June 4, 2023
Last Sunday’s celebration of the Feast of Pentecost was a wonderful, spirit-filled celebration. And it brought our 50-day celebration of the Easter season to a great conclusion. The choir did an awesome job in leading us in prayer all through the Easter season and finished on a truly high note last Sunday. They also were present for our special sacramental celebrations of First Eucharist and Confirmation. The large group will be taking a summer break now and will return in full force in the fall. Cantors and small ensembles will lead us in prayer throughout the summer. We are very grateful to Dr. Anne for her leadership and for all of the choir members and their service to our community.
The Spirit, the living memory of the church, reminds us that we are born from a gift and that we grow by giving, not by holding on, but by giving of ourselves.Pope Francis
Our OCIA (Order of Christian Initiation of Adults) group has been meeting on Sundays since the Easter Vigil when we celebrated the Sacraments of Initiation. They have been reflecting on the ways they experienced the Risen Lord in the Sacraments and on ways of continuing their faith in the community of the church. Normally, they conclude their meetings on Pentecost Sunday. But since last Sunday was also Memorial Day weekend, they will conclude their meetings today with a look back on the marvelous ways they have experienced the presence of the Lord throughout the past year. And it has been a marvelous year with many moments of growth in faith and individual responses to the Lord’s invitation to “follow me.” I want to offer my thanks to the members of our OCIA teams, both English and Spanish, for their faithful service week after week in being witnesses to the Lord’s presence among us and for sharing their faith and their stories as they led our catechumens and candidates to full membership within our community.
Now that we have completed the Lent/Easter cycle of our church year, we have a few additional weekend feasts of the Lord to celebrate before we return to the steady cycle of Sundays in Ordinary Time. On this first Sunday in June, the Sunday following the Feast of Pentecost, we celebrate the first of those feasts — the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.
Jesus often spoke in the Gospels and in the Acts of the Apostles about his relationship with the Father and the Spirit. In Matthew’s Gospel, he gave us the command to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). But the first mention of a feast of the Trinity appeared in 1030 and was celebrated on the Sunday following Pentecost. Pope John XXII made it a feast of the universal church in 1334, and chose the first Sunday after Pentecost (today) for the celebration of the new feast. Today, we celebrate our belief in one God with three distinct persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Next Sunday, we will celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Apart from the dark themes of Holy Thursday night, we have the opportunity to appreciate the presence of the Lord Jesus among us in the sacrament of the Eucharist. As the first Mass that was celebrated in our original church was on March 27, 1921, we have now been blessed with over 102 years of continued Eucharistic presence of the Lord on our parish campus. From the time that first Mass was celebrated in our original church, the presence of the Lord has remained on our campus through the Eucharist.
The Conference of Catholic Bishops in the United States have asked that a 3-year National Eucharistic Revival be observed in every diocese in the country. The Revival began last year on June 19, 2022 – the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. It is to extend through 2025. The first year was celebrated as a time of Eucharistic Revival within the Diocese. The second year, this year, is to be celebrated as a time of Eucharistic Revival in the local parish. The final year will be observed as a year of Mission. The Eucharistic Revival hopes to foster growth into a deeper love for God and the Eucharist. I will write more about our local parish celebrations next week.
May God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
-Father Jim Murphy