A Faith Community

Second Homily

Dear Parish Family of St. Thomas of Villanova,

Tomorrow night is the final opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to experience God’s healing and forgiving love before Easter. We will have five priests available at 6:00pm on Monday—ready to hear your Confessions. Come—after all, it is Holy Week.

I would like to share with you this Reflection on Palm Sunday which crossed my desk:

Were You There? Being a Catholic today can be a lonely place, for the followers of Jesus are now the most persecuted of all -- a reality, says Pope Francis, the world seeks to hide. No wonder a line in an American spiritual asks: “Were you ther e when they crucified my Lord?” Mark’s ac- count of the Passion, proclaimed today, has Jesus in his hour of need calling out the words of the prophet Zechariah which foretell why so few would re main with him on Calvary: “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be dispersed.”

Will we stay with Jesus when the staying gets tough? Will we have known Him, lived his truth and told his story deeply enough that, when these moments come, there will be no other for us and abandoning Him will not be an option? We should know Him for He continues to carry us up that hill. We should be living His truth for He is the tr uth. We should be telling His story for it is one of love without end for us.

Peter got it right when in his first moment of crisis he confessed: “To whom should we go, Lord, for You have the words of everlasting life.” When Pe ter later got it wrong in the courtyard, he loved Him so much he was able to come back and die for Him.

Each time we fall short, remember only one road leads to Jesus, and it passes by the Cross.

Just a friendly Pastor’s reminder to remember your St. Thomas of Villanova Parish Family at Easter time. Our Parish Finance Committee is asking you to contribute $175.00 as your Easter gift—if at all possible. You are all great and generous stewards when you give from your heart and your faith in the love of the Lord. Our Easter collection is a very important part of our year ly budget. Thank you as always for what each of you do for our Parish, and thank you for your stewardship of time, talent and treasure.

On your behalf, we sent birthday greetings to our Chief Shepherd—Archbishop Blaise Cupich. He was busy on St. Joseph’s Day blowing out his birthday candles. We promised him your daily prayers for him.

And coming soon to your local Church:

• Holy Week
• Living Stations of the Cross
• Easter
• Christ Renews His Parish
• Trivia Night

Rev. Thomas R. Rzepiela

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