Today we celebrate the third of the three solemnities of the Easter season, the Solemnity of Pentecost. It is the feast of the Holy Spirit and is often called the birthday of the Church.
In the second option for today’s Gospel, the Holy Spirit is called the “Paraclete” or “Advocate.” Παράκλητος (Paráklētos) in Greek means the same as Advocatus in Latin: “One who has been called to one’s side.” Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would be with his Church until the end of time and would preserve the authenticity of the Church’s faith. “The Advocate…will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”
The Holy Spirit was given to the Apostles on Easter Sunday evening (cf. the first option for today’s Gospel) then in a more abundant way 50 days later, on the Jewish feast of Pentecost (cf. today’s First Reading). With both speakers and hearers inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Church began her mission. On that day Peter explained that Jesus was both “Lord” and “Messiah.” Then he said:
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit. For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call.” He testified with many other arguments, and was exhorting them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day. (Acts 2:38-41)
Our mission in the Church began with our baptism, when we received the “Spirit of adoption” and became “children of God.” (Cf. the second option for today’s Second Reading) May we, who have received the gifts of the Holy Spirit in baptism and confirmation, with the Holy Spirit ever at our side, continue to live the life of faith as active members of the Church.
Our parishes’ fiscal year ends on June 30. Pledges to the Diocesan Annual Appeal must be received by that date to be credited for this year. Please honor your pledges to the Appeal and continue your support of our parishes. St. Peter Parish has reached 88.59% of its target for this year with $2,193 to go. St. Charles Parish has reached 85.26% of its target with $9,831 to go. Both parishes are inching toward their goals, but the majority of households have not given to the Appeal. These targets could easily be reached if everyone would give something. This is a fundamental duty of parish membership. Please help us meet our financial obligations.
Reaching our short-term goals by the end of the fiscal year is important. St. Charles Parish has also set an additional five-year goal of $2.5 million to build an accessible parish center and finish the parking lot. This goal is in addition to our regular parish support. Together we can reach our goals and surpass them. May the intercession and example of St. Charles Borromeo help us.
Please pray the rosary this week for the safety of children on summer vacation and for families who are traveling. Pray for people who are unemployed, that they may find jobs. Pray for the safety of those who are serving in the armed forces and, as always, pray for peace.
May God bless his people with peace.