Saint Theresa Parish

A Roman Catholic Community
5045 E. Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018
(602) 840-0850 Parish Office
(602) 840-0871 Parish Fax  

Parish Email info@sttheresaphx.org

Parish Office Hours
Monday through Thursday
9:00AM-Noon & 1:00PM-5:00PM
Friday 9:00AM-Noon          Sunday 8:30AM-12:30PM

Closed Saturdays
& most Federal Holidays.

Liturgy Schedule
Saturday Vigil Mass 4PM
Sunday Masses
7:30AM
9:00AM (Liturgy with Children)
11:00AM and
5:00PM (Teen and Young Adult)

Daily Masses
Monday through Friday
6:30AM and Saturday at 8:00AM
Holy Day Masses as announced in bulletin prior to the Holy Day.

Sacrament of Reconciliation
(Confession)
Saturday, 9:00AM to 10:00AM
Wednesday, 5:00PM to 6:00PM and by appointment

Pastor

Rev. Charles G. Kieffer

Parochial Vicar 

(Associate Pastor)

Rev. Joachim Adeyemi

Rev. J.C. Ortiz

Assisting Priest

Rev. Paul Peri

Deacons

Colin F. Campbell

Mark Kriese

Ralph Ulibarri

 

Saint Theresa Catholic School
5001 East Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018

www.stcs.us

(602) 840-0010 School Office
(602) 840-8323 School Fax

 

 

Administration
« Reflections - April 28, 2019 | Main | Reflections - April 14, 2019 »
Thursday
Apr182019

Reflections - April 21, 2019

My Brothers and Sisters,

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad!” This verse, from Psalm 118, is the refrain from the responsorial Psalm of Easter Sunday – and these words so well sum up the Church’s spirit as we celebrate the Lord’s resurrection today. 

We rejoice in the fact that Jesus was lifted from death by the power of the Father’s love; we rejoice in the faith of “the disciple whom Jesus loved” who – upon entering the empty tomb, “saw and believed” (John 20:8). We rejoice in what this means for all of us who have been conformed to Christ, the Risen One, through our baptism: we, like the Risen Christ, have the promise of eternal life following our own death.

Admittedly, this is “a lot” for us to get our heads around, particularly because we live in a culture that is generally based on logic and empirical evidence. Beyond the discovery of the burial cloths and the cloth that had covered the head of Jesus in death, there was no solid evidence of Christ’s resurrection when the Apostle John stepped into the empty tomb. Bodily resurrection, life after death was a totally illogical and preposterous concept for the first-Jew, and yet something clicked inside of John. Through faith, he “saw and believed.”

Bodily resurrection after death, eternal life is no more logical or empirically proven in the twenty-first century than it was in the first century. Yes, we have an unbroken line of 2000 years of believers who have trusted that the Easter message is true… but this is based solely on the free will decision of each individual to use his or her free will to believe – or not. Often, that belief took a Christian an entire lifetime to perfect.

Today we will have the opportunity to renew our baptismal promises – those promises that we made (or our parents and godparents made for us) at the time of our baptism. Two of the articles of faith that we are invited to say “I do” to are: “Do you believe in Jesus Christ… who was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered death and was buried, rose again from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father?” and “Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of the saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting?”

True belief in such intangible things as resurrection and life after death is seldom something we arrive at instantly. Most of us aren’t quite up to the standards of the disciple John who “saw and believed” on the spot. We learn in the readings of Mass over the Fifty Days of Easter that many of the disciples were comparatively slow to believe. Their faith in the resurrection of Jesus as well as “the resurrection of the body and life everlasting” was something that evolved over the course of time and involved various steps and stages. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that the Church sets aside a period of fifty days – from now through Pentecost Sunday – to allow us to reflect on and grow in our faith in the Lord’s resurrection and the new life that the Risen Christ promises us after death.

As we profess our faith in the Renewal of Baptismal Promises and are sprinkled with the waters of baptism, the same water blessed and used at the Easter Vigil of Holy Saturday evening to baptize those who completed their initiation into the Catholic Christian faith, may we – like the majority of those first century disciples - be open to that evolution of faith and deepening of belief that leads us to accept the reality of Christ’s resurrection and its effects on our own lives, both now and for eternity. “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad!”   

 

Easter peace and joy,

Rev. Charles G. Kieffer

Pastor