Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This week we received very encouraging news that COVID seems to be something that we are about to put behind us by the grace of God. This weekend, we celebrate the Feast of the Pentecost, which we remember the Holy Spirit descending upon the Apostles, blessing them with the ability to speak in languages they didn’t know and with words far beyond their own learning.
The apostles were not learned men. Some of them were quite the opposite. We know that Peter and his brother Andrew were fishermen, that although skilled with netting and boating, they seemed to be quite rough and uneducated. Those elements for God did not matter when the Holy Spirit descended on them. It was the Holy Spirit that empowered them to be evangelizers throughout the world, transformed them from who they were to who God wanted them to be.
I believe that God wants to do a similar transformation in our parish. After many months praying and talking with parishioners, I believe that God is calling us to come together with fellow parishioners and to bring our faith family to the forefront of our minds. It is a time to greet old friends and to meet and welcome new ones. To resume cherished traditions and hopefully look to start new ones. As the disciples left the upper room filled with the Holy Spirit and began to spread God’s word, let’s likewise come together to create parish outreach ideas that will become events for celebration, gathering, support, joy and growth. Together we can share thoughts on a great number of outreach ideas to help support and give opportunities to flourish by sharing our time, treasures and talents both in preparation or participation.
How can we reach out? Where can we seek inspiration? Let’s come together to inspire and to be inspired! Together we can be a spark for a dynamic parish and even the smallest thoughts or gestures often have tremendous impact, so please consider how you will get involved. Great and small – all are welcome and needed. At first, we may feel like the apostles, that we are not fit for this task, or not qualified for this work. Remember the famous saying, “God does not call the qualified, but He qualifies the called.” The second reading this weekend from Saint Paul, he exhorts the Corinthians saying that “to each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.” Our parish needs each manifestation of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Finally, in order to bring about this change in ourselves, in our parish, and those around us, let’s meet on Tuesday, June 1st, at 7:00pm in the Upper Church to discern what God is calling us to do together. This Pentecost initiative is only a spark of the fire of the Holy Spirit that will get us ignited to bring about this change. As I wrote last week, “the harvest is plenty and the laborers are few!” Please come and join us bringing God’s word to all the ends of the earth! All are welcome to this evening.
In the meantime, let’s pray asking the Holy Spirit to invade our hearts. Let’s ask him to inspire people. I ask you during this time to say the invocation of the Holy Spirit every day, so that we listen to the call and respond generously: “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.”
Father Steven Clemence