“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.”
1 Corinthians 12:4-7
Did you know that today is your birthday—and mine, too?
Believers the world over celebrate Pentecost Sunday as the birthday of our Church. Fifty days after Easter, the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles and gave them the gift of tongues. From that day forward, they were missioners of the Gospel, fortified with the Holy Spirit to make disciples of all nations. Because we are part of the universal Church—missioners called to love and serve the Lord—today is our birthday, too.
On that first Pentecost Sunday, Peter called all those present to be baptized—many thousands who had gathered for a Jewish festival. These men and women were among the first Christians, and Peter our first Pope. Their devotion to Christ and one another was the seed that would grow our Church over the centuries.
The day we were baptized is the day we received the same call to love and serve the Lord. On Pentecost Sunday, God reminds us that each of us is a unique messenger with special gifts, charged with making our own contribution to the life of the Church, and with transforming our world. No one else can do what each of us is capable of achieving! Why would we lose or overlook an opportunity to share the Gospel? Sometimes witnessing a simple act of faith through prayer, Mass, or the sacraments is all it takes to bring someone into the life of our Church. Today is a good day to remember that our lives will be a fulfillment of God’s divine plan if we just open a path for the Holy Spirit.
Friend, today though the parishes that can celebrate together will probably not sing there is a hymn you may remember from childhood. May these words be part of your birthday celebration that lasts all year long:
Come, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
and in our souls take up the rest;
Come with the grace and heavenly aid
to fill the hearts which thou hast made.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for 5th Sunday May 31, 2020
Come, O Holy Spirit of the living God,
Who hovered above the waters of Creation
and led the Israelites out of Egypt;
who filled the Temple with the
divine presence and descended
on the Virgin Mary; who appeared as a dove
over Jesus in the Jordon and set the faith
of the Apostles on fire
In the upper room at Pentecost;
Come into my heart and soul!
You Who transform bread and wine
into the body and blood of Christ
transform me once more into the image of God
in which I and all people are created.
Remove from me anything not from you
and empower me to go forth to do God’s will
by announcing the Good News of salvation
revealed in Jesus Christ, my Lord.
Through me and all who call upon Your name
renew the face of the earth, grant sight to the blind,
set prisoners free, and lead all to Christ that he
might in turn Lead us all to the Father,
with whom You and the Son reign
as One God forever and ever.
Prayer by Father Joseph R. Veneroso, M.M.