Our celebration of Pentecost this weekend brings to a climactic end our fifty days long celebration and pondering of the mystery of Easter. Pentecost, one of the great liturgical festivals in the Church year, is outranked in importance only by Easter itself and Christmas. We remember today the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the first disciples and the beginning of the life and mission of the Church, a mission which goes on even now, and of which we are all part.
Pope Francis likes to speak of Christians as “missionary disciples,” and rightly so. All of us, by virtue of our baptism and confirmation, have been clothed in Christ and sealed with the power and the grace of the Spirit of God so that we can live effective lives of witness, lives built on the fundamental commandment of love that the Lord asks of all of us. Each day, more through our actions and the way of life that we model, the moral choices we make and defend, we can actually become missionary disciples, leading others to Christ and in the process, leading them to salvation. This is not the task only for clergy and religious. The laity, more and more, have to step up and make Christ and his presence in the world known by their way of life. The laity can b e so much more effective in this since they live and work in areas where clergy and religious cannot go.
So, as the Easter Season ends, and as Ordinary Time begins anew, we ask the Holy Spirit to remain with us, to give us strength, to deepen our faith, and to help us grow in love for God, a love that is best shown by the love, the care, and the reverence we show for others, especially the lowliest and most vulnerable in our society who are often marginalized and forgotten.
I am happy to say that I received word from Bishop Juan Miguel Betancourt this week that we will be privileged to have seminarian assigned to Precious Blood Parish for this summer. Sean Yates, who comes from South Windsor, has completed his pre- theology studies, which largely consist of courses in philosophy, at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and will begin his theological studies this fall at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit.. During the eight or nine weeks that Sean is with us, he will participate as much as possible in the life of the parish, assisting at Masses, reading, distributing Communion, visiting the hospital and convalescent homes, sitting in on meetings, and more. All of this is meant to help him come to an appreciation of what
life is a parish is like for a priest. I am sure that you will give him a warm welcome. We are happy to have him!
Have a good week!