Dear Friends in Christ,
Come Holy Spirit!
We are approaching Pentecost Sunday and praying for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon us! I have enjoyed praying the Holy Spirit novena this week, with many of the days focusing on the various gifts of the Spirit, such as the gifts of knowledge, piety, fortitude, etc. While each of the prayers focused on being able to receive the gifts, which is very critical, I found my reflection was often on how I have already received and used these gifts in my life. It’s almost like the Lord was telling me, “See, you have already been given this gift, so keep on using it!” That was a good reminder. The power of God in the Holy Spirit was given to us at our Baptism and strengthened in Confirmation. In both of these sacraments, we were anointed with the fragrant Sacred Chrism Oil. We have th
is “anointed power
of God right now; it’s there for the using. We simply must be open and ask for an “enkindling” or a re-flaming of the fire of the Spirit in our lives. I would encourage you to make that your Mass intention for Pentecost. As the bread and wine are lifted up from the altar and offered to God, place that request right there. Ask our loving Father for the gift of the Holy Spirit to be enlivened in you; to ask that the gifts of the Spirit be shown clearly to you, so you know and experience what has been given to us.
One more thing. The Holy Spirit of God also brings about real communion. We need real communion now in our country and in the Church. There is so much division. Division is evil and evil often breeds more evil. We have seen that on display in Minneapolis this week when evil done upon one man has led to violence and destruction. Cycles of evil can only stop with God’s power of love and forgiveness, and our prayers, entering individual lives so that the conversion of the heart may take place. Conversion of heart is the only way. I love what Pope Benedict XVI once said about this:
“The Spirit triggers a process of reunification of the divided and dispersed parts of the human family. People, often reduced to individuals in competition or in conflict with each other, when touched by the Spirit of Christ open themselves to the experience of communion.”
Making communion a reality is simple. It happens when the Holy Spirit convinces us that the good of the other person before us is greater than ourselves. That’s the fruit of Christian love and forgiveness. Let’s all give it try in an intentional way in the days ahead.
As I write this, I have before me about 25 pages of guidelines from the state and the archdiocese that will help us come up with a plan to reopen our parishes for daily and Sunday Mass in the weeks ahead, as we prepare to enter phase 2 of the Governor’s plan. These guidelines might seem onerous, but they are given to us to help us do what we can to minimize the risk of spreading the COVID virus. As I have said before, we don’t want to do anything to jeopardize what we have all endured for the past three months to stay healthy. To me, that would really be distressing. Please be assured that we will continue to livestream our Sunday Mass. We don’t have any end date for that in mind. We want to ensure that ALL of our parishioners have the opportunity to be united with us in the prayer of the Mass. Please also know that the Archbishop’s dispensation for the Sunday Mass obligation continues.
With all of this in mind, our parish staff will be working to get ready to re-open our parishes for Mass. If you are younger and healthy, please step up to the plate and volunteer to help us as we will need your help. And please keep all of this in your prayers, that we may soon come together and worship at the Mass very soon. And remember too, “
get used to different
Fr. David Mulholland