Fr. Lara's Lines
Solemnity of Pentecost
I celebrated my ordination anniversary a couple weeks
ago on May 17. It has been six years already--time
flies. A few of my classmates and I got together to
celebrate. We had a great social-distancing time,
talking about the good old days. People love
memories. Most of the time, when we talk with family
and friends, we end up talking about past experiences.
We remember those good, funny, or even sad events
that have made an impression in our lives. Each
generation desires to recall in vivid detail what
happened “then.” A people, a community, a nation
revives and reinvigorates itself by drawing comfort
and challenge from the way it was in the beginning.
Whether it is the yearly remembrance of America’s
Independence Day, or the commemoration on Memorial
Day of Americans who fought and died for the country,
or the celebration of the Church’s birthday on Pentecost
Sunday. Each generation desires to recall in vivid detail
what happened in those early days.
This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost
Sunday, the day on which the Church was born. By
sending the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, God desires
for the Church to exist as the body of Christ. This is our
story which began in the upper room after the ascension
of the Lord. This weekend, we recall that very moment
when the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles as tongues
of fire. The Church was created to continue Jesus’
mission. We, as Church, need to be the witnesses of
God’s love in the world. “The Holy Spirit comes upon
you, and you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem,
Judea, Samaria, and the outermost part of the earth.”
The Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday marks the
inauguration of a new era, the initiation of a new
period, the beginning of a new age. The Church was
born, something that had never been known before;
something never seen in the Old Testament. Something
promised in the New Testament and even described in
some measure by the Lord Himself who spoke of the
church in the gospel of Matthew. But the church up to
this point had been a mystery, something hidden, about
to be revealed. This is the inauguration of the church.
What the church is and how the church lives unfolds
One Church, Paul says. Not one nation ethnically, but
Jew and gentile alike in Christ. The Holy Spirit came
upon the apostles and comes upon all those who are
part of the new body of Christ. Everyone is placed into
the body of Christ. So we heard in the second reading:
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts
but the same Spirit;
There are different forms of service
but the same Lord;
There are different workings
but the same God who produces
all of them in everyone.
In the Church, there is unity and a new life in the Holy
Spirit. We are, in fact, temples of the Holy Spirit.
The church is born on the day of Pentecost. And what
signifies its birth is the arrival of the Holy Spirit. The
mission of Jesus has been completed, he has redeemed
us, and now the mission of the Holy Spirit continues, the
Holy Spirit is sanctifying us.
We recite in the profession of faith every Sunday, “I
believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.”
Well today we celebrate the birth of our unity; we
celebrate the birth of that holiness; we celebrate the
birth of catholicity or universality; and we celebrate
the birth of the apostolicity of this family that is the
Happy Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday!
Our School Graduates
We are proud of the SCL graduating class of 2020.
They have worked so hard to achieve this milestone in
their lives. We want them to know they will always have
our love and support. I know this year graduation will be
different due to the crisis the world is going through, but
it will be a memorable experience. Even during difficult
times, you stood tall facing uncharted territories in your
education. Congratulation, SCL class of 2020! You have
made us proud.