May 23, 2021
Today we come to the end of the glorious season of Easter as we gather to celebrate Pentecost Sunday, In today’s first reading St. Luke the Evangelist describes this great day. 50 days since the Lord’s Resurrection, the disciples are gathered together in the Upper Room where they have been praying and waiting for the promised gift of the Spirit. The Spirit comes as a driving wind and as tongues of flame descending into the fearful hearts of the disciples. They are transformed into firebrand preachers of the mighty acts of God. They are able to speak in languages they never could before. Remember, these were simple fishermen, tax collectors, and ordinary men. The Spirit empowered them to be committed to the task Jesus had entrusted to them at His Ascension. They were now to go forth to make disciples of all nations. In a sense they experienced a rebirth. That was the birth of the Church. Happy Birthday Church of committed and intentional disciples. By our Baptism and Confirmation you and I have been anointed and reborn in the Spirit to proclaim the mighty acts of our God. We pray today, “Lord, send out Your Spirit, (upon us!), and renew the face of the earth.” Renew in us the conviction of faith to share the Gospel.
Last weekend I announced at Mass the new guidelines which Archbishop Rozanski sent to all pastors that if you are “fully” vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask at Mass. If you have NOT been fully vaccinated, you ARE required to do so until that time. We leave that up to the “honor system”, and trust that all parishioners will comply. Anyone who feels they still need to wear mask at Mass may also do so. Last weekend we also removed the “blue” tape on the pews. According to the guidelines, each pastor was to determine the need for social distancing and the capacity of those attending Mass. After discussing this with Msgr. Morris, we decided to open the entire Church to capacity. For us at St. Luke this is not an issue since there is plenty of space at both the 5pm and 10:00am Masses. The Archdiocese will continue to monitor the advice of the CDC and local health officials to announce any other changes. Stay tuned.
On Monday, May 31st, we will celebrate Memorial Day here at St. Luke, A few years ago we began a tradition of celebrating our summer holidays with “Mass on the Grass.” We gather on McMahon field at 9:00am with our sister parish, Immaculate Conception, Maplewood for Mass ‘al fresco’. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us, (weather permitting). In the event of inclement weather, Mass will be in Church.
With the Solemnity of Pentecost, the Church returns to the season of Ordinary Time. In the early weeks of this long season that takes us up to the end of the Church year, we celebrate two major feasts of the Church; next week the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, where we celebrate the Triune Godhead of Father, Son and Holy Spirit; the following week the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, formerly known in Latin as Corpus Christi, where we give thanks for the food that nourishes and strengthens us on our pilgrim journey.
Finally today, this month’s Parish Council meeting will be devoted entirely to welcoming Dave Baranowski, from the Archdiocese, who has been consulting with us on Evangelization in St. Luke Parish. He will be joined by Brian Miller who will be presenting to the council a program entitled, “Equipped,” which helps parishes to implement plans to be intentional disciples. I would like to invite any and all parishioners who are interested in bringing renewal and rebirth to St. Luke to consider joining me. The meeting will begin at 7pm in the St. Joseph Room. Please pray and consider attending.
God Bless! Happy Birthday!
Please continue praying 3 Hail Marys.