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Sunday, May 19, 2013
Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34
1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13
Father Bill’s Sermon
Sixth Sunday of Easter
May 5, 2013
I remember when I was probably 12 or 13, I had been out playing, and I came into the house by the back door, and I guess my parents didn’t know that I was there, for I heard my father say to my mother, “Well, there’s no doubt about it, he should be taught a lesson, and I’m the one to do it!” I froze, then back up quietly, and ran to a neighbor’s house, and shot hoops for an hour, wondering what it was that I had done. I saw my Dad’s.. Click here to continue reading Father Bill's Homily
"Receive the Holy Spirit (the holy breath--as He breathed on them), whose sins you forgive they are forgiven them; whose sins you retain are retained." This is said to the entire Upper Room--the Church in prayer. We are all to be "forgivers," and when we forgive, newness is possible. When we don't, the past with its crushing burden is glued to us, holding us in its inexorable grip. The readings of Pentecost beg us to be merciful--to forgive freely--for to do so is to heal the earth--to re-create the world, and transform it into glory. Spiritual inertia tempts us to do nothing, and so nothing changes. The energy of Pentecost empowers us to create new possibility with words of healing and forgiveness. Let's pray for the strength to use them.
- Fr. Bill Axe
Sr. Karen is preparing to return to the United States, as I am preparing to leave. I am one of the delegates of our American province of Trinitarians to our General Chapter. A General Chapter elects the new General and his Council and sets goals and benchmarks for the international brotherhood for the next 6 to 10 years, as well. I tried to get out of going, for it will mean I have to miss one of our First Communion Masses, the Confirmation of our teens, and our largest fund-raiser of the year, our Festival, but the General "gently pressured" me into going.
Why is this relevant to Pentecost? Pentecost is about what it means to be the Church, and according to the Text, being the Church is about being international. Read the account again, and note the many nationalities of those who first heard the message and responded. It is because of this “internationality” that Sr. Karen had to go to Brazil to do a visitation of her communities there, because of her responsibility as a Provincial Councilor, and it’s the reason why I have to go to Spain.
As I look around the congregation at St. Agatha, I clearly see OUR internationality. We are a United Nations of a congregation! That is what makes us so unique, and what makes us, according to today’s readings, “a perfect model of what the Church should be.” So, celebrate Pentecost--the Descent of the Holy Spirit--in “true St. Agatha form!” Let the entire neighborhood know that the Spirit has descended here! And behave yourselves while I’m gone, I don’t want to hear any bad reports from our Episcopalian neighbors when I return!!!
Love and peace,