Pentecost – Peace or Happiness?!
Bottom line: Do we want to be at peace? To be at peace we must be the unique person God made each of us to be. God gives each person different gifts. Each of us, a different set of talents and different interests. Different gifts for different folks. To be at peace, we must use our talents, follow our own unique interests. Because, we know from experience, what one person likes to do, another does not like; what interests one person, another person finds quite boring.
Nguyện xin ân sủng và bình an của Chúa ở cùng tất cả anh chị em – I just repeat Jesus’ first word when he rose from the death. But I guess, just like the disciples, you did not understand what I said! Because the Spirit was not upon them and probably not on you either! My dear brothers and sisters, today we celebrate PENTECOST – the decedent of the Holy Spirit upon us. So I am expecting you to understand what I am about to say… clearly!
Now, let’s get back to the scene. The disciples gather in the upper room, the same room where they ate the Last Supper with Jesus. But, now, they are frightened. Certainly, Christ had appeared to some of them after his Resurrection, but they’re still running scared. What the Jews did to Jesus, they might just do to his followers. Then, through the locked doors, “Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’” The same word priest greets you as we begin every mass and again at the end of mass. Have you every wonder why?
Do we want to be at peace? To be at peace we must be the unique person God made each of us to be. God gives each person different gifts. Each of us, a different set of talents and different interests. Different gifts for different folks. To be at peace, we must use our talents, follow our own unique interests. Because, we know from experience, what one person likes to do, another does not like; what interests one person, another person finds quite boring.
Our differences show up in the vocations we choose for a life’s work. The park ranger loves the outdoors, hiking and camping, a night under the stars, paddling the white water rapids of a rushing stream in the mountains. The computer programmer might think a weekend of camping fun, but for a full time job, never! He’d rather be hacking with his computer.
Even the vacations we chose show our uniqueness. Ocean cruises for some, a golf resort for others, with tennis courts and a swimming pool; other people like a trip to some exotic corner of the world; others would visit New York for a week of the theater, a Broadway play each day, two when they can catch a matinee.
Different talents. Different interests. God gives each of us gifts. Different gifts for different folks. We are happiest, we are at peace, when we follow our own unique set of talents and interests.
Here at Cabrini, we find every Talent and Interest! Different talents and interests are needed to form the Body of Christ. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “the body is one and has many members.” The “same Spirit” gives a variety of gifts, a variety of services, and a variety of activities. From the diversity comes unity, each part necessary for the whole to be one. Each of our different talents, each of our different interests, are needed for us as a parish. I invite each of you to ponder how you might use your talents and interests to help our parish better serve Christ and each other and all the people of God.
Perhaps you are a good reader. We need lectors, to proclaim to us the word of God by reading at Mass. Perhaps you can sing, not a virtuoso or solo voice, but just an average voice that our music director can combine with some other average voices into a beautiful sounding choir. Perhaps you enjoy meeting people, and would enjoy being a greeter! Perhaps you have known suffering in your life and feel a natural compassion for those suffering — consider being a minister to the sick, visiting the shut-in, bringing Communion and news and comfort to sick and confined members of our parish. Perhaps you have a compassionate, listening heart, and could help others who are grieving.
Perhaps you enjoy yard work — help us with our landscaping, keeping our tree filled campus neatly landscaped takes many hours of work. Perhaps you enjoy teaching or working with children — we have a place for you in our religious education classes or working with our youth group. Perhaps you have an hour to pray here in church — you might sign up for Eucharistic adoration.
I just cannot talk about all the talents and interests needed to keep our parish going — there’s too many. Ponder your interests and talents, talk to those doing the various ministries, then volunteer to serve our parish and each other. The body is one and has many parts. We are one parish with each faith-filled Christian having different talents and different interests. It takes all of us doing our part to make this the wonderful parish it is.
There is a story of two lovers, who try to get away from the cold weather for a week of vacation. Since they live in two different cities and unable to book the ticket to fly together, the man arrives the day before. Upon arriving he checked into the hotel. There he decided to send his girlfriend an e-mail back in Boston. However, he accidentally left off one letter in her address, and sent the e-mail without realizing his error.
In Houston, a widow had just returned from her husband’s funeral. He was a minister of many years who had been ‘called home to glory’ following a heart attack. The widow checked her e-mail, expecting messages from relatives and friends. Upon reading the first message, she fainted and fell to the floor. The widow’s son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:
To: The Love of my Life
From: Your loving departed other half
Subject: I’ve Arrived! (and the message)
I’ve just arrived and have been checked in. I see that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then! Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.
PS. Surely it is hot down here.
Yeah, my dear brother and sister, the Spirit has arrived!!! Do you feel your heart is burning?