The Pastor's Column

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 after this.

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 Church.

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.

Fr. Lara