Dear Friends in Christ:
Three More Priests!
This weekend our diocese has ordained three new men to the priesthood…Fr. David Jameson, Fr. Logan Weber, and Fr. David Sacha. This is wonderful news for us. I was able to attend their ordination Saturday morning. I mention this again, because as the Director of Priestly Vocations, I feel it is important for me to be present at each newly ordained priest’s first Mass. For this reason, Fr. Michael Goodwin has graciously agreed to celebrate weekend Masses at St. Pius X. Please thank Fr. Michael for being with us and for allowing me to be available to support our new priests.
Today we celebrate Pentecost. The gift of the Holy Spirit poured out upon us. The Holy Spirit is always active in our lives, but there is one action I want to focus on. That is, the Holy Spirit gives New Life. A clear example of this comes from the Old Testament with the prophet Ezekiel. The Israelites have been defeated by the Babylonians and kicked out of their land. And so, the Israelites have been saying, Our bones are dried up, our hope is lost, and we are cut off (Ez 37:1-14). God recognizes that His people are feeling dejected. He commands the prophet Ezekiel to prophesy over dry bones. The emphasis on dry bones is important because these bones are from people who have been dead for a while. And yet, God is still able to bring them to new life. So, God promises, O my people! I will put my spirit in you that you may live. The Spirit of God gives life.
But God also offers each of us new life today! The way by which God offers us new life is not dissimilar to what God did through the prophet Ezekiel. Many of us come to Church with different struggles. Many of us come to this place of worship experiencing trials in our life that stir in us the same response of the Israelites “our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost!” How many of us have found it difficult to have hope when we hear about another violent crime or mass shooting? How many of us are searching for hope when considering our own difficulties, health issues, or grief? Through the feast of Pentecost, God desires to speak these words of hope directly to you…O my people! I will put my spirit in you that you may live!
Sometimes we don’t know where to start or how to cling onto the hope of new life from the Spirit. St. Paul encourages us in this way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings (Rm 8:22-27). When we do not know how to pray, we can go to the Holy Spirit and ask for help. He will pray with us and for us!
In Christ’s love and friendship,
Fr. Stephen Durkee