Dear Parishioners & Visitors,
His Excellency Bishop George Sheltz will confirm over forty youth at our 12:30 p.m. Mass today with the Confirmands receiving the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts, Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord, ignite the heart and soul with the fiery blaze of love in action. The Holy Spirit bestows these dynamic gifts that we may put them to use in taking responsibility as maturing Christians to search out and love God & neighbor. The last thing we want to do with such God-given gifts is place them in a safe-deposit box deep in the recesses of our heart and soul. More than likely, if we did that, we’d end up losing the key or forgetting the key-pad code to access the safe-deposit box and the Spirit’s wondrous gifts locked away inside.
Taking responsibility means taking risks. The Spirit’s gift of Counsel offers us guidance about how best to act in faith in whatever state of life or situation we may find ourselves. If I am an elementary, high school, or university student and a classmate finds herself or himself having a difficult time understanding a rule of math or is struggling to read music for the flute or tuba, and asks for help, or I myself notice the classmate’s difficulty, then I have a decision to make. I can play it safe and come up with an excuse to avoid helping or I can take the risk to do what I can to either help the person myself or find someone who can and at least encourage him or her.
If I do take the risk to help then this holy risk-taking amounts to a gift that I then give to another which means that I am cooperating with the Spirit’s Gifts with which to GIFT another. Such decisions are life-giving acts in which we choose to give ourselves away in loving and sacrificial ways for a good, just, and merciful purpose. It is by living in this way that we become whole in Christ and not have pieces of ourselves chopped up and locked away in selfish safe-deposit boxes. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit set us free to take risks for the sake of an abiding and profound love for others and for God, Who provides us with all we need to risk our love. Christ gave His all ~ Let us give ours!
—fr. Chris, O.P.