May 20, 2018
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost! We warmly welcome Bishop Edward Clark to our parish on this joyous occasion to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on the candidates from Good Shepherd, St. Victor, and St. Martin of Tours parishes. Please pray for these candidates as they receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit, along with all who receive the Sacrament of Confirmation this year.
As we conclude the 50 days of Easter, we celebrate the Pentecost, which marks the magnificent outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. After receiving the power of the Holy Spirit, the Apostles literally went out into the whole world to proclaim the Good News. They were simple, uneducated fishermen who, led by the Holy Spirit, spread the Good News of Christ, shaped the future of Christianity and will be known through the end of times! Truly, along with the Blessed Virgin Mary, God has done great things through them.
Pentecost prepares us, like the apostles, to begin our faith journey publicly. I really like the definition of the Sacrament of Confirmation as “Going public.” The Apostles lived in obscurity most of their lives, yet on that first Pentecost, they “went public” with their faith. We too should follow their example and, consumed by the power of the Holy Spirit, go forth and make our faith public. As I discussed on the Feast of the Ascension last Sunday, our mission is simple: to announce and share the good news and invite people to experience the faith. We need not persuade or impose, only invite. Through our own Christian joy, we become witnesses to the Gospel.
Today is also considered the birthday of the Church because, with St. Peter’s first sermon, the Apostles went public and converted 3000 people on that first Pentecost. The Church has continued to grow throughout the centuries, yet sadly, we are experiencing a decline in parts of Europe and the United States. There is a growing trend of the “None’s,” who claim no religious affiliation. As members of the Church, actively “going public” with our faith helps other to see, hear and grow in the Word of God.
The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Holy Trinity. We need to continually ask the Holy Spirit to lead us, to guide us, to help us do the things God wants us to do. It is the Spirit that moves us to go and do something in the world, compelling us to share in words and deeds what God has done for us. In this spirit of charity, please pray for the Holy Spirit to lead the Universal Church and our brothers and sisters.
Invite the Holy Spirit to lead you in your life today. We always need a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the face of the earth!
Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.