YOU are Church

05-20-2018From Our PastorFr. Brian Jazdzewski

Through the Sacrament of Baptism, we are claimed by Christ…forever. No matter how close we grow in relationship with the Trinity, or how much we work to reject God's presence in our lives, baptized people are claimed by Christ. No matter if people choose to believe that fact or not, it does not become less true. Perhaps that reality alone can continue to inspire us to make prayerful concessions for our loved ones. Our prayers for them can invite the Holy Spirit to reignite the gift of faith within them and guide them back to a living relationship with the Trinity.

At Baptism, and most often any time we begin or conclude our prayer, we use the Sign of the Cross as our prayer. While we sign ourselves, we might consider that we are accepting the invitation to live in relationship with the Trinity. We live in relationship with the Trinity not only in our brief prayer time, but also in our everyday activities. In some ways, as modern day followers of Christ, perhaps even soldiers for Christ, we put on the armor of God when we sign ourselves as we make our prayer. As we touch our foreheads, tummies and shoulders, we might consider how that gesture protects ourselves from the spiritual dangers which continue to lurk in our existence. The armor of God reminds us of our Baptism, being claimed by Christ, and how our faith can help us choose the good and reject the bad.

The reality of Baptism, being claimed by Christ, makes each and every one of us members of the Church. The Holy Spirit has, and continues, to descend upon us to be living witnesses of the Church. As living witnesses, we are to continue to lead people to a deeper relationship with God, who first loved us. The Holy Spirit continues to animate our relationship with the Trinity so that we continue to be inspired by God to share Him with others. The first word of the Sign of the Cross reminds us of this truth. "IN" the name of…. When we sign ourselves, we embrace the reality that we are IN relationship with the Trinity; each distinct person of the Trinity. Living IN relationship with the Trinity means that we have accepted God's invitations and say yes to all that means for us as His people. Because we live IN relationship with the Trinity, we are members of His body, we are the Church. Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of your LOVE! To the measure of that love which is received and enkindled within each of us, may we share that love to the same degree to others.

Last weekend I shared with you a reflection about the Ascension. Please give this reflection on Pentecost some prayerful reflection. The reflection comes from Novena of Our Lady's Rosary by Bernard A. McGaffrey and Dr. Kelly Bowring:

O' Mary, Queen of the Universe, ten days after the Ascension, fifty days after Easter, while the Apostles were gathered together with you in the Cenacle for prayer, a mighty wind arose. The Holy Spirit, in the form of countless tongues of fire, settled over the heads of each Apostle. That wind and fire, symbolizing grace and holiness, initiated the visible mission of the Church. Jesus had promised to send the Holy Spirit who would teach, comfort and assist them. The Apostles received the "Gift of Tongues" so that they could swiftly and effectively carry on their apostolate of conversion. As soldiers of Christ they would soon go to the nations of the world. With them in spirit would be you, Blessed Mother. Our Lady of the Rosary, obtain for me from your Son the gift of silence so that I may hear the Holy Spirit speaking in the temple that is my body.

Assignment Changes

Your prayers are welcome, invited and encouraged for Catholics around the country and in our Diocese of La Crosse now and into upcoming months. The Catholics in this group include the Staff and clergy of all parishes involved. In our diocese there are over twenty pastoral assignments which will change this spring and summer. Most specifically, we offer prayers for Fr. Prince Amala Jesuraja, Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Elmwood and Sacred Heart Parish in Spring Valley who will become the Pastor in our cluster on 5 July 2018. We also pray for the people of the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus-Saint Patrick in Eau Claire where Fr. Brian Jazdzewski will become Pastor on the same day.