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Dear friends in our faith family,
Happy Birthday Church! Fifty days after Jesus' resurrection, ten days after Jesus' ascension to the Father we find
ourselves where He promised we would be - in our time no loud noises, nor tongues as of fire, nor even multilinguists
speaking to everyone's hearing. Rather, with teenagers who were confirmed this past Thursday, with
seven year-olds receiving their first Eucharist, with newborns being baptized and young couples marrying and
beloved old people entering eternal rest, we are where Jesus promised we would be.
As Anne Osdieck writes, we are singing "Veni Sancte Spiritus." She offers this contemporary translation. "Warmth
in a land of chill, Come, Comforter of us all, breathe your life into our dead hearts and souls. Wake our spirits to
knowledge, wisdom, understanding, courage, and send us out to the whole earth."
Yes, we truly need this solemn feast as much today as at the first Pentecost. For, as Ignatius of Laodicea said,
"Without the Holy Spirit God is distant, Christ is merely an historical figure, the Gospel is a dead letter, the Church
is just an organization, authority is domination, mission is propaganda, liturgy is only nostalgia, and the work of
Christians is slave labor.
But with the Holy Spirit, Christ is risen and present, the Gospel is a living force, the Church is a communion in the
life of the Trinity, authority is a service that sets people free, mission is Pentecost, the Liturgy is memory and
anticipation, and the labor of Christians is divinized."
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in us the Fire...