From the Pastor’s Desk

Pentecost

May 19, 2024

Rivers of living water will flow from within him who believes in me.

-John 7:38

 

Brothers and Sisters,

Come, Holy Spirit!

I encourage you to join our prayers together, imploring the intervention and guidance of the Holy Spirit as we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost. This celebration highlights the mystery of the Holy Spirit, which is among the biggest celebrations in the Church year. Who is the Holy Spirit? Our creed emphasizes the relationship of the Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The earlier Apostles’ Creed connects the Holy Spirit to the Church, the saints, reconciliation, resurrection, and eternal life. The Spirit continues the work of redemption that Jesus has merited for us. The Nicene Creed describes the Holy Spirit as giving life and inspiring prophets.

In the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit is described at Jesus’ baptism as “descending like a dove.” Personally, I believe this means the Holy Spirit’s movement was like that of a bird swooping down rather than actually appearing as a dove. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit is associated with the tongues of fire resting on the disciples. While we can easily picture Jesus or the Father in our minds, the Holy Spirit often eludes us. In the early Church, the Holy Spirit was sometimes symbolized as a wild goose; geese are certainly strong-willed and not easily persuaded but will loudly honk if they disapprove. This symbolism suggests that the Holy Spirit is not a force for us to control but one to which we ought to submit our wills, allowing the Spirit to guide and direct our lives.

Amid the pastoral challenges before us, from the continued need to renew and heal from the Abuse Crisis to the cultural shifts that discourage authentic commitment to faith, our need for the Holy Spirit’s guidance is paramount. As a reminder, in the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy process, claims must be filed by May 31. Information on filing a claim is available on our website (olphparish.org/aob-update), and claims may also be filed directly with Epiq. Furthermore, we seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all our pastoral initiatives, from the parish’s evangelization and formation efforts to the Seek the City (https://www.archbalt.org/seekthecity/) initiative within the Beltway. The resulting processes are challenging, and understandably, people who are invested in their parishes are heavily impacted. Let us pray that we truly listen to the Holy Spirit, who will revitalize us as the faithful and strengthen our Church.

I want to express my sincere gratitude to Fr. Anthony, Marilyn, Theresa, and the other team members who prepared our cultural diversity celebration this Sunday. Our parish is blessed with rich ethnicity, culture, and language diversity. May the Holy Spirit continue to work through us, bearing great fruit in our community as the Gospel is truly proclaimed!

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.