The Fire of God's Love

05-31-2020Pastor's LetterFather Gregory Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We arrive at Pentecost. In the sacred liturgy, we wear the color of fire, the fire of the Holy Spirit, who came upon the Apostles and disciples gathered with our Blessed Mother Mary in prayer in the Upper Room (see Acts 1:14; 2:1-11).

“Easter, if it is to be authentic, … cannot stay hidden behind any locked door and neither will it allow us to remain hidden. … The culture of fear is arrogant in its pride and thinks that it alone has words to speak. The culture of fear lies. The culture of fear would convince us that we are its children.

“We are not children of the culture of fear. We are children of the Resurrection! We are sons and daughters of God! We have nothing to fear and we have words, new words to speak to our world, and to one another! … It is not enough to stay behind locked doors, no matter how many other people may also be content to remain there. … Joy is found only in following the risen Lord to wherever He might lead. … We are sons and daughters of the Resurrection of our Lord! The Easter mystery is entrusted to us and it cannot remain behind locked doors, it demands to be taken out to the streets of our world!” (Fr. Michael Cummins, Diocese of Knoxville, TN)

We note that the Apostles and Mary were gathered in prayer at the request of Jesus (see Acts 1: 14; Luke 24:49). To stay together was the condition laid down by Jesus in order to receive His gift of the Holy Spirit, and the foundation of their harmony was prolonged prayer. This is a challenging lesson for every parish, and for every family in every parish today. Often we think that our effectiveness as a parish depends primarily on carefully planned programs and their successful application. Planning is certainly needed. However, before any initiatives that we could offer, the action of the Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary first. And before all of that, it has to begin with your personal surrender. Each of us must personally surrender to God’s will; and His will is only discovered through us staying together as one in profound, silent prayer.

“The People of God … extends today to the point of surmounting every barrier of race, culture, space, and time. … In Pentecost, the Spirit, with the gift of tongues, demonstrates that His presence unites and transforms confusion into communion.

“Human pride and egoism always create divisions, build walls of indifference, hate, and violence. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, makes hearts capable of understanding the languages of all, as He re-establishes the bridge of authentic communion between earth and heaven. … The Church, gathered with Mary as at her birth, today implores: ‘Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love!’ Amen.” (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI)

Let us set the world on fire!

Father Wilson