From the Pastor’s Desk

Ascension of the Lord

May 12, 2024

But they went forth and preached everywhere while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.
-Mark 16:20

 

 

Brothers and Sisters,

REJOICE: Jesus ascended into heaven! After entering into our world and fulfilling his mission by dying and rising again for us, Jesus returns to the Father. The Ascension is a mystery of our faith, not simply in grasping how one might enter heaven but in that Jesus opened this path to us.

Jesus assures his followers that he will never abandon them. Although some may interpret the Ascension as Jesus leaving them, he promises to send the Holy Spirit to keep them united with the Father and the Son. Through the Holy Spirit’s gift, Christ’s presence is sustained in the sacraments, particularly in the Eucharist, in the Word proclaimed, and in the love and kindness of the devoted, which enables them to serve the world as Christ’s Body. Today’s Gospel account marks the conclusion of the Gospel of Mark. After the ascension, the disciples go out and preach. This preaching is powerful because Jesus continues to work signs or miracles through the work of the Church.

As the Church, we are called to continue Jesus’ mission and strive to be the Body of Christ by living holy lives and inviting others to encounter Jesus’ love and mercy. As we prepare for Pentecost this week, we must remember that although Jesus has ascended, he has not abandoned us. The Holy Spirit delegated his power and authority to us, and we receive them as we submit to the Lord’s will.

Join us as we prepare to celebrate the power of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost! Our Novena prayers, which can be found at https://olphparish.org/pentecost/, will begin on Friday and continue every day at 7 pm in the Church. This year, our theme is in coordination with the Archdiocese of Baltimore, focusing on the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit has a profound impact on our lives. In celebrating Pentecost, parishioners are invited and encouraged to participate fully in the Mass, with the additional offering at the 7 pm Pentecost Extended Vigil Mass. The Extended Vigil helps us emphasize the significance of the celebration, which mirrors the Easter Vigil, as we listen to the Scriptures that show the abiding presence of the Spirit. This year, thanks to the efforts of Fr. Anthony and a team of parishioners, we will celebrate the gift of diversity of races, cultures, and languages among our parishioners. At 11 am Mass, parishioners are encouraged to wear cultural attire representing their heritage. After the Mass, we will enjoy a shared meal, and you are welcome to bring a dish that represents your culture. Our parish is undoubtedly much stronger when we celebrate our cultural diversity, and we can see the Spirit working through one another in impactful ways. May the Spirit continue to bless Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish!

In the Lord,

Rev. Michael S. Triplett

Ways to serve and receive at OLPH:

SPEND A PERSONAL RETREAT DAY WITH OUR LADY – Fri, May 17, 2024, 9 am-4 pm at Our Lady of Bethesda Retreat Center. This one-of-a-kind retreat provides a sacred space for spiritual renewal, encounters with Jesus Christ, and moments of deep reflection. Our experienced team will guide you through this meaningful day and help you connect with God more deeply. The retreat schedule allows for one-on-one spiritual direction (optional), quiet reflection, Mass, Confession, Eucharistic Adoration, and lunch, so you will be nourished and cared for while Our Lord speaks to your soul about the depths of His love for you. Visit ourladyofbethesda.org or call 301-365-0612 to learn more.

ST. MONICA’S PRAYER GROUP meets on the third Saturday of each month in the church to pray a rosary for our loved ones who are no longer practicing our faith. Join us in prayer as we pray for our loved ones. Join us for our next time of prayer, Saturday, May 18th following the 8:15 am Mass.

COMMUNION TO THE HOMEBOUND – The faithful who are ill, recovering from surgery, or aging may not be able to attend Mass on Sundays. In bringing Communion to them, the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion represents Christ and manifests faith and charity on behalf of the whole community toward those who cannot be present at the Eucharist. If you or a loved one would like Communion brought to your home, please contact Sr. Lorraine McGraw at 410 747 4334 to make the necessary arrangements.