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Pastor of St. Mark Catholic Church lays out his vision for the parish in SUNDAY of PENTECOST HOMILY, June 8, 2014


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Next week when we gather, we will notice the Easter or Paschal Candle to my immediate left will be absent.  She will be dimmed, so to speak, and will be placed at the Baptismal font so as to show the relationship between Christ the Light and Baptism.

It is as if Christ, now ascended to the right hand of the Father, has left us.  The candle disappears unto another function.  We are not left orphaned, however. 

Today, on the Fiftieth day Easter, we arrive at Pentecost.  His ascension and the Feast of Pentecost are both gifts from God through His Son Jesus, gifts FOR us.  The Holy Spirit is sent and infused into us, bringing the Easter event to its completion!

The dynamic of infusing anyone or any thing is a dynamic that leaves nothing the same.  The Holy Spirit event of Pentecost has many powerful implications for the Apostles that were locked up in that room, for Mary who was with them and for us as disciples.  We were first the recipients of the Holy Spirit at Baptism.  Grace was given us, that is, the presence of God was made available as was the Holy Spirit.  At Confirmation, this spirit now makes all things complete!  Full initiation is complete with the Sacrament of Confirmation.  The Sacrament of Confirmation is not an “optional” Sacrament!

At Pentecost, nothing remains the same.  It simply cannot!  Infused, anointed, called by the Holy Spirit, we are moved from within.  The Apostles themselves begin to understand the language they spoke with clarity.  It wasn’t idle language or useless chatter.  The Holy Spirit brings clarity to what we say and do.  It guides what we say and do!

At least, that’s the spiritual idea.  Jesus becomes one of us in the gift and it is as if, like in Baptism, at Pentecost, we are born again, we are claimed for Christ once again. We are moved into action for the church and as the church. We cannot sit still anymore!  The Church, is alive and has the work of Jesus Christ to accomplish. 

Have you asked yourself lately, how much you love the Church?  Have you asked yourself why you are so active in the Church?  Is it just activity?  Does the Holy Spirit move you to be a part of her beyond Sunday obligation?

Many can come and visit at St. Mark and claim,  “they have so much spirit”!  “There is so much going on”!  But- is it the Holy Spirit?   How does activity at our parish translate into real ministry infused with the Holy Spirit?

How is discipleship spelled out in our parish?  Again, people comment:“we have to get better in our communication”.  And I walk away musing: “we have to get better at invoking, calling on the Holy Spirit”.  Our communication will be very precise and very distinctive when the Lord and His Spirit are involved.  Our activity will turn into well defined ministry when Jesus the Spirit is called upon as the very center of that activity, group, commission or council!

I do have a vision for St. Mark Catholic Church.  Here are some pieces of that vision that I am anxious to share with our upcoming Pastoral Council and with you today:

  • I have a vision for our parish that is centered on the Eucharist, the food for the journey and for life everlasting!  A parish that always looks for the next opportunity to pray together, THEN eat and play.  I have a vision for a parish that prays over and beyond the Sunday obligation.
  • a parish that is intentionally CATHOLIC and that is proud of that baptismal fact and doesn’t shy away from speaking on that behalf!
  • a parish that in its Catholicism, supports a catholic education and those families who choose it as a priority
  • a parish that truly knows and means it to proclaim “WE ARE A STEWARDSHIP PARISH.”  To say it is one thing, to live it is another.

On that note, am I giving of my time when it is asked of me or did I use my time for a self centered activity?  Am I sharing my talents for the sake of the kingdom, or do I gauge that depending on how much I will get paid for my talent?  Am I truly tithing as I should and from the abundance God has blessed me with?  Do I tithe with joy, trusting God has already blessed me in return twofold, or do I tithe as I do when I simply pay bills?  Do I forget my family back at St. Mark when I travel for the weekend and let someone else tithe for me?

  • I have a vision of a parish that clearly demonstrates that at least 60% of its parishioners are truly involved or anxious to get involved at St. Mark because of their love for Christ’s
  • Church and the Holy Spirit who has infused them with that love rather than simply getting involved for others to notice ME or add something else to my personal curriculum of activity
  • a parish that takes the youth, the children and their catholic catechesis seriously for the sake of the Kingdom and their souls
  • I have a vision for a parish that in all it does, measures it against the life of a disciple, first; of a missionary like St. Paul or St. John Paul II

This Pentecost, my first with you, is a joyful one, I must say, because there is so much to do.  Today I sense the Holy Spirit hungers for your undivided participation in His work, wanting to be a part of YOUR LIFE!

Do not be afraid of Him!  Do not be afraid of defending Him!

Do not be afraid of dying FOR HIM!

He has already accomplished all that work for you and me.  He extended His arms on the cross as far as he physically could.  God the Father did the rest. 

This is the Pentecost of St. Mark’s chance for a new chapter!  Springing from what has been done in the past so well, let us be on our way to the NEXT PENTECOST OF ST. MARK.

Today, He showers us with the Holy Spirit; we are gifted with the same love with which God the Father rose Him from the dead!  ARISE LET US BE ON OUR WAY!



St. Katharine Drexel Catholic School

Co Sponsored by Pax Christi and St. Mark Catholic Parishes

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St. Katharine Drexel Catholic School
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5761 McArthur Ranch Road
Littleton, Colorado 80124

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