Project Description




 

Acts 10:25-26;34-35;44-48 / 1 John 4:7-10 / John 15:9-7

 

First of all,

I want to welcome everyone to

our annual Baccalaureate Mass.

 

A Baccalaureate Mass is

a unique and wonderful time

to celebrate our faith. . .

 

and to celebrate our young adults

for a major milestone they’ve achieved.

 

And the Baccalaureate Mass

is not just a Mass of Celebration . . .

it’s a Mass of Hope.

 

All Masses are Masses of hope

because there’s always hope

with Jesus. . .

 

who on the Cross defeated

anything that can ultimately harm us. .  .

 

and a Baccalaureate Mass is a

Mass of hope also because

as we look at these young graduates. . .

 

they give us hope on a human level. . .

 

hope for the world as they go out

to make their marks. . .

 

hope for the world

as they become living and breathing signs

that the Kingdom of God. . .

 

that Jesus. . .

is alive and present in the world.

 

So let’s have our 2021 graduates

stand and lets us give them all

another nice round of applause!!!

 

And on this Mother’s Day,

we can’t forget their Moms.

 

It’s always special when our

Baccalaureate Mass falls on Mother’s Day. . .

 

All the sacrifices. . .

 

All the support. . .

 

All the motherly love

given to help these graduates

achieve this great milestone. . .

 

Let’s have the mothers of our graduates stand up. . .

And give them a round of applause too.

 

Have you ever wondered. . .

 

have you ever wondered

if all of this religious stuff. . .

all this Jesus stuff is true??

 

Well, I sure have!!!

 

Have ever wondered about this Son of God talk?. . .

 

Have you ever wondered about the Eucharist?. . .

 

Or the Blessed Virgin Mary?. . .

 

Or some of the radical teachings of Jesus. . .

radical teachings like we just heard. . .

 

that we human beings are actually

called into friendship. . .

friendship with the Son of God. . .

 

friendship with the One through Whom

all of creation came to be?

 

Well, I’ve sure wondered!!

 

Have you ever questioned. . .

and maybe even fought against. . .

 

the radical Jesus teaching we just heard

that we’re supposed to love others

like Jesus loved us. . .

 

an extreme love for others. . .

 

a complete self-sacrificial love. . .

 

even for our enemies. . .

 

Can this be true?

 

Have you wondered?

 

I sure have!!!

 

Is all of this Jesus stuff. . .real?

 

or is all just something made up. . .

 

made up and passed down to a

a groping humanity for 2,000 years?

 

Well, the answer is dependent on one thing!!!

 

Is all this Jesus stuff real is dependent

on the answer to one question. . .

 

“Did Jesus rise from the dead?”

 

St. Paul said it best when he wrote:

“If Christ has not been raised…

your faith is in vain!!!”                                                                (1 Corinthians 15)

 

Did Jesus rise from the dead?

 

If He did, then all this Jesus stuff is true!!!

 

Now as believers we believe Jesus rose

from the dead through our faith. . .

but we also believe we have a reasonable faith!!!

 

So believing that Jesus rose from the

dead is reasonable because of St. Paul’s story.

 

St. Paul was a zealous Pharisee!!!

 

The group he ran with believed that

The Christians were heretics who

were the problem!!!

 

They were polluting the Jewish faith

By claiming a crucified and resurrected Messiah. . .

 

They should know better!!!

 

That wasn’t in God’s playbook.

 

So the Christian heretics had to be destroyed. . .

Persecuted. . .

Even stoned. . .

 

So the real Messiah could come back to a pure Judaism.

 

Now St. Paul believed all that until. . .

until he met the Risen Jesus.

 

And then it was an about-face. . .

a 180. . .

 

Paul went from persecuting Christians. . .

to becoming one of them. . .

and being persecuted himself. . .

even being stoned.

 

That type of about-face. . .

A 180-degree change. . .

just doesn’t happen unless. . .

Unless. . .

St Paul actually experienced the Risen Jesus.

 

We believe by faith. . .

But we have a reasonable faith.

 

It’s true!!!

 

And when St. Paul told the people

in Corinth about the resurrection of Jesus.

 

He told them about the eyewitnesses

who has seen the Risen Jesus.

 

He appeared to Peter and the other apostles. . .

 

And then the Risen Jesus

appeared to 500 others. . .

 

at different times and

in different places.

 

So if you don’t believe me. . .

Paul says,

“Go ask them. . .”

 

“A few eyewitnesses have died

but most are still walking around. . .”

 

“Go ask them. . .

Go ask the 500 hundred eyewitnesses.”

 

And I’m sure they did.

 

500 hundred eyewitnesses.

 

We believe by faith. . .

But our faith is a reasonable faith.

 

Or think about the apostles. . .

the Twelve that Jesus hand-picked.

 

When the crucifixion came. . .

just about all of the handpicked ones

ran like cowards.

 

They hid. . .

so scared they would get what Jesus got.

 

But then they experienced the Risen Jesus. . .

 

They ate with the Risen Jesus. . .

 

They touched the Risen Jesus.

 

And they went from being cowards to martyrs.

 

You don’t go from a coward to martyr over

some made up story to help restore your ego. . .

 

or because Jesus just lives in your heart. . .

 

We believe by faith. . .

But we have a reasonable faith!!!

 

And if the writers had made it all up. . .

they would have most certainly

told the story differently.

 

The first people to meet the risen Jesus

wouldn’t have been women. . .

 

in those days women couldn’t even be

witnesses in a court of law.

 

Or if they made it up the Risen Jesus would have

been all bathed in great light

just like the Prophet Daniel predicted. . .

 

not somebody that they somewhat recognized. . .

but somewhat didn’t.

 

What sense would it make to

tell the story that way. . .

 

unless what they wrote. . .

 

was true.

 

No matter what other explanation

someone has come up with. . .

 

Whether it was just a conspiracy,

that apostles made up. . .

 

or that his body was stolen. . .

 

or eaten by dogs. . .

 

or the Risen Jesus was just a hallucination. . .

 

Whatever the solution. . .

 

the most reasonable answer. . .

considering the historical facts we have. . .

 

An empty tomb. . .

 

Numerous eye-witnesses to the Risen Jesus,

over 500,

at different times and different places. . .

 

and the profound changes in the lives

of those who experienced the Risen Jesus. . .

 

The most reasonable explanation is that

Jesus was crucified. . .

died. . .

And rose from the dead.

 

It’s true. . .

It’s all true.

 

Which is all the great news for our graduates. . .

 

What Jesus says in today’s Gospel is true. . .

 

Jesus says:

 

It was not you who chose me,

but I who chose you

and appointed you to go

and bear fruit that will remain.

 

You see,

they have been chosen. . .

 

chosen by the Risen Jesus. . .

 

to bear lasting fruit. . .

 

to be beacons of hope!!!

 

Chosen to be living and breathing signs

that the Kingdom of God. . .

 

that Jesus. . .

is alive. . .

and present in the world.

 

Holy Spirit 05/09-10/2021