Letter from Fr. Paul — May 8, 2016
Thank you to all who nominated themselves or others to leadership positions. All those nominated for the Pastoral Council will receive a call this week, inviting them to a discernment session in which they will learn more about being on the Pastoral Council and the commitment involved, so they can decide whether or not to leave their names in for discernment.
This weekend we celebrate the feast of the Ascension. The Acts of the Apostles begins with the Ascension of the Lord, our first reading this weekend. Forty days after the Resurrection, Jesus tells them to stay in Jerusalem and wait for their baptism with the Holy Spirit. They STILL didn’t understand what was going on for they asked if this was the time that Jesus would RESTORE THE KINGDOM TO ISRAEL. They still viewed Jesus as a political messiah who would establish an earthly kingdom! Jesus’ reply was that the power of the Holy Spirit would help them be witnesses to the ends of the earth – and He disappeared.
Look what happens next: two men dressed in white (Moses and Elijah from the Transfiguration???) ask them why they are looking up at the sky? The resurrected Jesus in His flesh is gone; they are to move on, they are to become the presence of Jesus to the ends of the earth, with the help of the Holy Spirit, fulfilling the mandate: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
We have received the same Holy Spirit in Baptism and the fullness of the Spirit in Confirmation and for the same purpose: to strengthen us and help us find the way to share Jesus’ love and mercy with all we meet. As we celebrate this feast and look forward to celebrating Pentecost next Sunday, let us thank God for the gift of His Spirit, reflecting on how well we do at allowing the Spirit to be a part of our lives.
And we pray in a special way for our 12 youth who will receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit Monday night in the sacrament of Confirmation. Congratulations! We promise to accompany you with our prayers and good example as you live out the commitment to bring Christ to others.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS
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