Ascension Sunday & SPX 8th Gr Grad Homily

Happy Graduation Day.   We hear these greetings this time of year for finishing students at schools.   In that context, I invite you to look at the Ascension Mystery and this message like a commencement for the Church to enter in to her new realm in Christ, going to become  Christ body in the world, while connected to Christ the Exalted Head at the Throne.imag0654_1

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Pentecost Novena Day Five

Spirit Window

THE NOVENA TO THE HOLY SPIRIT        Wait and pray to be clothed from on high

The great Novena of the Church:  Thursday, May 25th to Pentecost Sunday, June 4th.

DAY FIVE      MAY 29TH     Opening Prayer

O Lord Jesus Christ, before your Ascension to Heaven, You did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish your work in the souls of Your apostles and disciples. You asked them to “wait for the Promise of the Father…. (and that) in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit…. (and) you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” (From Acts 1)   The Acts of the Apostles’ account tells, then, that the apostles, and Mary, and various men and women, indeed went to Jerusalem to wait on the Gift, devoting themselves with one accord to prayer together.”   In this Novena, O God, I join all others in the Church in these days of devotion and pleading for the power and love of your Spirit.

I ask You, Lord, for our present age, that we might more deeply encounter Your Spirit of renewal in Mother Church. As the hymn goes, “Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.” (Come Holy Ghost) You said: “Ask and you shall receive.” So we now ask for strength in Your Spirit.  In our Easter regeneration, we pray for what You started may increase and be built up strong in our days.  O Jesus You said to Peter:  “Upon this rock I will build my Church… I give to you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven,” (from Matt. 16) so we petition You, Come help us who faithfully abide in Your Church!  O Come, Holy Spirit. Do teach us all truth, console us as we go about in this broken world, and please enlighten us in the way we best should live in it.  Help us then, to have courage to live in accord with our vocation of faith and to do so for the Common Good. Help me, and my brothers and sisters in The Fold, to be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph.5:18)

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Pentecost Novena Day Four

THE NOVENA TO THE HOLY SPIRIT       Wait and pray to be clothed from on high

The great Novena of the Church:  Thursday, May 25th to Pentecost Sunday, June 4th.

Spirit WindowDAY 4    MAY 28TH

Opening Prayer

 

O Lord Jesus Christ, before your Ascension to Heaven, You did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish your work in the souls of Your apostles and disciples. You asked them to “wait for the Promise of the Father…. (and that) in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit…. (and) you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” (From Acts 1)  The Acts of the Apostles’ account tells, then, that the apostles, and Mary, and various men and women, indeed went to Jerusalem to wait on the Gift, devoting themselves with one accord to prayer together.”   In this Novena, O God, I join all others in the Church in these days of devotion and pleading for the power and love of your Spirit.

I ask You, Lord, for our present age, that we might more deeply encounter Your Spirit of renewal in Mother Church. As the hymn goes, “Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.” (Come Holy Ghost) You said: “Ask and you shall receive.” So we now ask for strength in Your Spirit.  In our Easter regeneration, we pray for what You started may increase and be built up strong in our days.  O Jesus You said to Peter:  “Upon this rock I will build my Church… I give to you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven,” (from Matt. 16) so we petition You, Come help us who faithfully abide in Your Church!  O Come, Holy Spirit. Do teach us all truth, console us as we go about in this broken world, and please enlighten us in the way we best should live in it.  Help us then, to have courage to live in accord with our vocation of faith and to do so for the Common Good. Help me, and my brothers and sisters in The Fold, to be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph.5:18)

 

Pentecost Novena Day Three

THE NOVENA TO THE HOLY SPIRIT       Wait and pray to be clothed from on high

The great Novena of the Church:  Thursday, May 25th to Pentecost Sunday, June 4thSpirit Window

 

 

 

 

DAY THREE   MAY 27TH   Opening Prayer

O Lord Jesus Christ, before your Ascension to Heaven, You did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish your work in the souls of Your apostles and disciples.

You asked them to “wait for the Promise of the Father…. (and that) in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit…. (and) you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” (From Acts 1)   The Acts of the Apostles’ account tells, then, that the apostles, and Mary, and various men and women, indeed went to Jerusalem to wait on the Gift, devoting themselves with one accord to prayer together.”   In this Novena, O God, I join all others in the Church in these days of devotion and pleading for the power and love of your Spirit.

I ask You, Lord, for our present age, that we might more deeply encounter Your Spirit of renewal in Mother Church. As the hymn goes, “Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.” (Come Holy Ghost) You said: “Ask and you shall receive.” So we now ask for strength in Your Spirit.  In our Easter regeneration, we pray for what You started may increase and be built up strong in our days.  O Jesus You said to Peter:  “Upon this rock I will build my Church… I give to you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven,” (from Matt. 16) so we petition You, Come help us who faithfully abide in Your Church!  O Come, Holy Spirit. Do teach us all truth, console us as we go about in this broken world, and please enlighten us in the way we best should live in it.  Help us then, to have courage to live in accord with our vocation of faith and to do so for the Common Good. Help me, and my brothers and sisters in The Fold, to be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph.5:18)

Day Three Prayer:   Remembering the 7-fold Gift

O Lord, in the prophecies of Isaiah 11, it forecast the Anointed One to have a seven-fold (full) outpouring of the Spirit upon Him.   You came in the Son Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of this Person of Hope.   When You came to the synagogue in Your home town of Nazareth, You announced to all that this prophecy was fulfilled in Yourself. (Luke 4)   As You walked fully in the Spirit, You showed us what humankind looks like fully alive to God.   Then, as You completed Your Work upon the mysteries of Your Death, Resurrection, and Ascension, You promised to give us the Spirit to abide in us, even He Who lived in Your ministry as the Anointed One.  Therefore, we pray for the seven-fold outpouring of the Spirit to enliven us to be Your holy people, living in Your anointing.   

7 GiftsMeditate briefly on each gift:

Recall how Jesus claimed this Word was about Him:  “The spirit of the Lord shall rest on Him.  A spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and reverence (piety), and his delight shall be the fearful awe and wonder of the Lord.”  Isaiah 11.

Do you remember what these gifts did offer out to us at Confirmation? And forward into our whole lives?

 

 

Pentecost Novena Day Two

THE NOVENA TO THE HOLY SPIRIT       Wait and pray to be clothed from on high

The great Novena of the Church:  Thursday, May 25th to Pentecost Sunday, June 4th.

DAY TWO    MAY 26TH

Spirit Window

 

 

 

 

Opening Prayer

O Lord Jesus Christ, before your Ascension to Heaven, You did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish your work in the souls of Your apostles and disciples. You asked them to “wait for the Promise of the Father…. (and that) in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit…. (and) you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” (From Acts 1)   The Acts of the Apostles’ account tells, then, that the apostles, and Mary, and various men and women, indeed went to Jerusalem to wait on the Gift, devoting themselves with one accord to prayer together.”   In this Novena, O God, I join all others in the Church in these days of devotion and pleading for the power and love of your Spirit.

I ask You, Lord, for our present age, that we might more deeply encounter Your Spirit of renewal in Mother Church. As the hymn goes, “Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.” (Come Holy Ghost) You said: “Ask and you shall receive.” So we now ask for strength in Your Spirit.

In our Easter regeneration, we pray for what You started may increase and be built up strong in our days.  O Jesus You said to Peter:  “Upon this rock I will build my Church… I give to you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven,” (from Matt. 16) so we petition You, Come help us who faithfully abide in Your Church!  O Come, Holy Spirit. Do teach us all truth, console us as we go about in this broken world, and please enlighten us in the way we best should live in it.  Help us then, to have courage to live in accord with our vocation of faith and to do so for the Common Good. Help me, and my brothers and sisters in The Fold, to be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph.5:18)

Day Two Meditation: Say the Jesus Prayer for some moments:  “Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

Repeat it over and over as a mantra.  Try to breathe in and breathe out with the prayer.   Then add on to your prayer: “Risen Lord, in splendor, You are the Savior of the world! Give me a spirit of revival in your love and salvation!” 

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Pentecost Novena! Day One

THE NOVENA TO THE HOLY SPIRIT       Wait and pray to be clothed from on high

Pray the great Novena of the Church:  Thursday, May 25th to Pentecost Sunday, June 4th.  Here is Day One and the next eight blogs will be the other blog installments of the series.

Spirit Window

 

DAY ONE  MAY 25

Opening Prayer

O Lord Jesus Christ, before your Ascension to Heaven, You did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your apostles and disciples. You asked them to “wait for the Promise of the Father…. (and that) in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit…. (and) you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” (From Acts 1)   The Acts of the Apostles account tells, then, that the apostles, and Mary, and various men and women, indeed went to Jerusalem to wait on the Gift, devoting themselves with one accord to prayer together.”   In this Novena, O God, I join all others in the Church in these days of devotion and pleading for the power and love of your Spirit.

I ask You, Lord, for our present age, that we might more deeply encounter Your Spirit of renewal in Mother Church. As the hymn goes, “Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.” (Come Holy Ghost) You said: “Ask and you shall receive.” So we now ask for strength in Your Spirit.  In our Easter regeneration, we pray for what You started may increase and be built up strong in our days.  O Jesus You said to Peter:  “Upon this rock I will build my Church… I give to you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven,” (from Matt. 16) so we petition You, Come help us who faithfully abide in Your Church!  O Come, Holy Spirit. Do teach us all truth, console us as we go about in this broken world, and please enlighten us in the way we best should live in it.  Help us then, to have courage to live in accord with our vocation of faith and to do so for the Common Good. Help me, and my brothers and sisters in The Fold, to be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph.5:18)

Day One Meditation: Someone said that Christians who are still with the Church are many who have learned to “be still (or quieted) with God.” Psalm 46:10 says: “Be still and know that am God.”.  Notice how similar are Jesus’ instructions at His Ascension: “Wait to be clothed from on high.”

Lord, I enter the waiting down period of this Novena to the Holy Spirit.  I quiet and still myself each of these novena days, if but for a short time.  Like those apostles and disciples gathered with Mary, praying for the Outpouring, I rest and call upon Your name and I hope and pray that You will find and open channel in Me, for your Spirit to bring new life.

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Candy Land

I took a stroll through a megamall.  I walked into a store of all candy that reminded me of a 55-year-old memory:  the time I played a racing board game called Candy Land.   This little board game is still for sale in 2017, but in the early/mid 1960′s it was a family favorite in the Barry household.  The play takes you through imaginary places like Gumdrop Mountains and Lollipop Woods on your way to Candy Castle.

In the mall store it was like Candy Land for a moment, as one could shop candy sections for all types and ages of sweet tooths.  It felt a bit like walking on a new Candy Land game board.   Here are some photos I took of my walk through this unique mall stop.  IMAG1279IMAG1277IMAG1287IMAG1286IMAG1285IMAG1283IMAG1282IMAG1281

If Candy Land would have new places on the board, then it would be Pizza Raindrops Plaza, Sour Smog Ball City Center, Jolly Rancher Ranch, Hershey Kiss Boulevard, Starburst Mall, Sour Worms Field, Pop Rocks Pavilion, Krispie Treats Terrace, Nerds Highway, and Sweet Emojeez Meadows!

 

The store is so loaded with candy that the employees must need anti-sugar shots to keep on the job.   The place screamed sugar!IMAG1278

CWA and Cameroon Catholic support ministry

Several years ago, a group of Cameroon women in the parish or county region came together to begin an ecclesial group.   We started a chapter of the CWA (Catholic Women’s Association) here at St. Edwards.   It involved our joining into an existing ministry branching out from Cameroon and Nigeria, which is making efforts to form parish groups on USA’s east coast, to where more Cameroons have moved.   The first one in the region came in 2006-07 in Burtonsville.  Ours followed afterward.

 

The Burtonsville Maryland start at Resurrection Parish was honored last Sunday, with a bishops visit there.   It was Bishop George Nkuo from Kumbo diocese.IMAG1323

My own closer involvement with Cameroons in St. Edwards began with a wedding of a couple in the parish, one that brought many Cameroons into our church.  That bride and many other Catholic women soon were gathering, upon my invitation, twice-a-month, after the 1130 St. Edward Sunday Mass for rosary, doctrine and Bible study, lunch, charity planning, and socializing. I have joined and led them for several years now.

This past Sunday was a Mass and social time for hundreds of CWA CMA chapters and of other Cameroon men and women Catholic organizations in the DC/Baltimore area gathered in Burtonsville.  The bishop from Cameroon was the celebrant of an almost 3- hour Mass, filled with all sorts of ethnic traditions, songs, testimonies, and prayer in the Eucharistic Lord.   It was long for me, of course, but it was a rich experience.   It was another act of support I could give for a group of vigorous Catholic African immigrants, whom I value as an asset to the local Church.   I was one of only two white persons of color in the celebration, but that was fine with me, as I act in solidarity with these new members to the Catholic USA community. IMAG0461  I am getting used to being with them now.  Above is a picture from an African style wedding celebration from a few months back.  The program from Sunday also shows above.  In it you see one of about 20 songs we sang in worship. IMAG1324_1n

I did not take photos within last Sunday’s celebration.