Happy Fifth Sunday of Easter - Remove What Does Not Bear Fruit

04-28-2024Pastoral Reflections©LPi — Father John Muir

My friend and fellow pastor, Father Paul, noticed unsightly, overgrown trees near his parish church. He asked the maintenance crew to cut back the growth, which they happily did, telling him the trees would be much healthier and even fuller after a good pruning. A few days later, Father Paul received a letter from an irate man in the neighborhood who wrote, “Jesus would never prune trees like that. He loves trees, unlike you.”


4th Sunday of Easter - I Am The Good Shepherd

04-21-2024Pastoral Reflections©LPi — Father John Muir

Recently I was with my little dog Libby at a retreat center in the Arizona desert. I sat in a chair near a ravine filled with shrubs. Unbeknownst to me, Libby wandered down there and disappeared. Suddenly an animal’s wild shriek erupted from the area. Without thinking, I bolted down into the ravine fully expecting to see coyotes, javelinas, or rattlesnakes. I didn’t care. I desperately wanted to get Libby out of there, without any selfregard. Before I could face whatever danger lay hidden, my dog blissfully trotted out from an entirely different area, utterly unaware that I had (quite heroically) just placed my life on the line.


How to Fail Your Way to Heaven

04-14-2024Pastoral ReflectionsTracy Earl Welliver, MTS

You know what are some of my favorite moments in Scripture? The little “Easter eggs” of Jesus’ humanity, things like Jesus falling asleep, Jesus drawing in the sand, Jesus playing with kids. And how about Jesus rising from the dead, appearing to his disciples and saying, “So, have you got anything to eat?”


2nd Sunday of Easter (Sunday of Divine Mercy)

04-07-2024Pastoral Reflections©LPi — Father John Muir

A protestant pastor friend of mine was invited to meet Pope Francis with a group of other pastors. He noticed the Pope’s chair was especially ornate and set at the head of the group. He somewhat playfully said, “Holy Father, why do you get that special chair?” The group chuckled nervously at my friend’s audacious chide.


Easter Season 2024

04-01-2024Reflections and Resources

Alleluia! This Hebrew word is a powerful prayer which means “Praise the Lord!” It is a prayer we now voice to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from the dead; it was absent from our liturgies during the season of Lent. The liturgical Easter season extends from Easter Sunday through Pentecost Sunday, May 19. The season includes Divine Mercy Sunday (the Second Sunday of Easter, April 7) and Ascension Thursday, May 9. The Fourth Sunday of Easter, this year celebrated on April 21, is often called Good Shepherd Sunday because the gospel reading is always one of the stories about Jesus, the Good Shepherd. The Sunday first readings during the Easter season are from the Acts of the Apostles, the story of the early Church, while the second readings, which focus on our lives as Christians, are all from the First Letter of John. Most of the Sunday gospel readings are from John’s gospel. You can read about The Acts of the Apostles (outline, themes, etc.) on Fr. Felix Just’s Catholic Resources webpage, catholic-resources.org/Bible/Acts.htm. Fr. Just also has a webpage with many resources regarding the Gospel and Letters of John at catholic-resources.org/John/Intro.html. You can prepare for every Sunday’s readings at liturgy.slu.edu/.