This Week in Prayer, Service & Community - June 9, 2017

Dear All: 

 

As Paul writes in this coming Sundays’ second reading, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.”

 

This Week in Prayer

 

You decide if it is good news or bad news: the season of white vestments is basically over. The white vestments came out of storage for Easter and were worn each of the next seven Sundays. Then came a lone day of red for Pentecost (last Sunday). The white vestments come back off the hangars this coming Sunday (Trinity Sunday) and next Sunday (June 18, The Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ). Then, on June 25, they go back into storage and the green are seen until Ordinary Time ends on November 26.

 

Why the tutorial in liturgical holidays and colors? To point out that the Sundays from Easter, April 16, until Corpus Christi, June 18, belong to the same batch of Sundays. The Sunday readings for this cluster of Sundays generate many questions, one of which concerns the inspired desires God has built into our DNA.

 

The Pentecost readings remind us that our hearts possess an inextinguishable desire to be competent prophets. Our very human nature gives us that desire. Our baptisms and confirmations intensify it. We might use different words to describe that urge, but one way to describe that urge is the desire to be a competent prophet who does a fine job of consoling others when that is in order and a fine job of challenging others, generally by our example and occasionally with words.

The great news is that Jesus says loud and clear “I believe in you and I believe that you have what it takes to be a competent prophet.” Pentecost Sunday’sGospel depicts Jesus saying, “As the Father has sent me so I send you.” Think about it. Jesus is comparing the apostles and all His true disciples (including you) to Himself. That is an astonishing endorsement. He then confers the Holy Spirit to reinforce their/our prophetic abilities.

 

Another favorable comparison emerges in the passage from the Acts of the Apostles, Saint Luke’s description of the Pentecost. The tongues of fire that descend on the apostles are meant to remind us of the fire that came down when Moses climbed the mountain to receive the Torah. Luke’s version of Pentecost thus compares the apostles to Moses. That’s another astonishing endorsement for them and for you. It clearly reveals God’s confidence in their/our ability to function as competent prophets.

 

Just about every day finds you doing the work of a prophet – mostly consoling others and sometimes challenging by example. Parents do it all the time. So do kids. Teachers rarely stop doing it and the same can be said of effective ministry leaders. Pretty much everybody does it in some way. Once in a while, however, especially when the going gets a little scary, each of us needs to be reminded that we have what it takes to be a competent apostle, one who has Jesus’ affirmation, one who has what it takes.

 

What about You? What helps you remember that Jesus is telling you “I believe in you?” What helps you hear his gentle message of affirmation? Our missteps and sins surely remind us that we aren’t perfect and that is good, but what helps you believe in your ability to be a great prophet in your sphere? What helps you know that your God-given desires to console and challenge others is matched by God-given abilities to do so? Is it certain types of prayer? Spiritual reading? Spiritual conversation? Art? Music? Exercise? What helps you?

 

This Week in Service

  • Altar Servers – Please let me know what name you would like to give your altar servers’ team. I suggest you go with a favorite saint, or perhaps a place or a group mentioned in the bible. Be as creative as you can be! 

  • Hats off to all the parishioners whose donations of food enable us to help our local food banks 52 weeks a year. Great thanks also to all who get the food from church to the food banks. 

  • Special thanks to the team of ladies who made our church look so beautiful for Pentecost. The doves raining down on us as we entered church last weekend was truly uplifting.

  • If you are interested in volunteering at St. Joes and need to get your Virtus certification we have good news! Register for a Virtus training that will be held right here at St. Joes on Thursday, June 29. Virtus is required for anyone working with youth. 

 

This Week in Community

  • Great thanks and blessings for the generous members of the Parish Council and Finance Council who have completed their terms. Thanks to Mike Seelig, outgoing chair of the Parish Council and to Parish Council members Billy Gibson, Anthony Carter, Frank Colpini and Carl Mueller. Great thanks as well to Bill Strawderman, outgoing Chair of the Finance Council, and to Finance Council members John Lanahan, Jim Blum and Donna Manuelli. To each of these persons, the parish owes a great deal.

  • And for the incoming members of both councils, best blessings for you as well! Nina DeLucia, currently a member of the Parish Council will serve as chair from this July until July, 2019. Joining the Parish Council are Dottie Lukazik, Bernie Demsky, AnnaMaria Realbuto, Natalie Zucarello, Amy Dahl and Bill Strawderman. Thanks to Beth Martello who has agreed to chair the finance council from this summer until the summer of 2019. Mike Seelig will be joining the Finance Council. Four other people are currently discerning the prospect of joining the councils. Best blessings for all.

  • After considerable effort by staff members Brian Gilmurray, Monica McDevitt and by members of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, the five-year spending plan for parish facilities’ upkeep and restorations is nearly complete. Soon after this week’s Finance Council review, the spending plan will be made available to the entire parish. The simple goal is to plan ahead to keep our facilities safe and welcoming while avoiding the emergency expenditures that always cost more than planned spending.

  • Great thanks to our workers from Hillsborough High and to their job coaches for making our workers’ time here so successful. We thank Jim, Mark and Wayne for their great work and we thank Lesia and Tammy for their job coaching.

  • Its never too soon to think of being a CCD teacher next year. Contact Jim Jungels if you think that MAYBE the Holy Spirit is prompting you in this direction.

  • Join us as we celebrate Fr. Hank’s silver anniversary on June 17. We start with 4:45mass and then we party. We’d like to know how many people to expect so if you haven’t already done so, please fill out this simple form

I send this with best blessings for all of you

 

Fr Hank