Father Jerry - thoughts on Pentecost

Prayer  for Holy Cross

 Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves,
 When our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little,
 When we arrive safely because we sailed too close to the shore.

 Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess,
 We have lost our thirst for the waters of life;
 Having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity;
 And in our efforts to build a new earth,
 We have allowed our vision of the new heaven to dim.

 Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
 To venture on wider seas where storms will show your mastery;
 Where, losing sight of land, we shall find the stars,
 We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes;
 And to push us in the future in strength, courage, hope, and love.
 This we ask in the name of our captain, who is Jesus Christ.

                                                               Attributed to Sir Francis Drake
                                                                at the beginning of his
                                                                exploration of the
                                                                Western Hemisphere

 " But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit
has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses
In all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
When  He had said this, as they were watching,
He was lifted up and a cloud took Him out of their sight."
                                                                      Acts 1:8-9

Before leaving His disciples, Jesus promised them that they would receive the Holy Spirit, and would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. They did not understand what all of this meant. They did what Jesus asked them to do. They stayed together, went back to the city and waited. I am sure that they spent their days talking about Jesus, and what their lives would be like without Him.

They did not know what the future would bring. They did what Jesus asked them to do. They stayed together, prayed, waited, and hoped.

When it did happen - when God's Spirit filled them with courage and understanding, they were overwhelmed. They described the experience as a mighty wind, as a fire which both warmed and inflamed them with a desire to share their love of Jesus.
And nothing would ever be the same. They shed their fear and went out to tell everyone about this Jesus. The timing was perfect. Jerusalem was teeming with pilgrims celebrating the harvest feast. And what a harvest these formerly frightened followers reaped. In Luke's telling of the story, 3,000 peoples' hearts were touched. And the  Church was born.

Within a short while, the religious authorities were afraid that they were losing control. They demanded that Peter and John shut up. They threatened them with beatings and imprisonment. I love what follows. Peter looks them straight in the eye and says there is no way they can stop, there is no way they can imprison the word of God. These Pharisees and Scribes, these well-educated, respected leaders are furious. How dare a Galilean fisherman tell us about the word of God! How dare he talk to us like that. They devised strategies to stop this movement. But when they asked the respected rabbi Gamaliel's take on the matter, he told them to slow down. He said, I'm a senior citizen who has been around a long time. I've seen all sorts of movements with people claiming to be the Messiah. Let me give you some advice. If this is just another human creation, it will die a natural death. But, if it is of God, THERE IS NO WAY TO STOP IT.

As we celebrate this Pentecost, we give thanks for the call to be witnesses of God's transforming love. We give thanks for the faith  community  of Holy Cross, and ponder where God is leading us. A group of dedicated parishioners have been praying, listening and sharing in a Renewal Program in the hope that all of us  will more deeply live our faith journey.

Also, this Pentecost, we will venture on wider seas, as we begin our Priest Quest, hoping to call a full-time priest. May God's Spirit guide us in all that we do.
                                                           Father Jerry

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