My Dear Fellow Parishioners,
Today, fifty days after Easter, we celebrate Pentecost Sunday which marks the end of the Church’s glorious Easter Season. What a strange season it has been as we isolate ourselves in our homes and celebrate Mass via livestream! Under normal circumstances, today also would have marked the end of the initiation process (RCIA) for those who would have been initiated at the Easter Vigil. Alas, they are still awaiting the day when it will be safe to gather in the church building again to celebrate baptisms, Confirmations and the reception of Eucharist. Also longing for the sacraments are our First Communion and Confirmation candidates and the parents of little ones waiting to be baptized. Let us hold them all in prayer that they do not become discouraged, rather that this time of anticipation will bring its own unique graces.
Pentecost is also considered the “birthday of the Church” as described in our first reading today from The Acts of the Apostles. This year, sequestered in my home with my husband for fear of COVID-19, I can relate more than ever before to the account of the disciples hiding for fear of meeting the same death as Jesus. Yet, with the coming of the Holy Spirit whom Jesus had promised to send as an Advocate, we hear that their fear was replaced by a fervor to spread the Good News of Jesus who is Messiah and Lord, crucified and risen.
Reflecting on all this, I feel a connection between the Church’s first birthday at Pentecost and the rebirth of the Domestic Church (the Church lived in our households) that we see re-surging under the guidance of the Holy Spirit during the current pandemic. On the parish website, Facebook and Instagram pages you can see photos of home prayer centers (little altars), children working on their Faith Formation lessons under the guidance of parents or older siblings, and (most importantly) families participating in, not just watching, Sunday Mass livestreamed from our parish church. Some households are making banners, posters or sidewalk chalk drawings to thank the delivery people serving them. In many various ways we are witnessing the Good News to one another in our homes and in our neighborhoods.