Easter Season Reflections 2020

Resurrection and Easter Season

Easter is the perfect season to resurrect our baptismal promises and commit to living our faith to the fullest. Over the next few weeks, we will introduce you to a spiritual practice that will help you recognize the Spirit working in your life and respond in faith. 

Living Our Faith

Most of us desire to know how our faith translates to our daily life.  This desire is only fulfilled through a life-long commitment of discipleship.  Our Faith is, in fact, meant to be practiced.  The Holy Spirit guides us, and we respond by continually making choices in our daily lives.

Being led by the Spirit does require practice and cultivation.  The Holy Spirit is always with us; teaching, guiding, protecting, responding and leading us to see Jesus more clearly in our lives. The beautiful Traditions of our faith offer a multitude of opportunities for spiritual growth.  One of the ways we do this is through the practice of Mystagogical reflection.

What is Mystagogy?

One of the primary duties of a believer is, through prayer, study, and experience, to enter into the mystery of Jesus’s death and resurrection, and make it the center of our life choices.  It helps us to grow in faith, i.e., to develop an understanding of what God has revealed, and how he calls us to live as a disciple..  This process is called Mystagogy.

Mystagogy is the intended form of all catechesis in the church.

It aims to initiate people into the mystery of Christ’s life, death and resurrection.

 

Adult Formation is called mystagogical because it assumes that those catechized will be led into the heart of sacred mysteries. The process not only brings the seeker into intimate communion with God but also transforms his or her life from the inside out—a complete and total metanoia, or conversion.

     

Mystagogy:

The Formula

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that the Liturgy

is the privileged place for catechizing the people of God: 

(CCC 1074) "Catechesis is intrinsically linked with the whole of liturgical and sacramental activity, for it is in the sacraments, especially in the Eucharist,

that Christ Jesus works in fullness for the transformation of men."

We are going to examine the liturgy and the readings

over the rest of the Easter Season using this formula: 

April 26th-Third Sunday of Easter

Reading I:  Acts 2:14, 22-23

Reading II:  1 Peter 1:17-21

Gospel:  Luke 24:13-35

Credit for reflection and question goes to Michael Marchal and was extracted from the Team RCIA article titled:

“RCIA in the Easter Season: How to continue forming elect, catechumens, and candidates”

Recognize: 

In every cycle this Sunday is about the risen Jesus sharing a meal with his disciples. In Year A (this year) the choice of the Emmaus episode from Luke is especially rich for it evokes one of the most important statements of Vatican II, that there are four real presences of Jesus in the liturgy: in the assembly, in the ministers who serve the assembly, in the Word, and in the consecrated bread and wine (Eucharist)

Theme:  Encounter Christ through the 4 real presences of Jesus

God, Creator of all, this is our Easter Joy.

May the risen Lord open our eyes

that we may know Him in the breaking of the bread.

Amen.  Amen. Alleluia.  Amen.

-Gabe Huck-

Reflect: 

After reading today’s Gospel, reflect on these questions in prayer.

  1. Why do you think the two disciples leaving Jerusalem? What had shattered their faith in Jesus?

  2. Why did the two disciples’ hearts burn within them on the road? When has Christ been really present to you?

  3. The disciples recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread.  What are the many ways we break bread together?  How is Christ present in all these experiences?

  4. Why do the two disciples go back to Jerusalem? When have you had an experience of confusion turning into a clear path in your life?

 

Respond:

Activate your will to see Jesus during the liturgy.

Make it a point, every Sunday at Mass, to recognize the real presence of Jesus in the assembly, the ministers, the Word, and the consecrated bread and wine.  With your family, design a short prayer (example:  “I see you”) that you would say inwardly or a small gesture (example:  place your hand over your heart) to do when you see Him in the Liturgy.

As you sit down to eat a meal, go around the table and share what is your favorite gospel story and why.

Remember:

-Remember to say your small prayer or do your small gesture each week at Mass. 

-Memorize the Act of Spiritual Communion prayer with your family:

My Jesus, 
I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. 
I love You above all things, 
and I desire to receive You into my soul. 
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, 
come at least spiritually into my heart. 
I embrace You as if You were already there 
and unite myself wholly to You. 
Never permit me to be separated from You.

Amen.

May 3rd-Fourth Sunday of Easter

 

Reading I:  Acts 2:14, 36-41

Reading II:  1 Peter 2:20b-25

Gospel:  John 10:1-10

Partial credit for reflection and question goes to Michael Marchal and was extracted from the Team RCIA article titled “RCIA in the Easter Season: How to continue forming elect, catechumens, and candidates”

Recognize:  

The fourth Sunday of Easter is also known as Good Shepherd Sunday.  The remarkable thing about sheep is their ability to recognize the voice of the shepherd.  It is uncanny how they will only follow their shepherd’s voice and no other.  One of the most important things to learn as a disciple is to recognize the voice of God in our lives.  Once we recognize it, it becomes much easier to follow Jesus.  Think of all the energy and time we waste listening to so many other “voices” before we learn to know Jesus’ voice. 

 

God speaks to us in multiple ways: through the scriptures, the liturgy, prayer, the faith-filled people around us, loving relationships, both the joyful and difficult experiences in life, and the beauty of creation.  God’s call is present in all these “voices.”

Theme:  Listening:  Recognize His Voice

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls.”
--Blessed Mother Teresa

Reflect: 

After reading today’s Gospel, reflect on these questions in prayer.

  1. When have you heard the voice of Jesus calling you? How has he called you by name?

  2. When has he guided you and kept you safe even when you were straying?

  3. What helped you to recognize God’s voice in your life?  How do you know it is God?

  4. Think of some personal experiences when recognizing God’s voice brought peace and gave you strength and freedom to do the right thing.

 

Respond:

Activate your will to practice Listening.

1)  Even if you are familiar with the Sunday readings, make it a point, every Sunday at Mass, to listen with “new ears” to the Word of God and to the prayers in the Liturgy.  Listen and use the silence after each reading to recognize God speaking to you and pick out the most important point of the reading for you.

2)  In your life, listen for the “highs” and listen for the “lows”.  Be aware of your inner feelings when listening to God and others.  What thoughts make you happy and gives you a holy freedom?  What thoughts make you sad, or weak or afraid?   Is the sadness caused by sin in your life?  How is God trying to free you from sadness so you can experience joy?  Know that God is working in the highs and lows in our lives, to help us recognize the voice of Jesus. 

 

3)  Practice being aware of the presence of God.  Believe that God is truly with us at every moment of the day, and then gradually figure out and recognize how he is present.

 

 In the book, “The Practice of the Presence of God,” Brother Lawrence writes:

“A little lifting up of the heart suffices; a little remembrance of God, an interior act of adoration, even though made on the march and with sword in hand, are prayers which, short though they may be, are nevertheless very pleasing to God, and far from making a soldier lose his courage on the most dangerous occasions, bolster it. Let him then think of God as much as possible so that he will gradually become accustomed to this little but holy exercise; no one will notice it and nothing is easier than to repeat often during the day these little acts of interior adoration.”

 

Remember:

-  Form a new habit to use the holy pauses at Mass wisely.  When there is a pause during the Liturgy, close your eyes and breathe deeply and let your mind and heart go to Jesus.  Learn how to recognize Jesus’s voice.

-Use the question "How are you doing?" as a cue to practice listening.  Practice listening for the highs and lows within you in your answer or as the other person answers.  This is a method of self-discovery, which centers on the interior highs and lows within yourself as you listen to all the voices around you.  Ask the Holy Spirit to make you a channel of peace in all of your interactions.

-Place visual cues in your home (sacred art, spiritual reading, incense, symbols that are meaningful to you) or on your body (medals, crosses, rosary, small religious tatoo) that continuously remind you of God’s presence.

-Place a book, bible or devotional on your pillow to remind yourself to read daily.

-As you read the following liturgical prayer, listen to the promises made to you:

Through your Baptism, you were given New Life through water and the Holy Spirit!

 

Look now, we pray, upon the face of your Church

and graciously unseal for her the fountain of Baptism.

May this water receive, by the Holy Spirit,

the grace of your Only Begotten Son,

so that human nature, created in your image

and washed clean through the Sacrament of Baptism

from all the squalor of the life of old,

may be found worthy to rise to the life of newborn children

through water and the Holy Spirit.

(Blessing of Water at the Easter Vigil)

May 10th-Fifth Sunday of Easter

Reading I:  Acts 6:1-7

Reading II:  1 Peter 2:4-9

Gospel:  John 14:1-12

Partial credit for reflection and question goes to Michael Marchal and was extracted from the Team RCIA article titled “RCIA in the Easter Season: How to continue forming elect, catechumens, and candidates”

Recognize:  

In today’s gospel, Thomas asks Jesus, “How can we know the way?” 

 

Jesus responds, “I am The Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

Following Jesus is a most important part of discipleship.  He is the firstborn from the dead.  He has shown us the Way to the Father.  Our imitation of his thoughts, words, and deeds, and following the Way, which includes the mystery of dying and rising, is who we are as Christians.   

 

God the Father revealed Himself, and continues to reveal Himself, in the person of Jesus.   Jesus is the human face of God.  The love and mercy of Jesus reveals the Truth of who the Father is.  The Father is mercy itself.  Jesus is Life, because his resurrection destroyed the old way of thinking and revealed the fullness of our future in God.  Not only that, God has given the grace of Jesus’ resurrection to us too!  We will experience resurrection because of Jesus, and so we recognize him as the Life.  Our baptism is the doorway into this great mystery.

Theme:  Following Jesus

May this water, prepared for the regeneration of human-kind, be made fruitful by the secret outpouring of his divine power, so that a heavenly offspring, conceived in holiness and reborn into a new creature, may come forth from the spotless womb of this divine font

-Roman Missal-

Reflect: 

After reading today’s Gospel, reflect on these questions in prayer.

  1. Which of the works that Jesus does has drawn you to him? What has made you put your trust in him?

  2. When have you seen other people doing the works of Jesus? How has their example already affected you?

  3. How has being a disciple of Jesus called you out of your comfort zone? How has your growing awareness of being a Christian changed your outlook and actions?

  4. In today’s reading from Acts different ways of service are being acknowledged. Toward what kind of service do you find your heart being called?

 

Respond:

Activate your will to Follow Jesus by imitating Him.

-Imitate Jesus. 

The 20th century prayer, attributed to St Francis, is an excellent prayer to help us order our lives according to virtue.  It can be used as a reference for self-examination as well.  It is an excellent tool to use for an examination of conscience.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;

 

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

 

-Imitate Jesus in our own suffering. 

Jesus gave great purpose to His suffering.  We too, can unite our suffering with Christ for the sake of others.  Our trials can become stepping stones that draw us closer to God and form us in love and obedience.

-Imitate Jesus in His mission.

Commit to serve those in need and to live the Gospel in our daily lives.  Three practices will help us along the path of authentic discipleship:  Daily prayer, attendance at Mass with the community of believers, and reaching out in service to the poor and those in need. 

-Imitate Jesus in following the will of the Father. 

Ask yourself, what would God have me do next?  What gifts has God given me in order to serve others?  Am I living out my state in life to the best of my ability? In each moment, practice being a blessing to those who cross your path.  Practice abandonment to divine will.

 

Remember:

-Commit the prayer attributed to St. Francis to memory (above)

-Form a habit to be intentional with your responses in the Liturgy. Your responses are a sign of your full participation as a disciple of Christ.  They are not empty words.

-Write your faith testimony in a journal.  Can you identify the elements of your “dying” and “rising” in your story?  How have you been given New Life?  Continue this practice each time you sense a theme of “dying” and “rising” in your life.  These are your “Easter Testimonies”

-Practice telling your story. When we tell our stories, we testify to the truth that God reveals himself in our experiences.  Our audience is offered a new perspective to relate to their own experiences.  At the very least, our stories help others to understand us better.  At most, an encounter with Christ, through you, is possible.

 

May 17th-Sixth Sunday of Easter

Reading I:  Acts 8:5-8

Reading II:  1 Peter 3:15-18

Gospel:  John 14:15-21

Partial credit for reflection and question goes to Michael Marchal and was extracted from the Team RCIA article titled “RCIA in the Easter Season: How to continue forming elect, catechumens, and candidates”

Recognize:  

Today’s gospel is part of Jesus’ farewell address, he tells us that, although we might not see him, His Spirit remains in us and pleads for us. We always abide in his love if we keep his commandments. The prelude to this discourse is the foot-washing episode in which his commandment of love is vividly enacted through humble service.

Today, we will explore how to abide in his love and live out his commandment to love God and one another.

 

Loving Jesus (and one another) is not merely a feeling; it is an active, abiding, ongoing relationship of following and obeying our loving Master: “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands”

 

What are his Commands?  His “commands” include having Faith that Jesus is the Son of God, and then following him in our lives.  They encompass the entire life of Jesus, including his teaching, healing, forgiveness, sacrifice, and love.  Today many people interpret “God’s commands” in a negative way, to follow all the rules so we can remain close to Jesus and the Church.   But, in truth, to follow the commands of Jesus is to imitate the love of Jesus Christ and participate within His relationship with the Father in our daily lives.  Have we ever reflected on the reality that we share in and are united in Jesus’ relationship with the Father? To be obedient to the Father means we recognize this gift, and then honor the Father with our lives.  In this way we are obedient to the Father, which is not a set of rules or commands, but is a very dynamic, freeing, and life-giving way of life.

 

When we keep His Commands, we can abide in His love and ultimately become instruments of His love to others by being of humble service.  In so doing, we can love out of the fullness of our hearts rather than seeking our empty hearts to be filled by someone else.  Our deepest desire to love and be loved is fulfilled in Jesus and His Spirit manifests in us.

Theme:  Love

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, All that I have and call my own.  You have given all to me.  To you, Lord, I return it.  Everything is yours; do with it what you will.  Give me your love and your grace, that is enough for me.

-St. Ignatious of Loyola-

Reflect: 

After reading today’s Gospel, reflect on these questions in prayer.

  1. How do you know that Jesus loves you? When and where have you experienced that love?

  2. When in your life have you shown others the humble love modelled by Jesus? When have you failed to show that love?

  3. When have you already experienced the power of the Spirit taking you farther than you though that you could go?

  4. What is the most unexpected way that you have found your life changing as you have followed Jesus more closely?

 

Respond:

Activate your will to Love as Jesus Commanded.

-Purposely search for positive news about how God’s Spirit is at work in our world.  Do your best to identify in each story how love was given, what gifts were utilized, in what unique form and the fruits of their words and actions.

-In prayer, ask God to provide you with an opportunity to Love this week.  When that opportunity arises, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to love each person where they are at and with the dignity they deserve.

-We enact humble service by using our gifts as we have been given.  Take Inventory of your gifts.  Here is a free resource to try from a parish in Austin, Texas.: https://staustin.org/spiritual-gifts-inventory

-Learn more about spiritual gifts by reading, “Fruitful Discipleship: Living the Mission of Jesus in the Church and the World” a Book by Sherry A. Weddell

-Commit yourself to utilizing your gifts in service to your church, your family and your community.

 

Remember:

  • Refer to the notes you took on “Love” in your prayer journal during your daily prayer.  Ponder them in your heart as our Holy Mother, Mary, pondered over the Mysteries.

 

  • Display Sacred Art: Meditate on the meaning of the Immaculate Heart of Mary or Sacred Heart of Jesus using these sacred images. 

                                      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Immaculate Heart of Mary is a devotional name used to refer to the interior life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections, and, above all, her virginal love for God the Father, her maternal love for her son Jesus, and her compassionate love for all people.

 

 

 

The devotion to the Sacred Heart is one of the most widely practiced and well-known Catholic devotions, wherein the heart of Jesus is viewed as a symbol of "God's boundless and passionate love for mankind"

  • Memorize this Prayer:

An Act of Love
O my God, because you are infinite goodness and worthy of infinite love, I love you with my whole heart above all things, and for love of you I love my neighbor as myself. Amen.

 

  • In the Liturgy, when we are dismissed, recognize the great responsibility we have as lay Christians to bring the Light of Christ into the world.  “Go in Peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.”  Our discipleship is missionary.

May 24th – The Ascension of the Lord

 

Reading I:  Acts 1:1-11

Reading II:  Ephesians 1:17-23

Gospel:  Matthew 28:16-20

Partial credit for reflection and question goes to Michael Marchal and was extracted from the Team RCIA article titled “RCIA in the Easter Season: How to continue forming elect, catechumens, and candidates”

 

Recognize:  

 

On Ascension Sunday, we celebrate Jesus ascending into heaven to the right hand of the Father.  Jesus returned to the right hand of the Father, not to leave us, but to lead us all the way to heaven. The great paradox is because he has ascended, he is able to remain with us in a profound new way.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus is able to be present everywhere.

This event marks the end of Jesus’s earthly ministry, but in many ways, it marks the beginning of our ministry.

In Matthew’s version of Jesus’s farewell address, his words to his disciples are direct commands: “Go, baptize, and teach!” accompanied by his promise of his ever-constant presence. This passage is referred to as the Great Commission.

Today we will reflect on how we live out this “Great Commission” in our lives.  We accomplish this work through teaching, nourishing and serving those around us.  The Holy Spirit is always leading us to live out this commission in our families, places of work, the church and in society at large.

 

Theme:  The Great Commission

If you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

Colossians 3:1-4

 

 

Reflect: 

After reading today’s Gospel, reflect on these questions in prayer.

  1. With Pentecost getting closer, how do you feel Christ is urging you on? Where do you feel called to go and bear witness?

  2. How have your doubts kept you from bearing witness? How have they been overcome?

  3. The angel told the disciples to stop looking up into the skies; our lives are lived here on earth. What are some of your distractions that prevent you from whole-heartedly building God’s kingdom here?

  4. What special gift has the Spirit given you?

 

Respond:

Activate your will to live “The Great Commission”

Teach

 

- Commit yourself to teaching your children, godchildren and grandchildren through word, deed and example.

 

- Volunteer in our parish Religious Education program to pass the faith down to the next generation.  Contact Lori  Gullikson at gulliksonl@catholicsouthside.com

- Relationships are key in the Christian life.  We can teach others about who Jesus is by how we conduct ourselves in our current relationships.  We can commit ourselves to be a channel of blessings in all our interactions.  We can be sure our speech is true, gentle, and kind.  We can lean on the Lord for strength and sow seeds of hope. 

 

Nourish

 

- Become God’s healing presence to others by practicing mercy, patience, compassion and forgiveness with each other.

- Focus on nourishing your current relationships with time, attention and good will.

 

- Stay close to the Eucharist, even while we are away from Mass.

 

- Offer Blessings to those you meet!  Many cultures offer blessings as a matter of routine in their daily encounters. Participate in this beautiful tradition when you greet or say goodbye to someone. Here are some examples:

 

“Blessings on your day!”

“Grace and Peace to You!”

"The LORD bless you and keep you!

The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!

The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace!"

“Bless you!”

Other examples can be found in the Official Book of Blessings or

the Catholic of Household Blessings and Prayers.

- Offer monetary support to organizations that build up the Kingdom of God and assist those in need.

 

Serve:

- Join the Evangelization Committee at church. Contact Christine Immel at immelc@catholicsouthside.com

 

- Think about how you can get involved in the parish Christian initiation process as a companion for someone considering Catholicism.  Be the Spirit’s presence to a candidate or catechumen as they journey through the process.  Contact Christine Immel at immelc@catholicsouthside.com

 

- Pray about setting aside a small, but specific, amount of time or money monthly.  Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where to offer your time, talent and resources each month.  Opportunities will surely present themselves! You may be led differently each month.  This is a fun way to learn more about your gifts and charisms over time.  It is also a great way to learn discernment of the voice of the Spirit and affirm that the Spirit always speaks. We only need to listen.

Remember:

-Don’t forget! “It isn’t necessary to do great things. Small things done with great love can be just as powerful.”  Your state in life provides plenty of opportunity to serve those around you just by living your life as a mindful Christian.

 

-Schedule automatic deductions for your donations to organizations so you do not have to “remember” to give.

 

-Record the ways in which you teach, nourish and serve in your prayer journal.  Make a note of what you enjoyed the most or where you saw the biggest impact.  Grow and learn from these experience.

May 31st – Pentecost

 

Sunday Readings

Acts 2:1-11

1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13

John 20:19-23

Recognize:  

On Pentecost, we remember the birth of the Church!  It is the third of the greatest Solemnities we celebrate.  (Easter, Christmas, Pentecost)  Pentecost is the start of the Church’s universal call, which places the Spirit as the driving force that propels us forward in mission toward unity in Jesus Christ.

This mission comes from the very being of God.   The Father began the mission in creation, when He poured his Spirit out and from nothingness created our physical reality in all its beauty and glory.  The Father revealed Himself to Abraham, Moses, and the Hebrew people.  In the fulness of time, the Father sent his only Son, to become like us in all things but sin, so that a perfect unity between God and human beings could take place.  Jesus proclaimed the Kingdom of the Father, In his death and resurrection the Kingdom of the Father was established so we might forever have union with God, here, and into eternity.  After the Ascension, the Father sent the Holy Spirit so that the Son, in glory, might be made present everywhere throughout creation through the power of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit is alive at the heart of the Church, making it so we (and all creation) can be transformed and renewed in the image of Jesus Christ.  The core of this mission is to share the Spirit of Jesus.

 

Traditionally, at Pentecost, we take stock of our gifts and consider how we will participate in the continuous renewal of the Church.  After all, salvation is never single file but always arm in arm. Today, we will examine a process that will allow us to make the best use of our gifts.

 

 

 Receive the Spirit of Christ!

 Fill it Up!

Share the Spirit of Christ!

Pour it Out!

 

 

Renew the Body of Christ!

 Transformation!     

 

Let us examine some practical ways that we can participate in this continual renewal process!

 

Theme:  Renewal

Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

-Psalm 104-

 

Reflect: 

 

After reading today’s Gospel, reflect on these questions in prayer.

  1. Who in the community has best modeled for you the transforming power of the Spirit?

  2. What gift(s) do you have to give to the community? How will you build up the Body of Christ?

  3. What gift(s) do you have to give to the world?

  4. How might you have to step out of your comfort zone in order to use your gifts?

 

Respond:

Activate your will to participate in the Renewal of our Church

Receive the Spirit

Fill it Up!

 

  • Receive Sacramental grace regularly.  Be nourished by the Eucharist. Be healed by the sacrament of reconciliation.  Be strengthened by receiving the anointing of the sick. 

 

  • Commit yourself to daily prayer or try new methods of prayer.  The catholic tradition has many prayers to the Holy Spirit that you might consider.  The prayer Come Holy Spirit is listed at the end of this reflection.

 

  • Read scripture daily.  Nothing fills your cup like the Living Word!  Within the power of the living Word, is the power to transform hearts and minds and make all things new.

 

  • We work out our salvation through and with others, especially those who are close to us in service to one another.  In service, we offer ourselves as a channel of peace, and participate in the saving work of Christ.  We often receive more than we give.

 

Share the Spirit

Pour it Out!

  • Hear and Understand.  Seek first to understand before the desire to be understood.  If people are heard and considered respectfully, there is always a better chance of moving towards unity.

 

  • Forgive for the sake of your own transformation.  Carrying a grudge is painful.  Forgive for the sake of the transformation of another.  When we are forgiven for our transgressions by God, we are made new by the grace of His love for us.  In the same way, when we forgive, we offer and extend that same grace to another.  Your love and forgiveness has the potential to transform the hearts and minds of others!

  • Share the good News!  Your testimony of the Spirit at work in your life gives hope to others.

 

  • Let your Light Shine!  We are all given gifts by the Holy Spirit for some benefit.

  • Serve in your parish.  Every volunteer, greeter, usher, reader, eucharistic minister, and parishioner participating in the pew is necessary to renew the Church. 

 

Renewal

Transformation!

 

  • Celebrate the transformative power of the Holy Spirit at Mass and in prayer.

 

  • Develop “an eye to see” and “an ear to hear” when transformation and renewal has taken place.  Too often we focus on things that need to change rather than celebrating how far we have come.  Pay a compliment to someone’s character.  Point out when you see the Holy Spirit at work.  Live in gratitude and express gratitude often.  See the best in everyone.  The Holy Spirit testifies to the oneness of creation.  When we reject a part of the body of Christ, we reject ourselves. 

  • Reach out to someone and tell them what a difference they have made in our lives.  Fruits of the Spirit grow better with a little sunshine and life-giving water!

 

Remember:

  • Recognize and make use of the symbols of the Holy Spirit in your life as a reminder of the part you play in renewing the face of the Earth:

 

Water, Anointing, Fire, Cloud and Light, The seal, The Hand, The finger, The Dove

  • The Sacred Liturgy is full of symbols that remind us of our participation in transformation and renewal.  The signing of ourselves with holy water, the prayers, the readings, the candles, the music, the vestments, the colors, the gifts we bring to the altar, the Bread of Life broken and shared, blood poured out, the creed, the sign of peace, the blessing at the end…everything serves a purpose at Mass.  When we pay attention to the small details in our traditions, our experience of the Mass is magnified.  We are truly transformed and renewed.

  • While reciting the Creed at Mass, pay special attention to the part of the creed that addresses the Holy Spirit:

 

For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.

-And-

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
Who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified.
Who has spoken through the Prophets.

 

  • Memorize the prayer “Come Holy Spirit” and use it often:

 

Come, Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful,
and enkindle in us the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and we shall be created,
and you shall renew the face of the earth.
Amen.

Transformation!