Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Have you been away from a loved one due to loss or separation?

Our Gospel this Sunday shows what true love means.  We find how the most true love of all emanates from the Heart of Christ, our Risen Savior.  

Our Lord experienced greatest pain in seeing His beloved apostle and friend, Judas, leave.  Christ gave another chance and extended His forgiveness to Judas.  But Judas still chose to betray His Master's love by saying no and totally alienating himself.  

For us, our human reaction to repeated betrayal and hurt might be anger or retaliation.  But, Christ has taught us how to respond - Christ turned a seemingly agonizing defeat into triumph of the Father's will.  Christ looked heavenwards and offered up His suffering to the Father.  Christ chose to sacrifice Himself even for the sake of those who caused Him great pain, all because of Love.  Christ's love for all of us who continue to hurt Him by our sins is the crown that glorifies the Father, the source of all Love.

Christ continues to reach out to us, calling us to remain in His love. No matter what suffering we might be facing, no matter what pain we might be enduring, Christ is asking us to turn our gaze on Him and surrender all to the power of His love.  Christ sends forth His Spirit and empowers us to be disciples of His love.   

Let us find strength in Christ's sacraments and celebrate His love as we follow His path and love one another as He commanded us - offering peace and forgiveness instead of hatred and violence, responding in generous service instead of self-indulging practices, spreading comfort and healing instead of oppression and injustice.

Then, we will come to realize that God and His saving power indeed dwells among us.  And we continue to rejoice trusting that God is glorified as Christ's Love remains forever in us.  

God is Love,

father Al