With the close of the Easter Season we are back into Ordinary Time on the liturgical calendar. But, the next two Sundays we will not see the priest or deacon wearing the green vestments of Ordinary Time because Pentecost is follow by two great feasts of the church year; Trinity Sunday followed by the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.
In a way I have always viewed these three great feasts as strongly connected together. They teach us about the nature of God as Trinity and the mystery of how God has called us to live in that divine Triune community of love. Through the Paschal Mystery Jesus opened for us the pathway to eternal life with God. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, Jesus has enabled us to be new creations in His love, and through the Holy Spirit he continues to teach us and guide us. Also, through the power of the Holy Spirit he has left us the gift of His Body and Blood to infuse us with his presence, that we as Church, as the living Body of Christ in the world, may grow in holiness and be drawn into the oneness of God. We may never experience that oneness completely until we rest in the divine presence of God in heaven, but as we journey together as church may we strive to be one with the mind and heart of Christ in service to one another and all our brothers and sisters throughout the world.
Trinity Sunday this year will be a special day for a number of youngsters in our parish. Next Sunday they will be receiving their First Holy Communion! As they receive the Body and Blood of Christ I pray that they experience the abundant love that God has for them and the abiding presence of Jesus in their hearts.
While the Easter season has come to a close with the Feast of Pentecost, our life in the Spirit continues throughout the year and our need for the help of the Holy Spirit never ends. When we received Confirmation we were prayed over by the bishop that we would receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. May we remember to seek and pray for these gifts in our daily lives. Below are some prayers to the Holy Spirit. I encourage you to pray them for yourself and for our young people who are preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
God’s blessings and peace, Father Bill
Christ Jesus, before ascending into heaven, you promised to send the Holy Spirit to your apostles and disciples. 0 Grant that the same Spirit may perfect in our lives the work of your grace and love. Grant us the Spirit of Fear of the Lord that we may be filled with a loving reverence toward you. The Spirit of Piety that we may find peace and fulfillment in the service of God while serving others; the Spirit of Fortitude that we may bear our cross with You with courage, and overcome the obstacles that interfere with our salvation; the Spirit of Knowledge that we may know You and know ourselves and grow in holiness; the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten our minds with the light of Your truth; the Spirit of Counsel that we may choose the surest way of doing Your will, seeking first the Kingdom. Grant us the Spirit of Wisdom that we may aspire to the things that last forever. Teach us to be your faithful disciples and animate us in every way with Your Spirit. Amen.
O God, send forth your Holy Spirit into my heart that I may perceive, into my mind that I may remember, and into my soul that I may meditate. Inspire me to speak with piety, holiness, tenderness and mercy. Teach, guide and direct my thoughts and senses from beginning to end. May your grace ever help and correct me, and may I be strengthened now with wisdom from on high, for the sake of your infinite mercy. Amen. Saint Anthony of Padua