We had some significant celebrations during the time of Lent and Easter season and Feast of St Joseph. The joy that the Risen Lord has prepared for us, “something that no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived,” (1 Cor 2:9). After seven weeks of celebration of Easter we come to an end with the celebration of the Feast of Pentecost – Christ’s Passover is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in us.
“When the day of Pentecost had come they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed as resting upon each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit…,” (Acts 2.1–4).
The apostles received “the power from on high,” (LK 24:49) and they began to preach and bear witness to Jesus as the Risen Christ, the King of glory. This moment has traditionally been called the birthday of the Church.
As the St. Joseph parish community, we should be proud when we look back on these past three months where we were so intense and busy with many events and formations that were even draining for some of us. I believe strongly that Jesus was really working in us through our commitments in various ministries to lead everyone into a deeper relationship with Him. Today we have come to celebrate the birthday of the Church once again with the hope of continuing to build, animate and sanctify our parish life.
We have learned that God’s Spirit is a Spirit of transformation, to bring about a personal change in us so that we could do much better in our lives. As true Christians we must let the Holy Spirit really change us from within. We must grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, (2 Peter 3: 18) and focus on loving one another. As St Paul says, Spirit-filled Christians should be “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” (2 Cor 10:5). True Christians should obey God from the heart more deeply than they ever have before, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Pentecost!
Every ministry in our parish is working “Towards Strengthening Our Faith Community” by preparing and enabling every parishioner to be active disciples of Jesus Christ, who realised that God calls them to witness to and share their faith. The Spirit of God is working in us and the joy of His work will allow us not to be short-lived but to be renewed in our faith and to grow, glow and go in the Spirit in our ministries. We hope to encourage more parishioners to be involved in all areas of preparation for our vision and mission 2017.
Our parish vision and mission will continue with the next most important event of the year which is the Parish Retreat. It is scheduled to be held in September 2017. The Parish Retreat committee led by Mary Bernadette Peters has started their ground work preparations. They will officially announce the details soon. Let’s pray that God’s plan for all individuals and families may be strengthened to be living witnesses to the Good News.
By Fr. George Packiasamy.