Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Oh, the power of just a few simple words . . . “Receive the Holy Spirit!”
The doors were locked and the disciples were filled with fear, but when Jesus spoke these words, everything changed. The disciples were emboldened with the seven-fold gifts of the Holy Spirit . . . wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. From that point on, they boldly proclaimed the Good News. Here we are, 2,000 or so years later with over two billion people who are Christians . . .followers of Christ. Oh, the power of a few simple words!
Many readings from the Acts of the Apostles provide us with a glimpse of the early Church and the workings of the Holy Spirit. And, the spirit is still alive and well today.
On May 17, 2017, we had 32 high-school students from our parish stand up as their names were called. Each of them boldly proclaimed, “I wish to be confirmed!” Their witness was inspiring! After calling down the Holy Spirit, Bishop Ricken sealed them on the forehead with the oil of Sacred Chrism.
Also during the month of May, I was blessed to attend two ordination Masses. “Will those called to the Order of Deacon please stand.” When each name was called, the candidate rose, stepped forward, and boldly responded with one simple word…“Present!”
Five men from our diocese became permanent deacons on May 13, 2017. Then, on Sunday May 21, 2017, Kyle Sladek (who grew up in our parish) and José López Vargas were ordained as transitional deacons. God willing, Kyle will be ordained as a priest in our diocese next year.
Oh, the power of just a few simple words!
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
May God bless you and your family.