Open your Hearts Today

Dear Friends in Christ,

What an absolute joy it was to once again have the church officially open for Masses last weekend. The crowds were small and we were well within the 50% capacity of our big church, but it was wonderful nonetheless. People were very respectful of social distancing and there did not appear to be any difficulties. Thank you to all of our wonderful parishioners who came to Mass. We will continue the practice of social distancing with non-household members maintaining a social distance of six feet (two empty seats). Every other pew will continue to be roped off. People attending Mass are encouraged to wear masks and to receive communion in the hand, the passing of the offertory baskets for the collection is still suspended. Those in “at risk” groups are encouraged to refrain from Mass attendance at this time and those who are ill are asked not to come to Mass until they are well. The Liturgy of the Word is on our parish website for those unable to attend in person.

This Sunday is the great Feast of Pentecost. We remember and recall the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Our Blessed Mother and the Apostles. The coming forth of the Holy Spirit which was promised by Jesus was not a one-time event. Unlike the death and resurrection of our Lord, which indeed happened only once, the Holy Spirit continues to come into the world repeatedly. The faithful continue to receive the seven-fold gifts of the Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Holy Spirit continues to fill and dwell in the hearts of God’s faithful in every age. The Holy Spirit is with us and continues to animate us in the life faith. It is for this reason that we pray:

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

The Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:3) tells us that the Spirit descended upon Mary and the Apostles as in tongues of fire. This should not surprise us as Jesus said, “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” (Lk 12:49). Are we on fire with the love of Jesus? Are we are on fire in love for Jesus? Do our hearts burn or have the embers grown cold? None of us have to settle for being lukewarm in our faith. In what other area of our lives do we say it is OK to settle for mediocrity? Where else do we excuse ourselves and say that being so-so is good enough? Having a tepid heart, a lukewarm faith, being a mediocre Catholic or a so-so Christian is not what Jesus wants for us. Jesus did not come to earth to suffer and die on the cross so that we might have an OK life! He came that we might have life and have it to the full! He desires for us an abundant life of love, happiness and joy!

Being on fire with the love of God takes desire. To become aflame in love ask the Holy Spirit to light your heart on fire! To turn the embers of a tepid faith into a blazing fire of faith, ask the Holy Spirit to come anew into your heart. If you are struggling with doubt or fear, temptation or confusion, turn to the Holy Spirit and ask that the gifts of Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Reverence and Fear of the Lord be renewed within you. Don’t be bashful. Don’t be shy or ashamed. Ask. Jesus promises and gives us the Holy Spirit as our advocate because He knows we need the help. Jesus wants us to have the help and the gifts of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Open your hearts today. Want for yourself what Jesus wants for you. Be on fire in love!

In pace Christi,
Fr. Troy