PASTOR’S CORNER May 31, 2011
The nine days between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday are for many just another few days to “try to keep it all together”. For the Apostles and the Blessed Mother is was a time to deal with a huge issue: Jesus was no longer physically present to them. What were they to do? Jesus had commanded them to baptize all nations, he had anointed them as Priests of the New Covenant, He had given them power to forgive sins, He had started a new religion with Peter as the Head, He had made them a Eucharist Community with the power to change bread and wine into His body and blood but – there was something or someone missing. Jesus had promised to send the Holy Spirit and it hadn’t happened, they were still fearful, hiding in the Upper Room but they were not alone. The Blessed Mother had gathered them together for the first Christian retreat, they prayed and fasted through the first Novena for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Her words of comfort, assurance and personal witness to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was intense, demanding and ultimately rewarding. She turned them into soldiers for Christ, unafraid and full of zeal. They wanted what she already had – The Spirit. Through Mary’s intercession and guidance they were ready when the Spirit came and they rejoiced and their rejoicing was contagious.
The same blessings are there for each of us individually and as a community. Still, after 2000 years the promised gift of Jesus: the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the teaching charism of the Catholic Church still change lives. Together with Mary these gifts help us to understand and live the sacraments, they enable us to proclaim the holiness of God and receive the abundant life. They are ours for the asking.
On Pentecost Sunday afternoon at 1:00 we will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation. You are invited to witness both in your word and action the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the next generation of disciples. This week pray for our Confirmandi and pray for yourselves and our parish that we may truly become what we celebrate, the living Body of Christ.
STAY SPIRITUALLY FIT: According to Lary Doessy, M.D., author of “Prayer is Good Medicine,” it is proven that people who pray regularly live longer and spend fewer health dollars. Prayer develops our relationship with God and thereby adds a deeper meaning to our lives. Prayer is both personal and communal with our church family. Start simply with prayers of thanks for each other, for our meals, and for another day. God Bless!