Dear Followers of Christ Jesus,
The Solemnity of Pentecost concludes the Easter Season. During Lent and Easter we have been exploring and celebrating the foundations of our faith, Jesus’ Paschal Mystery, that is his passion, death and resurrection. Within Easter we renewed our commitments of baptism, to follow the path of Jesus leading to eternal life.
Pentecost pushes us out of this reflective nest. This is the birthday of the Church. We are to live what we have been celebrating all during these seasons. We are to live the mission of the Church that includes being people of fearlessness, hope and compassion. We are to live with beauty, integrity and imagination. Trust must outweigh fear in all areas of our lives.
In John 20:19-23, Jesus speaks a word of peace. We become such authentic believers where the peace of Christ is our true identity. We celebrate this peace in Pentecost and work diligently to implement this gospel value.
This is the same gospel we proclaimed on the Second Sunday of Easter, the first week after Easter. Thomas was not present when Jesus first appeared behind locked doors. Now it is our role to probe the mystery of the wounded Christ and to proclaim such a belief to others. The Spirit was given to the disciples in John’s gospel in this moment of fear. We too have inherited such a gift of the Holy Spirit in our baptism. The Holy Spirit does not fade or dull.
The Holy Spirit does not decrease in time or purpose. The Holy Spirit does not seek out favorites or give extra to the privileged. There is no golden age of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was not more present to the disciples than to us. The Holy Spirit invites us into mercy and forgiveness, into truth and integrity. The Holy Spirit is alive! The Church is alive!
In the celebration of Pentecost I invite you to ask for what you need. I am not kidding. Pentecost is the real thing. We must ask the Holy Spirit for what we need with complete vulnerability and purpose. We should look around our world, our nation and our families and ask for the big stuff such as peace, lasting respect among all people, food for all the hungry and hope for every soul. Today in this solemn celebration we ask for the Holy Spirit that enlivens our souls, restores our integrity, and gives us energy to live with mutual respect and harmony.
We celebrate our last Masses in the Parish Center this weekend at Sacred Heart. It has been a rich experience celebrating all of our seasons and sacraments in this way. I want to thank you all for your patience and your ability to adjust our prayer. I know it has not been easy for some. However, we have waited patiently for something incredible! Please know of my prayer for all of you as we celebrate the dedication of our renovated church and move lovingly into our future!
Blessings in the Holy Spirit,