Pentecost Sunday – May 20, 2018
Today we celebrate the “birthday of the Church!” Pentecost is described in the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles. But before the great driving wind and tongues of fire empowering the Disciples, the Holy Spirit had already arrived. The Gospel for today’s Mass during the day is from John 20. Jesus appears to the fearful disciples after His resurrection. He first speaks a message of calm. “Peace be with you.” The apostles “rejoiced when they saw the Lord.” When the enthusiastic response settles down, Jesus “breathed on them and said to them ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” This action is Trinitarian, and it has happened before. If you turn your Bible back to the beginning, you’ll read: “The Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so many became a living being” (Genesis 2:7). In the Garden of Eden, we see God’s first, original covenant with man. The breath of life signifies that original indwelling of grace, the special state of likeness and friendship with God before the Fall. Here now, in this locked room, the Apostles receive the long-awaited promise: the very breath of God, new life, a new covenant. In the pairing of these two readings—the Pentecost experience in Acts and the breath of Jesus in John’s Gospel —we see that the coming of the Holy Spirit is not only an empowering, it is an indwelling. We have each received the breath of grace in our baptism. It is confirmed, strengthened, and deepened in each reception of the sacraments. If we persevere in virtue, the Spirit of God is alive in us, inspiring our actions of love. This Pentecost Sunday, how is the breath of God alive in you?
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This weekend we celebrate Pentecost which is a celebration of the Holy Spirit who you may have heard about. I say it that way because for years I have had a great devotion to the Holy Spirit who I refer to as the forgotten person of the Trinity. Often, I have experienced with people young and old when I ask them about the Trinity and who makes up the Trinity that the answer they give quickly is the Father and the Son (Jesus Christ) but they pause on the third. They will often give wrong answers like Mary our Blessed Mother. Now Mary is truly great and truly Blessed and I have a great devotion to her as well but she is human, not God and not part of the Trinity which is made up of God and only God. To help people to answer the question I say just think about what you say when you make the sign of the cross and of course then they get it. However, that brings me to what I think is the problem and why the Holy Spirit is forgotten for we make the sign of the cross without thinking. I heard something on the Catholic channel on the radio the other day which stated that we should be celebrating Pentecost with the same joy as we do Christmas and Easter and they are correct for the Holy Spirit is equal to Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the one that guides us through life and gives us wisdom. He is called the breath of life itself for He is the part of the Trinity God the Father uses to give us our very lives. I have often joked that maybe I should not point out the Holy Spirit to people for this way He has more time to answer my prayers since I am the only one talking to Him, but truth be told He as God can and will help and answer all of us if we simply remember to talk to Him about our problems, needs, questions, fears, etc. This weekend let us remember to celebrate as if it is Christmas or Easter and remember the Holy Spirit is always with us just waiting for us to talk to Him.
God Bless you and have a wonderful week, Fr. Michael
SCRIPTURAL REFLECTIONS ON STEWARDSHIP
“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.”
All of us are blessed, regardless of our own individual circumstances; God has given each of us many gifts. How we use those gifts is our gift back to God. For God’s plan to work, each must do what we are called to do and guess what – we are not all called to do the same thing!
LIVE THE LITURGY
INSPIRATION FOR THE WEEK
“Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth!” We only know that the wind exists because of what it does. A gentle breeze felt on our face or watching a tree swaying or swirling snowflakes all prove the existence of “something” causing these things to happen. But, apart from its effects, we cannot see the origin or substance of wind. The Holy Spirit is the wind of God. Watching an early Church emerge, people coming to believe, disciples of Jesus change the way they live and conduct their affairs—all give witness to the presence of the Holy Spirit. Observing the courage and conviction of those who have found faith, working for justice, feeding the poor, seeing how wounds are healed—all point to something greater than ourselves working and living among us. How do our lives give witness to the Spirit?
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SICK
That God will relieve their suffering and restore them to health. Please pray for: Kellie Salata, Kelly Chinchar, Jessica, Carol Mangino, Gloria, Daniel Breslin, Stanley, Marie, Bonnie, Helen Traina, Joseph Marrone, Bill Marshall, Anthony, Michael, Denise Gautier, Joseph, Christine Morrison, Jessica Esopo, Jack McShera. , Janelle Dino, Maricel Dino, Rachel Fortus and Efren Villanueva Sr.
The gift of Bread & Wine for the first two weeks of May has been given in memory of Cecelia & George Furman & Bertha Nemec by Mr. & Mrs. George Furman. The second two weeks have been given in memory of Andrew Napotina by Velona Napotina.
The gift of Altar Flowers for the first two weeks of May has been given in memory of Catherine Napotina by Velona Napotina. The second two weeks have been given in memory of Lenny Falato by his family.
The Sanctuary Lamp for the second two weeks of May has been given In Thanksgiving by Richard & Agnes Levis.
These altar gifts are a beautiful way to honor your loved ones while also helping our parish. There are some two week blocks still available in 2018. Please contact the rectory if you are interested.
This Easter, our new Paschal candle has been donated in memory of Elizabeth Riley and Bertha & Joseph Forst by Mr. & Mrs. George Furman, in memory of the deceased members of the Stampone Family by Marie Blackwell and in memory of the Leone & Dattilo Families by Sergio Leone. We thank them for their generous donations.
MASS INTENTIONS FOR THE WEEK
MONDAY, MAY 14, 2018 8:30 Falco Family by the Family TUESDAY, MAY 15, 2018 8:30 Deceased Members of the Witkowski Family by Trudy Witkowski WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018 8:30 Rev. Thomas Lynch & Rev. Eugene Hazewski by Richard & Agnes Levis THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2018 8:30 Michael D'Alessio by the Family FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018 8:30 Gaetano Competiello by Maddalena Competiello SATURDAY, MAY 19, 2018 8:30 Butch Walsh by Mr. & Mrs. Philip Iacono 5:00 pm Americo Varricchio by Mr. & Mrs. Michael Nasta SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2018 8:00 Annv. Raymond Bailey by the Family 10:00 Annv. Armand Palazzi by the Family 12:00 For the People of the Parish MONDAY, MAY 21, 2018 8:30 Incoronata Competiello by the Family TUESDAY, MAY 22, 2018 8:30 Veronica Smolenski by the Rosary Society WEDNESDAY, MAY 23, 2018 8:30 Annv. Vinnie Traina by the Traina Family THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2018 8:30 Raffaela Asala by the Asala Family FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2018 8:30 Francesco Fiorino by Mr. & Mrs. Carmine Barricella SATURDAY, MAY 26, 2018 8:30 Pasquale & Christl Trivigno by the Family 5:00 pm Leonard Falato by the Family SUNDAY, MAY 27, 2018 8:00 For the People of the Parish 10:00 Annv. Rose & John Gadino by the Eckel Family 12:00 Giacomina Spina by Nancy Romano
2018 Sharing God’s Blessings Annual Appeal
Did you know that there is still time to support the 2018 Sharing God’s Blessings Annual Appeal? We have received $3,000 in pledges. Thank you to those parishioners who have already shown your support and generosity. Will you join your fellow parishioners in supporting this effort which strengthens many important programs and ministries across the Archdiocese of Newark and which make our own parish a more vibrant place of worship. Our goal, $11,333, can only be achieved through YOUR generosity. If you have yet to give, please pick up a pledge form in the back of church or visit www.rcan.org/sharing. YOUR gift will truly make a difference. Thank you for your prayers and support.