May 19, 2013 – Pentecost Sunday

Pentecost! The indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the birth of the Church, and the inauguration of the Gospel Mission. This is a lot happening all at once. This feast is appropriately symbolized by the dove, the wind and fire: elements associated with the presence of the Holy Spirit in all we do in the name of Jesus. It is all pure gift! As we strive to lend our natural abilities to the grace of Holy Spirit we accomplish miracles. Why expect anything less?

In the “dove” may we see the abiding love and peace of Jesus, gift of the Father. In the “driving wind” the urge, the impulse to be uncomfortable with the Gospel’s demands and yet responsive. In the “tongues of fire” may we sense at first hand the divine hand guiding our efforts to live and share the joy of the Christian life. No generation is left untouched. No one of us is exempt from the work of the kingdom. We share our gifts and further the advance of the kingdom of God. God is well pleased with us who labor in the name of his Son. May God who began the good work in us bring it to completion!

The School Spring Festival is this Sunday, May 19th following the 9am School Family Mass. Your support of the Spring Festival continues to help improve quality Catholic education for our children. If you are aware of any friends or neighbors who may have an interest in Catholic education for their children, please encourage them to contact Saint Jerome school. Visits and testing are available upon request.

Last weekend I took the opportunity to re-visit the Mass, the new Mass (2002/2011) as we now are asked to celebrate it, with all its challenges. Ascension provided an opportunity to look upon this challenge as choosing to follow Jesus. Jesus is resolute in returning to Father despite the sorrow and despair of the disciples. Where he goes, we must follow. Our life in the Spirit prompts us to die and rise to new life, again and again. The new, “New Mass” does not break with the past, but flows from it. Our old Latin Mass (1570 AD) benefited from what research was available in the 16th century and also from the printing press! This took the Mass world-wide into the age of exploration.

The modern age called for further research and a re-birth of the Mass into contemporary languages. We are the beneficiaries of this transformation. The Novus Ordo of 1969 (New Order of Mass) provided the template for our current celebrations. What can we draw on to help us enter into the mysteries. First: the gift of silence, silence after the homily and silence after Holy Communion. Second: use the resources readily available in the pews, Missalettes and pew cards with essential prayers and responses. We need a willingness to be engaged, with humility and obedience, what has been handed on to us. Even the priests have problems with the new prayers; you are not alone! Third: sing, on or off tune, it’s OK. He who sings, prays twice (St. Augustine of Hippo). The Old Testament admonishes Israel raise up a joyful sound unto the Lord. The New Testament calls on us to praise and glorify the Lord. Above all, let faith encourage and strengthen you!

Fr. Fernando J. Cortez, Pastor