Fifth Sunday of Easter

May 2, 2021

Today we celebrate the Fifth Sunday of Easter. In today’s Gospel Jesus gives us another good image for reflection. Last week it was the image of the Good Shepherd. This week it is the image of Vine and Branches. Jesus, the vine, invites us to stay attached to Him in order that we might bear fruit. Apart from Him our deeds may be good in the eyes of the world, but they are not going to help us accomplish the will of our Father in Heaven.  Jesus tells us, “By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.” Today’s image is another call for us to reflect on our journey of discipleship. Are we striving every day to remain attached to Jesus and His Church? Are we feeling the nourishment in our branches by attached to the true vine? In today’s other reading we hear of the fear the disciples in Jerusalem had when Paul arrived. They knew his reputation of persecuting the Church and trying to destroy the Church. Not until Barnabas vouches for him do any of the disciples trust Paul. As we continue reading the story of life in the early Church, we find the Church was at peace and was growing in numbers. It was due to people hearing the good news and wanting be part of the mission of discipleship.

As we speak of discipleship today, I am pleased to announce that the Parish Council has voted unanimously to update our Parish Mission Statement. There is a long statement in our Annual Parish Directory of what our mission is at St. Luke.  How many of you have ever seen it?, can quote it?, strive to live it? These were the questions posed to the Council as we began to discuss the meaning and purpose of a Mission Statement. We enlisted the aid of the Archdiocesan Director of Stewardship, Mr. Dave Baranowski, who pointed us to what was on the Archdiocesan website under St. Luke the Evangelist Parish. It read, “St. Luke the Evangelist Parish is a community of Catholics in the Archdiocese of St. Louis endeavoring to live out the Joy of the Gospel, and to bring others closer to our Lord Jesus Christ, through our commitment to being missionary disciples who know and live the Faith.” After several PC meetings we adapted this and came up with and even simpler statement: “We are a community of intentional disciples striving to know, love, and serve the Lord.” Short, simple, easy to memorize. The Parish Council hopes to be able to use the new Mission Statement as a unifying path forward and an opportunity for all of us to focus on the basics.

Today we begin the sale of “Keep All Life Sacred” yard signs. During this month of May we ask the intercession of Our Lady of Life to bring success to this simple effort. For a very reasonable donation of $5.00 you can purchase a sign that comes with the metal stand and place it in your yard. Be sure to get yours today as we have a limited supply.

Finally today, as we enter the month of May, this is traditionally “Mary’s Month”.  It’s the season of renewing our devotion to this very special woman whom Jesus gave to us as He hung upon the Cross. During May, please pray the rosary, offering your intentions through Mary for those you love, our parish, our sick, the recently departed, whatever. In the beauty of the rosary we can find great solace and peace. As we meditate on the mysteries of the life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus and Mary’s place in all of this we can grow deeper in love with Jesus and Mary. We can feel her maternal love embracing us in good times and bad, in all the events of life as any mother does. Try it, you’ll love it.

God Bless! Happy Easter, Alleluia!

Please continue praying 3 Hail Marys.

Fr. Pete