Seventh Sunday of Easter

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily for the 7th Sunday of Easter: CLICK HERE!

This summer marks the 50th Anniversary of just maybe the greatest scientific accomplishment in history.  At 9:30 pm Houston time on July 20, 1969, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the surface of the moon.

When President John F. Kennedy took office in 1961, America was experimenting with rocketry and space exploration.  With the Russians having already launched Sputnik in 1957; space exploration took on a new urgency.

In a speech to Congress, President Kennedy said, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth.”

Despite this ambitious goal, nothing existed to stop them from realizing the dream.  But what Kennedy did was marshall the resources and talent from the civilian, military, corporate, and educational sectors to leapfrog the Russians and take the lead in the space race.

For Kennedy, going to the moon was more than being better than the Russians.

Kennedy saw the American Space Program as the noblest illustration of the American pioneer spirit.  A journey that would not only open new frontiers but bring new technologies in: communications, medicine and transportation, among other things.  We can thank Project Apollo for our cell phones, cordless appliances, radial tires and the laser technology that makes many surgical procedures possible.   (Oh, and of course – Tang)

Said President Kennedy, “we choose to go to the moon and do other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because the goal will serve to organize and measure our best energies and skills; because the challenge is one that we are willing to accept, and we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”

In his brief Presidency of 1,037 days, President Kennedy articulated a vision of America’s great space adventure that harnessed the imagination and talents of our nation as never before.

The night before his death, at supper with his Disciples, Jesus articulated a similar vision:

  • A Church brought together to realize the vision of the Kingdom of God hear on Earth, as it is in Heaven.
  • A vision centered in the conviction that, in God, we belong to another…
  • A vision that lifts up and honors the gifts and the talents, that each one of us bring to the table.

In the “High Priestly Prayer” of Jesus we hear in today’s Gospel, Jesus prays for us…

He prays that the extraordinary love that binds the Father to the Son, will bind us to one another and in the process we will realize God’s vision that can transform our world with extra ordinary peace and the mercy of God that knows no limits.

As Neil Armstrong said as he stepped on the moon 50 years ago, “one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind…”

May the small steps we take daily in living our faith individually and cooperatively, lead to giant leaps for proclaiming the Gospel to Jesus Christ today and in the days and decade ahead…