Gulf Pine Catholic

Gulf Pine CATHOLIC VOLUME 38 / NUMBER 16 April 2, 2021 BY BISHOP LOUIS F. KIHNEMAN, III We as a Church need to experience the life of Jesus. This is the way we come to know him and expe- rience his love. The word of God invites us into a deep relationship with Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the Spirit of Jesus, and we, as Roman Catholics, truly need to embrace the Gospel of Jesus. The healing of Bartimaeus, the calling of Peter, and the Last Supper are all encounters with Jesus that are truly meant for us. These are encounters of faith. The Healing of the Blind Man Bartimaeus: But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage; get up, he is calling you.” He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way. (Mark 10:48b-52) The Calling of Peter: After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that they were in danger of sinking. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sin- ful man.” For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, and like- wise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon. Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” When they brought their boats to the shore, they left every- thing and followed him. (Luke 5:4-20) Bishop Kihneman Bishop Louis F. Kihneman III’s Easter Message us), “And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up” (3:14). Jesus -- the Son of Man -- was lifted up on a pole, and he says to us that if we truly believe in him, we will also be healed and hear his call, “so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life” (3:15). The suf- fering, the lifting up of the Son of Man on the cross, and his death, allow Jesus to touch our wounds. Those moments of our lives where we have been hurt, our moments of weakness, our faults, our mistakes, our failures and sins, we bring before the cross. And Jesus says from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). The Sacrament of Reconciliation is an important moment to feel Jesus’ healing touch. Standing in front of the cross, we accept the crosses in our own lives, we ask God to forgive us, we ask God to heal us, and we ask God to bring us peace. He heals our wounds and our sins through the Sacrament. Through the Word of God and in faith, we are invited into the Paschal Mystery which is the life, pas- sion and death, and Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus. Part of entering the Mystery of our Salvation in Jesus is accepting our cross as Christians. Another part of the Paschal Mystery that we are called to enter into is the empty tomb. Imagine being there at the Resurrection, and letting the light of the Resurrection and the dawning of new life in God into our lives. It is no longer about the darkness of our faults, our sins, or of our failures, but about the inviting the light of Jesus into every part of our lives and letting it surround us with his love. It is about the love of Christ and letting God touch us deeply, personally, and intimately, let- ting God bless us and be with us; and letting Jesus bless our lives and be so present to us that we share in his Resurrection! It is a WOWmoment! It is a moment of light and love – light and love for us, light and love for one another, and the light and love of God. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17) Jesus Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! The Institution of the Eucharist at the Supper of our Lord: While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgive- ness of sins. (Matthew 26:26-28) As the Apostles walked, talked, and lived with Jesus and experienced these wonderful miracles, so do we as Jesus’ modern day apostles and disciples. Yes, we are called to faith and to grow in our relationship with Jesus in prayer, in the Word of God, in the Sacraments, and especially through our life in the Church. In John 3:14-15, Jesus instructs Nicodemus (and