Pentecost celebrates the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to send the Holy Spirit to the Church to act as teacher, counselor, advocate, and helper ~ the one who will show us how to speak and live as disciples. The image of the disciples locked in that upper room out of fear is well known. Into that situation the Holy Spirit comes and touches the disciples so deeply that they go out from their locked room to proclaim Jesus Christ with courage and strength.
The beginnings of Pentecost can be found in the Jewish Festival of Weeks ~ the 50-day celebration following Passover. It was harvest festival in which the first fruits were offered in praise and thanksgiving to God. The Acts of the Apostles tells us that the Spirit came to the disciples when the festival of Pentecost (50 days) was fulfilled. So the early Church saw in this the first fruits of Jesus’ resurrection.
It is also consider the “birthday” of our Church, as it’s the beginnings of the realization of the gifts of the Holy Spirit among us. Those gifts are: wisdom, understanding, right judgment, courage, knowledge, reverence, and wonder and awe in God’s presence. We all have the gifts of the Holy Spirit because we are baptized. Those gifts are renewed in us at confirmation when we receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and are challenged to be put those gifts to use every day. Let’s open our eyes to see the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in the lives of others, and so live as true disciples of Jesus in our world.
Reports are that there are now 34,000 Protestant denominations which means, on the average, more than sixty-nine new denominations have sprung up every year since the beginning of the Reformation in 1517. So whose birthday is it anyway? You could say Pentecost is the birthday of the Church Jesus established nearly 2,000 years ago. Today’s Scripture readings remind us that Pentecost is an event of both the past and the present. The main theme of today’s readings is that the gift of the Holy Spirit is something to be shared with others. That is, the readings remind us that the gift of the Holy Spirit moves its recipients to action and inspires them to share this gift with others.
Paying It Forward
Help our parish avoid the annual “summer slump.”
Every summer the offering drops when parishioners are out of town for vacation, and for most folks, if we aren’t present at Mass, obviously we aren’t there to put our offertory in the basket. In the meantime, the bills and expenses to carry on the parish ministry continue during the summer and must be paid.
THE SOLUTION! You plan ahead for your vacation and make reservations and send deposits for your hotel and other accommodations. In the same way, why not put the offering for the weeks you will be away in the offertory basket before you leave. Then you can enjoy your vacation with the clear conscience that the mission and ministry of the parish can continue unhindered as you enjoy your time of relaxation and rest. Better yet, set up automatic contributions to St. Gabriel’s throughout the year through Faith Direct, and never have to worry about your envelopes again!
On Monday, June 29th, the JHA ~ youth from of our parish and school ~ will be spending the day at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure along with Fr. Dennis. Our annual trip to California! Please pray for a safe outing and a safe return. If you would like to come with us, contact Kat, our youth minister.
As announced this past weekend, Fr. Sylvester will be moving to St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Sun City beginning July 1st. It has not yet been announced if and/or when another priest will be coming to St. Gabriel’s. Please keep that in your prayers. Also, kindly remember Fr. Sylvester and his ministry as he moves on.