Be Bold!

 In Articles, Pastor's Notes, Pastor's Notes-Fr. Ritche

Every year on the Solemnity of Pentecost, we are given the option of which gospel reading to use. This year, we hear the story of that very first Easter night found in John’s gospel. The Evangelist tells us that the Apostles were gathered in the upper room for fear of the Jews, and if I may say, perhaps fear of Jesus. Keep in mind, they abandoned Jesus except for John the beloved disciple. Now, the faithful women reported that the tomb was empty, and the angel told them that He is risen. They must have been asking themselves how they could face Jesus. No wonder they locked the doors. Despite all that, Jesus appeared to them and said: “Peace be with you!” This is the first gift of the risen Christ, the restoration of friendship. Then, He breathes on them saying: “Receive the Holy Spirit. As the Father sent Me so I send you!” Upon receiving the gift of the Spirit, the disciples were on fire! Their fear was transformed. They opened the doors. They went out and boldly proclaimed the good news to all!

Reflecting on that first Easter, I believe that to receive the Spirit, one is given a mission- namely, to unleash the Spirit and do the work of Christ. Over sixty years ago, the doors of our community opened. Like the first disciples of Jesus, our founding mothers and fathers were filled with the Holy Spirit. Working together with Fr. Thomas Murray, they began their missionary work with the people of Almaden. They were successful because they were not afraid to let the Spirit loose and allow that Spirit to lead them in their work. Other pastors and priests succeeded Fr. Murray and they continued what was started. I would be remiss if I did not mention Fr. Brendan. During his leadership, the parish became even bolder in living the mission of the Risen Christ.

Today, this community continues to thrive because of all of you – a community that is never afraid to roll up its sleeves and get its hands dirty. A people that is bold because we all believe that the Spirit is alive in each one of us. This is a community that lives out the fruits of the Spirit. In everything we say and do, it is the Spirit that speaks and is in action.

On May 2nd, some members of our community gathered to help develop the “Holy Spirit Parish Pastoral Plan” for the next 60 years and beyond. It is a plan that invites us to be radically hospitable – that is to love as Jesus loved, forgive as He forgave, understand as He understood, and to welcome as He welcomed. As we journey into the future, I invite all of you to join me in this plan. It is only with your help that the plan will come to fruition.

Finally, I wish to genuinely express my gratitude for your generosity and support of our community. I am very proud to be your pastor. I pray that the Holy Spirit continues to fire us with His love and enflame us to become even bolder disciples of the Risen Christ in word and in deed.

Happy Feast Day everyone!

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