April 29, 2017

Announcements

•This Monday, May 1, at 6:30 PM, in the abbey Church, Bishop Kevin Vann will bestow the sacrament of Confirmation on our students. All are welcome to attend; a light reception will follow in the high school.
•On Sunday, May 7, we will have our annual Spring Concert, at 7:00 PM, in the Perpetual Help room.  All are welcome to attend.
•Please make sure you are registered with FACTS by May 20th if you plan to make monthly tuition payments next year. Contact Mrs. Kwon for details.
•Sunday, May 21, is the Spring Sports Awards Ceremony, at 7:00 PM, in the Perpetual Help Room.  All are welcome to attend.
•Monday, May 29, is the school’s Graduation, at 7:00 PM, in the abbey courtyard.  A reception will follow.  All students are required to attend and should arrive by 6:30 PM.
•All seniors have been given 10 complimentary graduation announcements. There are additional graduation announcements available at $3.50 each. Contact Mrs. Christian.
•Congratulations to all the students who earned a reward on the National Latin Exam!

Athletics

•Congratulations to Fr. Alan and our baseball team.  We are currently undefeated in league play!
•There are no baseball games next week (the Tuesday game was cancelled).  During the following week the games are as follows:  May 8, 7:00 PM, at TVT [285 E Yale Loop, Irvine, CA 92604]; May 9, at 3:00 PM, at Woodrow Park [285 E Yale Loop, Irvine, CA 92604]; May 11, at 3:30 PM, at St. Michael’s.

Sermon by a Norbertine Priest

We live in a world full of contradictions.  On one hand, we want proof—physical, visible, tangible proof for just about everything and anything before we believe in it and before we believe it.  “How do you know God exists?” some say.  “How do you know that there even was a person named Jesus?” “How do you know the Church is telling the truth?” and so on.  And on the other hand, we’ll believe just about anything that is served up to us:  “Buy this product and you’ll lose 25 pounds in one week”; “Punch in the address and the GPS on your dashboard will infallibly direct you to your destination”; “Vote for me and I promise no new taxes.”  The fact is, as we know, that some things and some people ought to be trusted, and others ought to be called into doubt at least until we have some evidence.” Overall this is o.k.; that’s how our mind works.  We come to knowledge through our senses, and only from there can we ascend to a knowledge of what is immaterial.  In addition, we can and ought to trust others without needing everything to be proved with 100% certainly all the time.  Frankly, it would be impossible (and ridiculous!) to live in such a way.  Can you imagine requiring perfect proof before everything you do! You would not even be able to start your car or drink a glass of water.

Our Blessed Lord knew this.  After all, He’s the one Who created us.  It should not surprise us then when we hear in the Gospels—as we just did—of our Lord giving the Apostles and other first Christians physical, visible, audible, tangible proof of His Resurrection.  “It’s Me,” He said to them.  “I’m not a ghost.  Look at My wounds.  Put your finger into them.  I’ll even eat some food in front of you to show you I am real.”  This of course was not the only proof He offered them.  He went even further.

The Resurrection of Christ is a real, concrete historical event, one which goes totally beyond the normal order of nature and can in no way be explained except by the power of God.  Given that, and give the fact that it’s the crowning moment in our Lord’s life, indeed the crowning moment in the entire history of the world—given all that, God wanted to make sure that we humans would have plenty of evidence for it.  So, we have:  the empty tomb, which had been guarded by Roman soldiers; we have the eye-witness accounts of Mary Magdalene and the other women who went to visit the tomb and were visited by angels, the same goes for Peter and John. Sacred Scripture reports 12 different appearances of our Lord; and on one of these occasions He appeared to more than 500 people at the same time.  He spent 40 days with His disciples, 
teaching them about the Kingdom of God.  We also have the most amazing and mind-boggling archaeological findings known to man, namely the Shroud of Turin—the burial cloth of our Lord upon which He miraculously left an imprint of Himself, which can still be seen to this day.

In a normal size Bible there are approximately 235 pages in the New Testament. That’s 235 pages of written testimony regarding the existence, life, teaching, miracles, death, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ.  In addition, as our Lord Himself said in today’s Gospel and St. Peter in today’s first reading, the entire Old Testament was a foreshadowing and prophesy about Christ.  That’s another 1000 pages or so.  Do you know how many pages of eye witness accounts 
we have of the life of George Washington, Christopher Columbus, Plato, Aristotle, Emperor Nero, or Johann Sebastian Bach? Not even close to what we have of Jesus Christ; and yet no one in their right mind would deny the life and deeds of these other historical figures.  But when it comes to Jesus Christ the double standard kicks in for many.

But wait; we’re not done yet.  In addition to the pages and pages of Biblical text, we also have shelves of other ancient non-Biblical sources which tell us of the life and teachings of the first Christians; some of them, like the works of Tacitus, Pliny and Josephus, are not even Christian authors.  This last person, Josephus, is one of the most trusted Jewish historians, who lived during the time of the destruction of the Jewish Temple by the Romans in 70 AD.  In his work 
called “the Antiquities of the Jews” he wrote:  Now there was about this time [that is, around 30 AD] Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men who gladly receive the truth.  He drew to him both many Jews and Gentiles.  He was the Christ [Bk XVIII, Ch III, 3].  We could go on and on, but we won’t.

Blessed are those who have not seen and still believe, our Lord told His Apostles.  Our Lord has left plenty of evidence of His existence, His life, teachings, miracles, death, Resurrection and Ascension into heaven; and yet, when all is said in done, it still requires one to have faith—that is, to put your trust in Him.  And the faith that we have in Him will at time be tested, but only so that it might grow stronger and purer; and those who persevere until the end will be rewarded for 
their faith with the greatest gift of all, the object of our faith:  the Beatific Vision, where we will see Him face to face forever.

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is, as one saintly theologian once said, “the visible sign of the invisible victory of the Cross.”  When cannot yet see the invisible victory of the Cross, but we can see the empty tomb, the burial cloth, and the written testimony of those to whom He appeared.  It’s all true.  He has risen as He said.  Alleluia.

Prayer Requests

•For all the benefactors of St. Michael’s Preparatory School, living and deceased.
•For all the students and families of St. Michael’s Preparatory School.
•For all faculty and staff of St. Michael’s Preparatory School.