“Bethlehem was God with us, Calvary was God for us, and Pentecost is God in us.” ~ Robert Baer
Today is a BIG day, it is the Solemnity of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came down upon Mary and the Apostles in the Upper Room in Jerusalem and poured gifts into them so that they would have the grace, wisdom, and courage to go out into the world and tell the Good News just as they were commissioned to do before Jesus ascended into heaven.
Without the Holy Spirit and His gifts, we would be lost and would cower in fear. With the Holy Spirit, on the other hand, we, too, are emboldened to go into the world just as the apostles and disciples did so that we may tell of the wonders of God. This, then, is what the Church calls its birthday because this is the day when the Church first felt empowered to act.
Today, at the 10:00 a.m. Mass, we will celebrate the Spirit by selecting four new members of the Parish Pastoral Council. Parishioners have attended discernment sessions and have put their names into a basket for a child to pull four names to replace four members whose terms are now over. Instead of elections, we entrust ourselves to the Holy Spirit, asking God to select the newest members of the Council. They will trust the Spirit’s guidance and pray for the Spirit’s gifts so that they may fulfill their three year term ministering to their fellow parishioners.
Then, at the 12:00 Noon Mass, I will be privileged to celebrate my fortieth anniversary of ordination to the priesthood. In terms of years in the priesthood, today is my “birthday” as well and I thank God for the graces that He has given to me over the years and ask for His continued grace and a continued outpouring of the Holy Spirit so that I may do what has been asked of me.
At the end of June, I will have completed twenty years as pastor at St. Thomas More. Twenty of my forty years of priesthood have been serving you at our parish. I am very humbled by those numbers and ask for your prayers that I might continue to carry out my responsibilities.
We have all been commissioned. We all need to respond to God’s call in whatever manner we best feel able. We all need to ask for the outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit so that we may receive what we need to be appropriate witnesses of Christ’s love in this world of need.
God bless us, one and all, as we try to carry out His work!
FAITH ACTION: Tell God that you want to be as open as possible to the gifts of the Spirit and use them when they have been given to you.