Have you ever had a life changing event? A marriage? Leaving your town or country? Death of a loved one? Or travel to another country? My mission to Indonesia was such an event. There that I learned the 3 most important feasts in our Catholic faith, Christmas, Easter and today, Pentecost.
If we were to sum up this feast in one word (besides the Holy Spirit) I would use the word “gifts.” Not the gifts that we call presents, but gifts as in talents, virtues, and strengths in our lives. Gifts as in qualities of our personhood that God has given us that will help us all to become the full person we are called to be.
We know like the recent confirmations of our 17 youth, that we received 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit: understanding, knowledge, wisdom, counsel, fortitude, piety, and fear of God. We also know that there are more than just these as gifts. One activity I always encourage with our confirmation youth is to try to discover what are their gifts. No matter one’s age, this is always a necessary part of our Christian life, to discover our gifts. Over the years they can intensify, they can weaken, and new ones may appear as we are put in certain situations that call forth a gift from us that we did not know that we had.
Last year we took the time to look at the variety of ministries that are offered at Sacred Heart Church from the liturgical ministries of lector, eucharistic minister, usher, and servers to the community ministries of Heart to heart, Hispanic Committee, and Knights of Columbus, to the teaching ministries of PSR/RCIA to the service ministries of outreach, maintenance, and our shelter. If you are interested in joining any of these ministries or are interested in our new ministries with youth and the Scouts, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.
This year I would ask that we could focus on the simple understanding that God has gifted each of us and God has given us these gifts (time, talent, and treasure) to be shared. They are not for us to create a wonderful bank account; they are not for us to hoard them for ourselves or just our family.
This year I would like to highlight that we have two events that really ask for our gifts and that will be our Parish Picnic this next Saturday June 3 from 530pm to 830pm and more importantly the Festival of Nations this August 26th from 530pm to 930pm.
At the end of masses in the hallway behind the altar (where we will leave like last year) you will have the chance to sign up for volunteering for a couple hours or more to make our family celebration as joyous as the day you received the Holy Spirit. It may not change your life, but it will give us the chance to live our truth, our gifts are given to be shared.
With a heart for Mission,