This weekend the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Pentecost. Pentecost is the fiftieth day of Easter, the culmination of the Easter Season. It is often referred to as the “birthday” of the Church, the day when the disciples received the gift of the Holy Spirit in a dramatic way and began boldly and courageously to proclaim the Good News of Christ Jesus, the risen Lord. Pentecost is one of those significant feasts on the liturgical calendar that has both a Vigil celebration and a Mass of the day. There are numerous options for the first Scripture Reading at the Vigil Mass. A parish may choose to celebrate the Simple Vigil or the extended Vigil (which mirrors the structure of the Liturgy of the Word within the Easter Vigil). Saint John Paul II Parish will be celebrating the Simple Vigil at the 4:00 PM Saturday Mass. At that Liturgy, the Old Testament Scripture Reading is: Genesis: 11:1-9 (the story of the Tower of Babel). The New Testament Reading is: Romans 8:22-27. On Pentecost Day, the first Scripture Reading proclaimed is the account of Pentecost from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:1-11), and the second Scripture passage is I Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13 (one of two options). On Sunday, the Pentecost Sequence will be sung after the second Reading. Though not all of us will hear the same Scripture Readings this weekend, I suggest taking some time this week to pray with any of the Scripture passages listed above and reflect upon how the Holy Spirit is active in our lives. This week might also be an appropriate time to reflect not only upon the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but also upon the fruits of the Holy Spirit. We can judge for ourselves whether or not we are living exemplary Christian lives when we realize how we reflect the fruits of the Holy Spirit in what we say and do. The twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit as listed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church are: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self- control, and chastity.
Special thanks to the ten individuals (young and old, male and female) who helped out on the Parish Yardwork Day, and to all who prepared food for lunch that day. I am very grateful for your stewardship of time in “sprucing up the grounds.” Thanks, also, to those who have stopped by during the week to plant flowers and do a little extra work on the parish grounds, and to those helping tend to the grounds at the Parish Center and Saint Matthew Church site.
As I announced last weekend, the Parish Pictorial Directories have finally arrived. They are available this weekend after Mass in the main entrance of church. If you did not receive yours this weekend, they will be available again next weekend (or during the week at the Parish Office Center).
Once again, I would like to express a special thank you to those who have supported CSA this year (and in the past). Thank you for your generosity and for your willingness to Serve with the Heart of Christ. There are still several weeks left to this year’s campaign. If you have not yet done so, please try to get your pledge returned in the next couple of weeks. If you misplaced your envelope or did not receive one, there are extra envelopes in the pews in Church. Our assessment is really within our reach, especially if every household contributes something. Remember, it is not the size of the gift that matters. If each of us does our part, by doing what we are able, then together, as a parish community we will meet our assessment.
Last call for chairs from the former Saint John the Baptist Church: If you wish to have a chair or two, please contact the Parish Office (755-0828) this coming week. By the end of the month the parish will be selling any extra chairs that are remaining.
Also, those who wish to have a hymnal from the former Saint John the Baptist Church as a memento, may get one in the main entrance of Church this weekend and next, or at the Parish Office during the week.
Blessings on your week!
May the Holy Spirit be your guide and inspiration!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ