Seems like everything went well in the operation, and I am comfortably settled into a community of the Salvatorian Sisters, where healing can take place. It is best for the community if visitors are limited, so, while I appreciate the desire to visit me, the best is to continue with prayers. I have my first post-operation doctor visit in a few days, and when I am able to move around more, I will try to come to Mass.
This weekend we celebrate Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. In our first reading from Acts of the Apostles, we see the disciples, who had been locked in a room out of fear, go forth fearlessly to proclaim the Risen Lord. That is the gift of the Holy Spirit, which we all received at Baptism and Confirmation. Reflecting on our second reading and the Gospel will help us to recognize the call that our parish goal for 2019-2020 makes to each and every one of us.
In our reading from Corinthians, Paul tells us “to each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.” There are “different spiritual gifts…different kinds of service…different workings,” but each person has gifts that are to be used for the community.
In the Gospel from John, we hear Jesus say to his disciples (and us) “as the Father has sent me, so I send you” and then He breathed the Holy Spirit on them.
Our parish goal for the coming year is the following:
Energize and grow our membership by providing a welcoming environment with strong adult formation and activities for all ages to foster spiritual growth and a strong desire to make disciples of all people.
My friends, each of us has gifts and talents, each of us has time, each of us can work to “make disciples of all people.” Together we can do so much, especially because we have the Holy Spirit as our ally. But we have to give the Holy Spirit a chance, which is why I urge all of us to make the resolution to worship regularly with the community, allowing the Holy Spirit to work through the scriptures and homilies, not to mention the Body and Blood of Christ, to strengthen us as disciples. That is basic. Then I invite each parishioner to be involved in at least one community ministry or activity. We each have gifts. We each have talents. We each have time.
As we celebrate the birthday of our Community, the Body of Christ, the Church, I invite us to reflect on how we can be more connected and how we can use our gifts to “make disciples of all nations,” one person at a time. And let us support each other in prayer.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS