The Sixth Sunday of Easter, May 22, 2022
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you everything
and remind you of all that I told you.
Brothers and Sisters,
“5-minute warning!” Often can be heard coming from the mouths of my siblings or sisters-in-law over the chaos at a family gathering. From this outsider’s perspective, alerting your kids to what is about to end is an excellent tool to flex in your parenting arsenal—most times, offering a heads-up to a pending transition can lead to better cooperation when the change arrives.
In the Gospel of John, in four chapters (14-17), Jesus is attempting something similar; he is offering notice to those in his care that he is not staying – or more accurately, he’s not staying the same way. Jesus wants his disciples to understand that his passion, death, resurrection, and ascension are not abandonment, but he will endure through the Holy Spirit. The Spirit will continue the mission, draw the faithful together and inspire them. Jesus is ensuring them, despite this transition, his teachings will come to fruition – and in many ways, they will reach an even greater understanding of what he’s been desiring them to comprehend. Especially God’s enduring union with all who love him and how this union is the only way to experience lasting peace from the hardships and turbulence in life. God wants to remain with us —always.
The Spirit will hear any utterance of prayer offered at any time or place. How? Honestly, I do not know. Still, since our Church’s earliest days, our scriptures and traditions have encouraged us to invoke the Holy Spirit. So, don’t hold back! Invoke the Spirit in praise or need; call forth the Spirit to encourage or correct; even ask the Holy Spirit to pray for you or inspire the words for prayer when they escape you. Whether you pray for an extended period (such as an hour at Adoration) or just a few seconds, start this week with a simple invocation of the Holy Spirit: “Come, Holy Spirit.” You may follow that with a request, such as “Come, Holy Spirit and lift this burden,” “Come, Holy Spirit, and strengthen my patience,” “Come, Holy Spirit, and motivate me for this service,” and “Come, Holy Spirit, and bless this time of prayer.”
Please join me in strengthening these prayers of our parish community by coming together for our Pentecost Novena, starting this Friday, May 27. Each evening at 7 pm in the Church (if you cannot join us physically through the Livestream), we’ll pray for about 45 minutes in Adoration. Each night will implore a particular title for the Holy Spirit, include a Scripture reading around that theme and a short reflection, and some time for praise through music and silent prayer. As we prepare for Benediction, we’ll pray the “We Stand before You, Holy Spirit” with the intention that the Spirit may guide the Church, our particular parish, our families, neighbors, and our parishioners.
This Novena will culminate with the celebration of Pentecost. On Saturday at 10 am, we are offering a Family Pentecost Celebration, and on the evening of June 4, the extended Pentecost Vigil is at 7 pm. The Vigil will provide a rich celebration of the Mass, with extended readings that help us reflect on the works of the Holy Spirit and with time for Adoration and praise after Communion. The evening will conclude with time for fellowship, drinks, and desserts. On Sunday, June 5, we’ll celebrate beautiful Masses at 7:30 am, 9 am (in the Church and Livestream), 11 am in the Church, 11 am outside Harrison Hall, and 5 pm in the Church, with a parish picnic at 6 pm. Join us for this blessed weekend! Check out the celebrations at olphparish.org/exalt. Please note that our last regular offering of Outdoor Sunday Mass before Harrison Hall will be Sunday, June 5. The parish will broadcast our 9 am Mass on Facebook, our website www.olphparish.org and projected upon a screen outside the Church. Parishioners who wish to remain outdoor are invited to bring a chair to this location. An Extraordinary Minister will bring Communion to you outdoors. We hope all our parishioners will return to OLPH at Mass; you’ve been missed! We have made efforts to welcome those who have been away comfortable, including maintaining a mask-only section in front of the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
In the hopes of truly “praying always,” we are currently imploring the Novena to St. Peregrine, offering the intentions for those healing from or suffering from illness. This Monday, May 23, at 7 pm, the Knights will lead us in the Patriotic Rosary for our nation and each of our 50 states as we offer each Hail Mary. Building off this momentum, we hope many of our parishioners will learn more about and participate in the Life in the Spirit Seminar offered on June 17 & 18. Finally, as we celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, on Sunday, May 19th we encourage families to pray and process with the Blessed Sacrament after the 11 am Mass. Visit OLPHParish.org to learn more about all the many ways we continue in prayer together, guided by the Spirit!
Come Holy Spirit, and enrich Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish!
Rev. Michael S. Triplett