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 - May 26, 2019 | Main | Reflections - May 12, 2019 »
Thursday
May162019

Reflections - May 19, 2019

My Brothers and Sisters,

On this Fifth Sunday of Easter, we hear in our Gospel reading (John 13:31-33a, 34-35) an excerpt of Jesus’ farewell words to the disciples at the Last Supper. Once again, like last week’s Gospel, we are taken back to the period prior to Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. The words that the Lord shares with his disciples come immediately after his washing the disciples’ feet and the betrayal of Judas becoming evident. “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.  This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” 

How significant these words are – particularly in that they are spoken right after Judas has left the room, setting off to betray the Lord. I’m sure that the impact of those words was not lost on those eleven remaining disciples, especially as they reflected back on them following Jesus’ arrest later that same evening. “As I have loved you, so should you also should love one another.” Even in the face of stinging betrayal. Even when confronted by the most unloving actions imaginable by a trusted one. “Love one another” – continue to love one another – even when it would be understandably reasonable to lash out, to be unloving. Why?  Because Jesus himself has given the ultimate example of loving each of us – and we, as the sheep of his flock, are called to follow (or imitate) him.

Just as these words of Jesus were significant for those first disciples who heard them after the Last Supper, so should they be for you and me… as present-day disciples of the Risen Christ.

Each day, it seems, we encounter one opportunity after another to take offense at what another person says, or we can feel ignored or rejected by a real or perceived lack of gratitude or attention from someone from whom we might rightly expect it, or we hear a bit of gossip that’s being passed about us or about someone we care for, or we find ourselves hurt by being ignored or overlooked by a person we thought was a friend.  The understandable human reaction to any of these situations is to harbor resentment, letting unspoken anger seethe inside of us.  Or perhaps we try to exact revenge of some sort, either directly or passive-aggressively.

Do any of these reactions make us feel any better? Maybe there’s a fleeting, gleeful “gotcha!” moment, but really do we feel better? Has life improved? Chances are, we still feel hurt – and the resentment continues to churn within us… corroding us from the inside out.

“Love one another – as I have loved you, so should you love one another. This is how all shall know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Jesus is calling us to love one another, even when we are hurt (do you think Jesus stopped loving Judas after his betrayal?). “Love one another” – at minimum, this means “wishing no harm on another,” but hopefully we can allow God to “stretch us” so that we can actually do something positive for the other, even the other who hurts us.

Think of what a difference would be made (even in our own lives) if we consciously reject hatred of someone who has hurt, betrayed or insulted us – and instead substitute love. Loving as Christ loves us, forgiving and accepting each of us for who we are. It seems to me that this imitation of Christ would be “the” formula for us to let go of resentment and find peace, even when we are hurting.

Earlier on in John’s Gospel (chapter 10, verse 10b) Jesus says: “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” The “they” he speaks of is you and me. Jesus’ will for us is to have a life of abundant joy and fulfillment in this life and in the life to come. The way to that abundant life is the way of love. Loving as he loves.

 

Grace and peace in the Risen Christ,

Rev. Charles G. Kieffer

Pastor