to alter them or discard them from our tradition. Our Blessed Lord has shown us how we can grow and be perfected in Divine love. The Commandments and the teachings of our Faith are not burdens, they are our birthright. Will we receive and embrace them with enthusiasm and joy— or will we be like the many… who walked away.