Happy Pentecost Sunday! Today we celebrate the birthday of the Church, which happens when the Holy Spirit comes upon those first disciples. In John’s Gospel, the Holy Spirit is given by the Risen Jesus on Easter. In Luke and Acts of the Apostles, this important event is set on Pentecost, 50 days after Easter Sunday. What is important is the bestowal and not the timing. It is the Holy Spirit who is the continued presence of Jesus in His Body, the Church. It is the Holy Spirit who empowers us to continue the work of Jesus in the world. It is the Holy Spirit who helps us to understand the mystery of the nature of our loving God. It is the Holy Spirit who inspires us to follow Jesus and work for the Kingdom. As we will see next weekend, on the Feast of the Holy Trinity, we owe everything to the Father who created us, the Son who saved us, and the Spirit who enlightens us. Just to add a bit of complexity, however, we are speaking of the Trinity and so what we attribute to one person, the other two persons do as well! More later!
Last Saturday we had our First Communion with 31 young children receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus for the first time. The class this year was especially responsive and attentive. I was impressed. My thanks to Kathy Coyne, who shepherds the class, and their parents, through the whole year of preparation. It is a big task and she does it with real love for each of the families.
Finally, if you were at Mass this past weekend, you heard the sad news that our Deacon, Dean Finch, is going on home hospice. Deacon Dean is a man of great faith, courage, and strength. Despite struggling with a serious illness, he has put his heart and soul into ministry here at St. Jerome. He has worked with parents as they prepare to baptize their children and he has done hundreds of Baptisms. Deacon Dean will tell you how blessed his life has been and will continue to be. He asks for nothing but your prayers. He is well taken care of by his wife, Beverly, and his three daughters: Stephanie who is a nurse, Sara who is a corporate executive and Brittany who has a doctorate in physical therapy. Please remember to pray for him.