This Fifth Sunday of Easter was a warm and sunny one here in Gotham. I spent most of the day outside -- and have a little sunburn to prove it.
I had a brunch date this afternoon. The excursion included Eggs Benedict at Riveria, chatting on the Christopher Street Pier and a walk on the High Line.
It was a fourth date and, as it turns out, a final one. But, the amicable, in-person conclusion will likely lead to a new friendship.
So, finding myself near Chelsea in the late afternoon, I decided to go to the 5 p.m. Mass at the Church of St. Francis Xavier on 16th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues. It was my first visit to the Jesuit parish since the completion of its extensive restoration.
What a renewal! Light flooded the formerly dreary sanctuary. The frescoes along the walls depicting the Stations of the Cross have been cleaned and restored. And, I was stunned to see beautiful, colorful paintings near the ceiling that I had never really noticed before.
The Gospel at Mass included the powerful words of Jesus from John Chapter 13 in which he articulates a new commandment:
" ... love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Deacon Greg has an excellent homily on this Sunday's Gospel in which he pays tribute to the now-closed St. Vincent's Hospital.
Flashbacks: Fifth Sundays of Easter 2009, 2008 and 2007.