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Monthly Archives: May 2020

Homily for Pentecost

May 31, 2020

Fr. Joseph Jacobi

“To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.” What is true for the Corinthians is true for the members of this faith community at Holy Spirit Parish.

The Spirit of the Living God has been given to each one of us for some benefit. Not to benefit ourselves, but to benefit others. The Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit are given to build up the Church and for the salvation of the world.

The Spirit of power has helped us to raise up for God’s glory a holy place Each gift important, every gift needed.

The same Spirit has worked in the lives of those who have used their talents for designing a building, and others for raising funds for project.

The gifts of the Spirit are evident in those who have led and organized and hosted such a huge annual event as Oktoberfest.

Then there are those who are impelled by the Spirit to be generous with their material treasure, to provide funds needed.

Old and young are moved by the Spirit to share their gifts to benefit others. Those who are advanced in years, and even homebound, share their time and their prayers for the benefit of others.

Those who are young have by their joyful energy drawn forth from churchgoers around $175,000 in donations for our new church through the Children’s Collection.

Those who speak English and Spanish and Vietnamese, each gifted in their own way to be a living stone in the Church, to build up the body of Christ.

The founders of our parish have been gifted by the Spirit to be the solid foundation upon which the life of our parish and this new building have been built. Newcomers, enlivened by the Spirit, have brought energy and new ideas to make parish life even more vibrant.

Together, all of us, strengthened by the Spirit to share our gifts for the benefit of others, have raised up with the Spirit’s help a place of awesome beauty.

The way the Holy Spirit works is by moving even those not of our parish to help us bring this project to fruition. Immaculate Conception Parish donated the tabernacle and tabernacle lamp holder and Stations of the Cross. The Cathedral parish gifted us with the ambo, altar, altar of repose and presider’s chair. Donors from outside our parish have given around $800,000 to help us build our new church.

This is the way the ever creative, always active Spirit of God works. Stirring all people of all places to share their gifts for the benefit of others.

Pentecost was not just one day, not the only day the Spirit came upon the Church. Read the rest of the Acts of the Apostles, and you will find that the Spirit continued to be poured out upon those first believers. The same is true for us some 2000 years later. We continually need the Spirit to be poured into our lives. So that we can continue the work of the Risen Jesus in drawing all people to our heavenly Father. Like this new church is a work in progress, so is the living body of the Church, always needing the help of the Spirit.

By the help of the Spirit, we can bring healing and peace to those whose lives are broken.

We can welcome strangers with joy!

We can allow the living water of the Spirit to flow through us to others who are thirsting for God, and feed those hungering for the Bread of Life.

So we pray, and every day, COME HOLY SPIRIT!

Homily for the Ascension of the Lord

May 24, 2020

Fr. Joseph Jacobi

We human beings do not like change. In fact, the older we become, the more we dislike change, for we are creatures of habit. Then a pandemic comes along and changes everything, even the way we worship.

So, we feel uncomfortable wearing a mask to Mass. We are not able to sit in our regular pew but are ushered into the building and basically told, “You will sit here.” Then there’s the awkwardness of receiving Communion with a mask.

I do not like the changes, either. I do not like wearing a mask giving out Communion nor while conversing with you before or after Mass. A mask hides my smiling face from you as I greet you, one of the best ways I can say without words, “I am glad you are here.” I do not like shortening the Mass nor shortening my homily, though some of you may like both these changes. I do not like that we are not singing, especially as we prepare to move into a new building that was built for singing. I do not like giving out Holy Communion at the end of Mass, as if this were a drive thru where you picked up Jesus and left as quickly as possible.

But when it comes to the common good, it really does not matter what you or I like. All these changes which cause some discomfort are about something bigger than our small, selfish desires. They are being made at this time for the Common Good, for something bigger than “me”—for a collective “we”—and to receive the Eucharist.

We are in this together, and we are called to look out for and care for and protect others. So, unless you are wearing one of those special N95 masks, the face covering you are using is not so much for your protection as it is for others around you in case you have to cough or sneeze. Physical distancing, not singing, shortening the Mass are all about provide a safer environment for everyone. Besides, the sacrifices we are being called to make for worship pale in comparison to those in the medical field on the front-line and other essential workers, as well as the ultimate sacrifice made by those we remember tomorrow on Memorial Day.

The challenge we constantly face is we live in a culture of hyper-individualism. So, moving from the cultural virus of hyper-individualism to living lives of sacrificial love can be difficult. We can only do so by the power of the Spirit of Love, by the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Every day we breathe in the cultural air of hyper-individualism, which is a breath of stale, polluted air compared to the life-giving breath of the Spirit. Our culture tells us in a million different ways: Do what makes YOU feel good. Do what YOU want. No need to worry about others, because it is your life to live as you want to live it.

But when we breath in the fresh air of the Holy Spirt, our eyes are opened to see a different reality. We see the truth that we are all interconnected. We are one human family, not a bunch of countries or tribes or factions. By the light of the Holy Spirit we recognize that what each of us says or does impacts others for good or ill.

It is challenging to live a life different from what our culture teaches us, because the virus of hyper-individualism is invisible, it’s in the very air we breathe. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit can we move into a different way of living, and be protected from the death of navel gazing and narcissism.

To move beyond me to a collective we, to move beyond selfish desires and actions to living for the Common Good, we need a powerful antidote, the antidote of the Spirit. In order to re-pattern our lives on the Lord Jesus, in order to conform our lives to His and truly be Christian, we need the power of the Holy Spirit. To be patient with others and ourselves during these trying times, we need the Holy Spirit to produce this fruit in our lives. To be loving and kind, we need the Holy Spirit to produce these fruits in our lives.

So, we pray, “Come, Holy Spirit.” Transform this bread which will be placed upon this altar into the Real Presence of the Risen Lord, so that as we receive the Body of Christ, we will know He remains with us always.

So, we pray, “Come, Holy Spirit.” Change us from separate individuals into One Body, with Christ as our Head. Then we know the truth of His promise, that He remains with us always in His Church.

So, we pray, “Come, Holy Spirit.” Transform each one of us into something more, into a living temple of God’s presence in the world. Flow through each of us as a river of life-giving mercy into the world. Then the Lord Jesus who remains with us always can come through us to others.

So, we pray, “Come, Holy Spirit, kindle in us the fire of your love, and you shall renew the face of the earth.”

Homily for the 6th Sunday of Easter

May 17, 2020

Fr. Joseph Jacobi

Jesus of Nazareth, son of Mary and son of God, no longer walks the earth. Next Sunday we will celebrate the glorious truth that He has ascended into heaven, returning home to reign forever at the Father’s right hand, to intercede for us always. He is gone, yet he remains here on the earth he loves, just in a different way, in different form of Presence. The Risen Lord, conqueror of sin and death, remains with humanity, by the gift of the Spirit of Truth which he shares with His Father.

The Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, the life-giving flow of love between Father and Son, remains with us always. The Holy Spirit draws us deeper into life in and with the Risen Lord Jesus, and with the Risen Lord, we abide forever in the Father.

The Church invites us during these 50 days of the Easter Season to plunge deeper into the life of the Spirit. To be attentive, more aware of this divine flow of life within us and among us, which is deeper than the disruptions of the world. To pay more attention to this subterranean stream of divine love carrying us deeper into the life of the Trinity, and flowing through us into the world.

Jesus ascends while the Spirit descends, to live within his followers as his continuing presence with them always. The Spirit comes as “another Advocate” to defend us from the attacks of the enemy and to reveal the truth of God’s eternal love for humanity.

The word for “Advocate” in Greek is “Paraklitos,” which literally means “defense attorney.” This is important description for the Spirit of Truth, because the Evil One is described in Scripture as the “accuser”. When we are being “accused” and attacked by the Father of Lies, it is good to remember we are not alone, but that the Spirit of Truth is with us, defending us.

The Spirit of Truth, shining with the bright light of divine love, reveals the accusations of the devil for what they are—lies. There are many lies that we are tempted to believe, and one of the deadly lies during this COVID-19 time is that God has abandoned us. As we face great suffering and incredibly uncertainty, the accuser whispers, “You are alone. God has abandoned you.” But when we call upon the Advocate, the Paraklitos, to defend us, the Spirit of Truth protects us from this devastating lie.

For we are never alone, because by our baptism, the Spirit remains with us always. For we are never alone, for the Spirit connects us to the Son and the Father— we live out of the life and love of the Trinity. We are never alone, for the Spirit of unity connects us to our brothers and sisters in Christ, even when we are not physically in their presence. We are never alone, for the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead connects us to all the faithful departed who have gone before us. By the power of the Spirit, they are still present to us and surround us with their love, encouraging us to finish the race of faith.

The Spirit of Truth constantly reminds us of what the Son has revealed to us about who God is and how God acts. In the life and teaching of Jesus, we see that God is always faithful, ever kind, and patient with our erring ways. The Spirit reminds us of the generosity of God revealed by Jesus giving his life fully for us and to us, of the gentleness of God in the Son who would not break a bruised reed of a person. The Spirit of Truth IS the gift of peace from the Risen Lord, the gift of a joy that is deeper than the passing sorrows of this world, the gift of Love, the love of the Father for the Son and the Son for the Father poured into our hearts.

The Holy Spirit, being “spirit”, cannot be captured and bottled in order to be seen. We “see” the Spirit active in our world by the fruits produced by the Spirit in people’s lives. We cannot see all the life surging from the roots of a fruit tree, through its trunk, and coursing through its branches, but we can see the fruit. So it is with the Spirit and the fruits the Spirit produces. When we see someone respond to cruelty with kindness, the Spirit is there. When we witness the patience of someone who endures suffering with hope, who is not consumed by wanting everything resolved and fixed right now, the Spirit is there. When we notice faithfulness in all its mundane yet glorious forms— a couple happily married for many years together, the daily prayers and sacrifices by a parent for a wayward child, the fidelity of friends through thick and thin, Spirit is there.

When we see generosity in a greedy world, when we notice gentleness in a culture which prizes brute strength, and when we witness self-control in a society that preaches “do whatever feels good,” the Spirit is there.

When joy flows into the world from those who have so little, when peace is practiced in response to violence, when love flames forth in the face of hatred, the Spirit is there.

The 9 fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) give visible evidence to this underground stream of divine life flowing through the lives of believers into a thirsty world. Kindness, patience, and faithfulness; generosity, gentleness, and self-control; love and joy and peace, are all powerful signs that the Spirit of Truth remains with us.

This Thursday the Church begins its annual “Novena to the Holy Spirit” in preparation for the great solemnity of Pentecost. This Novena, nine days of prayerful preparation, is especially important for our parish as we prepare to celebrate our first Masses in our new church building on Pentecost. Also, during these nine days of prayer we cry out for a fresh outpouring of the Spirit of Truth on our world, for the life-giving Spirit to strengthen those suffering from the impact of the coronavirus.

I invite you to pray a very specific Novena this year, for a greater flowering of the fruits of the Spirit in our lives, in our parish, & in the world. There are 9 fruits of the Spirit, so each of the 9 days of the Novena focus on a different fruit.

As we prayerfully reflect together on how the fruits of the Spirit are ripening in our life, we pray: “Come Holy Spirit, enkindle in us the fire of divine love, and you shall renew the face of the earth.”

Mother’s Day Drive-By

Sunday, May 10, 2020 from 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Domingo, 10 de mayo de 2020 de 11:00 AM – 12:30PM

Mother's Day Traffic Instructions

Flow of Traffic:

  • Come from Hwy 152 and enter at the south entrance
  • (Optional) Lay flowers at the feet of the statue of Mary in the garden near the front door
  • (Optional) Drop off your donation in a collection basket
  • Drive through the circle drive at the New Church Plaza. Mothers will receive a flower and holy card from the Knights of Columbus and a blessing from Father Jacobi
  • Exit through the north exit and drive towards 59th Street

Desfile del Día de las Madres

  • Ven desde la autopista 152 y entra por la entrada del sur
  • (Opcional) Poner flores a los pies de la estatua de María en el jardín cerca de la puerta principal
  • (Opcional) Deje su donación en la canasta de recolección
  • Conduzca hacia la entrada circular en la plaza de la iglesia nueva. Las madres recibirán una flor y una tarjeta de oración de los Caballeros de Colón y una bendición del Padre Jacobi
  • Salga por la salida norte y conduzca hacia la calle 59

Carta de los Obispos Anunciando la Reanudación de Misas Públicas en Oklahoma

6 de mayo de 2020 
Miércoles de la Cuarta Semana de Pascua 
Queridos Fieles Católicos de Oklahoma, 
Nos han alentado las numerosas historias de fieles católicos dando testimonio de la presencia de Jesús a través de su paciencia en el sufrimiento y en el bien que están haciendo por sus vecinos. ¡Gracias! Al mismo tiempo, todos estamos cansados ​​del aislamiento, las amenazas a la salud y las dificultades económicas. Durante esta época pascual, confiamos y tenemos seguridad en las palabras de Nuestro Señor: “¡Ánimo, no teman, que soy yo!” 
Después de que los Apóstoles vivieran la impactante crucifixión de su querido amigo y maestro, todo lo que creían saber con certeza se vio interrumpido y temieron por lo que vendría después. Después del triunfo de la Resurrección, encontraron alegría en la fe que compartían en Cristo Resucitado. En su época de miedo e incertidumbre, Jesús vino a ellos. 
Después de su Ascensión al cielo, estos discípulos todavía tímidos se reunieron para celebrar Pentecostés en la misma habitación en Jerusalén en la que habían compartido la Última Cena y la primera Eucaristía. Habían compartido su sufrimiento y ahora compartían la esperanza en la gloria de Cristo Resucitado. Jesús había prometido que el Padre derramaría su propio Espíritu sobre ellos para guiarlos, dirigirlos y protegerlos a través de todas las pruebas y tribulaciones. 
El don del Espíritu Santo nos asegura la presencia continua de Dios en nuestras vidas. No importa la circunstancia, él está con nosotros. Quizás el mayor sacrificio para los fieles laicos en estos últimos meses ha sido el ayuno del cuerpo, la sangre, el alma y la divinidad de Cristo dado a nosotros en su presencia real en la Eucaristía. Oramos para que, en este tiempo de ayuno eucarístico, Dios los haya bendecido con un hambre profunda por esta comunión con Jesús y con todos los miembros de su Cuerpo, la Iglesia. 
Para recordar la fidelidad de Dios y prepararnos para celebrar el nacimiento de nuestra amada Iglesia en Pentecostés, hemos decidido reanudar la celebración pública de la Misa en Oklahoma durante la semana del 18 de mayo y reanudar la Misa Dominical el 23 y 24 de mayo. 
Debido a la naturaleza sin precedentes de estos desafíos, procederemos con precaución. La dispensa de la obligación de asistir a Misa y la práctica de Misas transmitidas en vivo se mantendrán para cualquier persona que desee esperar más tiempo antes de regresar al culto público. Estamos lidiando con una amenaza invisible a la vida de las personas, un virus que nuestros médicos y científicos más brillantes aún están luchando por entender. La tentación siempre presente en nuestra cultura estadounidense es querer soluciones inmediatas y actuar rápidamente, porque queremos lo que queremos y lo queremos ahora. Como Iglesia, debemos proceder con más deliberación. 
Fundamentados sobre la orientación de líderes cívicos y autoridades de salud pública, así como en consulta con profesionales médicos locales, un grupo de trabajo compuesto por sacerdotes y laicos, y los Consejos Presbiterales de ambas diócesis, estamos emitiendo la “Línea de Tiempo y Procedimientos para la Reanudación de la Misa Pública y Vida Sacramental”, que estará vigente tanto en la Arquidiócesis de Oklahoma City como en la Diócesis de Tulsa y el Éste de Oklahoma hasta nuevo aviso. 
Los procedimientos y el cronograma brindan precauciones generales, como el limitar el número de feligreses en cada Misa y pautas para la distribución de la comunión, al tiempo que brindan flexibilidad a cada parroquia y sacerdote para determinar qué funciona mejor para su comunidad. 
Continuaremos monitoreando la crisis de salud y ajustaremos la implementación de los procedimientos según sea necesario. El lavado frecuente de manos y el distanciamiento social siguen siendo precauciones vitales para retrasar la propagación de esta enfermedad. Además, nuestros pastores aprenderán de usted y de los demás a medida que se implementen estas pautas, ajustando los procedimientos de acuerdo con lo que vayan aprendiendo. Así como los laicos se han sacrificado con su ayuno eucarístico, los sacerdotes se han sacrificado por su inhabilidad de proporcionar a los fieles este banquete celestial y celebrar los sacramentos con ellos. Anhelan volver a ver los rostros de sus feligreses. 
Alentamos a los fieles a rezar la Novena al Espíritu Santo en preparación para Pentecostés con la intención particular de pedirle al Espíritu Santo que guíe, dirija y proteja a la Iglesia en Oklahoma en medio de estos tiempos peligrosos a medida que comencemos a celebrar nuevamente la Misa pública. 
Ya sea separados por un virus o reunidos en comunidad, seguimos siendo hermanos y hermanas en Cristo. 
Es en la oscuridad cuando él comienza a surgir. ¡Ven, Espíritu Santo! 
Sinceramente suyos en Cristo, 
Reverendísimo Paul S. Coakley 
Arzobispo de la Ciudad de Oklahoma 
Reverendísimo David A. Konderla 
Obispo de Tulsa y el Éste de Oklahoma 

Bishops Announce Plan to Resume Public Mass in Oklahoma

May 6, 2020 
Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter 
Dear Catholic Faithful of Oklahoma, 
We have been heartened by the many stories of faithful Catholics witnessing to Jesus’ presence through their patience in suffering and in the good they are doing for their neighbors. Thank you! At the same time, we all to some degree are growing weary of isolation, threats to health and economic hardship. During this Easter season, we rely on Our Lord’s assurance: “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” 
After the Apostles had experienced the shocking crucifixion of their beloved friend and teacher, everything they thought they knew with certainty was disrupted and they feared what might come next. After the triumph of the Resurrection, they found joy in the faith they shared in the Risen Christ. In their time of fear and uncertainty, Jesus came to them. 
After his Ascension into heaven, these still timid disciples gathered to celebrate Pentecost in the same room in Jerusalem in which they had shared the Last Supper and first Eucharist. They had shared in his suffering and now they shared the hope of the glory of the risen Christ. Jesus had promised that the Father would pour out his own Spirit upon them to guide, direct and protect them through all trials and tribulations. 
The gift of the Holy Spirit assures us of God’s continued presence in our lives. No matter the circumstance, he is with us. Perhaps the greatest sacrifice for the lay faithful these past few months has been fasting from Christ’s body, blood, soul and divinity given to us in his real presence in the Eucharist. We pray that in this time of Eucharistic fasting, God has graced you with a profound hunger for this communion with Jesus and the members of his Body, the Church. 
To remind us of God’s faithfulness and to prepare to celebrate the birth of our beloved Church on Pentecost, we have determined to resume the celebration of public Mass in Oklahoma during the week of May 18 with Sunday Mass resuming May 23-24. 
Because of the unprecedented nature of these challenges, we will proceed with caution. The dispensation for attending Mass and the practice of live-streaming Mass will remain in place for anyone who wishes to wait longer before returning to public worship. We are dealing with an invisible threat to people’s lives, a virus that our brightest doctors and scientists are still figuring out. The ever-present temptation in our American culture is to want solutions immediately and to act quickly, because we want what we want, and we want it now. As a Church, we must proceed more deliberatively. 
Based upon guidance from civic leaders and public health authorities as well as in consultation with local medical professionals, a taskforce comprised of priests and laity, and the Presbyteral Councils of both dioceses, we are issuing the “Timeline and Procedures for Resumption of Public Mass and Sacramental Life,” which will be in effect in both the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and the Diocese of Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma until further notice. 
The procedures and timeline provide general precautions such as limiting the number of parishioners at each Mass and guidelines for the distribution of communion while providing flexibility for every parish and priest to determine what works best for their community.   
We will continue to monitor the health crisis and adjust implementation of the procedures accordingly. Frequent handwashing and social distancing remain vital precautions to slow the spread of this disease. Additionally, our pastors will learn from you and from each other as these guidelines are implemented, adjusting procedures according to what they learn. Just as the laity have sacrificed with their Eucharistic fast, the priests have sacrificed by their inability to provide the faithful with this heavenly banquet and celebrate the sacraments with them. They long to see the faces of their parishioners once again. 
We encourage the faithful to pray the Novena to the Holy Spirit in preparation for Pentecost with the particular intention of asking the Holy Spirit to guide, direct and protect the Church in Oklahoma in the midst of these perilous times as we begin to publicly celebrate Mass again. 
Whether separated by a virus or gathered in community, we remain brothers and sisters in Christ. 
In darkness, he dawns. Come, Holy Spirit! 
Sincerely yours in Christ, 
Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley 
Archbishop of Oklahoma City 
Most Reverend David A. Konderla 
Bishop of Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma