Many – maybe most – of us are usually too busy this time of year
to realize what a big deal Pentecost is.
We have Christmas: God becoming one of us, among us;
Good Friday and Easter: Jesus dies for us, and rises from the dead;
And then we have Pentecost:
Jesus gives you and me the Holy Spirit; God living in us.
The only thing remaining is the journey back to God,
which is our daily life as Christians.
And in case it’s not crystal-clear:
Jesus has given you and me everything we need
to make that journey safely.
Tonight, you and I are welcoming ____ to join us on that journey.
She was drawn by the Holy Spirit –
and by the example of Catholics around her –
to want the gift of faith she saw in us!
Think about that: your example of faith matters.
Either you and I are giving a good example, or a bad one.
The people around us aren’t likely to read the Catechism;
instead, they learn and decide about Catholicism
from what they see in you and me.
This is a good time to talk a little about the journey we –
in our group of three parishes –
are making together as a “family of parishes.”
We are at 11 months, and my perspective is that
with God’s grace,
and a lot of cooperation and openness by our parishioners,
This has been less perilous than it might have been.
As you and I press forward, and become a family together,
That spirit of generosity you’ve shown will serve us well.
A lot of us are praying! Thank you! Keep doing it!
Let me highlight something you and I can do this year;
something I’m announcing today in the bulletin:
It’s time to start praying for the Holy Spirit’s help
to choose a name for our family of parishes!
Please read what I wrote in the bulletin, and watch for more details.
But the basic idea is that from now till August, we will pray:
Pray for the Holy Spirit to inspire us in this decision.
At the feast of the Assumption in August,
everyone will be invited to suggest a name for our family,
and then, from All Saints to Christmas,
we will narrow it down and finally choose a name together.
The future is always unknown and some worry – some worry too much.
I’ve learned that nothing I can say can stop worriers from worrying.
I will simply say again:
Pentecost reminds us that Jesus has given us
everything you and I need to make the journey safely.