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Monthly Archives: May 2021

Trinity Sunday

TRINITY SUNDAY
Deut. 4: 32-34, 39-40 + Psalm 33: 4-6, 9, 18-22 + Rom. 8: 14-17 + Matt. 28: 16-20
Holy Spirit Catholic Church: May 30, 2021

The Church in her wisdom places the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
immediately after the great celebration of Pentecost. Why?
Because the Holy Spirit leads us into the life of the Triune God.

We are carried on the wings of the Spirit into the heights of joy of being chosen
by the Father in the Son through the power of the Holy Spirit to share life with God.
As the river of life-giving water, the Spirit transports us into a relationship
with the Father and Son, and we are caught up in their love for each other.
By the fire of the Holy Spirit, we see clearly this truth—
love not only makes the world go round, but love is at the center of the Trinity—
the Father loving the Son, the Son receiving the Father’s love and returning that love, and the fiery passionate love they share being the Holy Spirit.

Most Christians, when asked which member of the Trinity they relate to
on a consistent basis, would answer either the Father or the Son.
The Holy Spirit is often the forgotten member of the Triune God.
Yet it is the Spirit who enlightens our minds to understand who Jesus is as Son of God
and what Jesus has done for us as Redeemer, Savior, and Lord of all.
Yet it is the Spirit who reveals that the Father has adopted us in baptism,
chosen us to be his own beloved sons and daughters.
In fact, it is by the power of the same Spirit, as St. Paul notes,
that we can even dare to address God as “Abba, Father”. (Romans 8: 15)

Whether we realize it or not, the Holy Spirit is the divine person of the Trinity to whom we relate most, because we can only relate to the Father and the Son through the Spirit.
We are not Moses—we cannot see God face to face on the mountain— and actually
Moses did not exactly see God’s face, only God’s back as God passed by.
We are not Peter, James, or John, nor Mary Magdalene, Martha, or Mary—
we do not see Jesus, the Son of God, face-to-face as they did in the 1st century.

Therefore, it is the Holy Spirit who reveals to us the Father and reveals to us the Son.
Without the Spirit we would not know either one.

The Holy Spirit draws us deeper and deeper into the life of the Trinity.
The Holy Spirit performs this important work in our lives in many different ways.

The desire which propelled you here today, the desire you have
for a closer relationship with God—that is the Spirit working within you.

The voice you cannot silence arising from your conscience—
that voice which says, “Do the right thing no matter what it costs”
is the voice of the Holy Spirit.
That voice of compassion which says it is wrong to turn your back on the hungry
or those who are hurting, that is the Spirit.
The powerful voice reminding you that every single person is to be treated with dignity,
regardless of their race, ethnicity, color of skin, or gender—that is the Spirit.
That pestering voice which says “forgive” when you would rather feed resentment,
that’s the Spirit.

The Spirit is always at work repairing relationships that have been broken—
whether that’s our relationship to God, to others, to our truest self,
or the relationship we have with our common home, the earth itself.
For the Spirit is the energy needed for reconciliation.
It is the Holy Spirit as the 3rd Person of the Divine Trinity who makes us one—
one in Christ, & strengthens our relationship with each other as children of One Father.

The Spirit’s work is to encourage and console and to INSPIRE.
That word—inspire—reveals what the Holy Spirit most often does.
When out of nowhere we are inspired to call someone
who we have not spoken to in ages—that’s the movement of the Spirit.
When we are inspired to write a note of gratitude or encouragement,
the breath of the Spirit moves our pen.
When we are inspired to speak a word lifting another up, or when we are inspired
to step forward and offer a helping hand—there is the Spirit at work.

The 3rd Person of the Holy Trinity empowers us to give witness
to the Son’s redeeming love and the Father’s providential care.
The Holy Spirit, a Spirit of power, gives us the courage to be witnesses to the Gospel,
so that the life-giving relationship we have with the Father, Son, and Spirit
is something we naturally share with others.

Whenever we fall in love, we want to tell everyone about our beloved.
We want others to meet the person whose love has transformed us.
We cannot keep this news, this great good news, to ourselves.

So it is when we realize how bountifully we are loved by God
and invited into relationship now and forever with the Triune God.
It is a love that cannot be kept to ourselves, and it is a relationship
we want others to share.
We want to give witness to what the Beloved—the Triune God—
has done and is doing in our life.

It is the particular role of the Holy Spirit to help us share
this divine life and love with others and invite them into relationship with the Trinity.
So, we baptize—ushering those baptized into this life & love of the Father, Son & Spirit.
We invite others to join in the joy of the dance with the 3 Divine Persons.

It is the Holy Spirit who propels us to reach out and make a friend,
and then nurture and develop that friendship, and then bring that friend to know
the Father and the Son and the Spirit.

The heart of the mystery of the Trinity is relationship, for our God is a relational God.
The Triune God has made us in God’s image-we are made to be in relationship with God,
and we are hard-wired to be connected to others in relationship.
One of the lessons we have learned from the coronavirus pandemic is we are not made to live in isolation—we are made to be in bodily relationship with others.

In baptism, the Triune God has chosen us to be a Trinitarian people.
By baptism, we are “an adopted son (daughter) of the Father, a member of Christ,
and a temple of the Holy Spirit.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1279)

Fr. Joseph A. Jacobi

Center of Family Love’s 40th Anniversary Celebration

This year, the Center of Family Love (CFL) is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a Gift of Love Virtual Celebration! Out of an abundance of caution for their residents, the gala has been moved to a virtual platform for the second year in a row. Though this is virtual, they must still raise $1 million to meet their needs. CFL would greatly appreciate if you would register and spread the word!

For more information, visit https://centeroffamilylove.org/

Pentecost Sunday

PENTECOST SUNDAY HOMILY
Acts 2: 1-11 + Galatians 5: 16-25 + John 20: 19-23
Holy Spirit Catholic Church: May 23, 2021

The Holy Spirit, being “spirit”, is not visible to the human eye,
but is visible to those who have eyes of faith.
We do not “see” the Holy Spirit, but we do see evidence of the Spirit’s work,
signs of the powerful, life-giving presence of the Holy Spirit.
This is what St. Paul calls the fruit of the Spirit.
When we see someone who is loving or kind, full of joy or peace,
we know the Holy Spirit is moving in their lives.
When we see someone who is patient or faithful, generous or gentle,
or guided by self-control, we can say, “There is a Spirit-filled person.”

By examining more closely the fruit of the Holy Spirit,
we can better understand what it means to be a Pentecost people.

The fruit of the Spirit is love. But not just any kind of love,
rather the love revealed by the Spirit-filled Son of God.
He commands us to love one another as he has loved us (John 15: 12),
by laying down our lives for others,
generously giving of ourselves for the good of the other.
This love sacrifices, is generous and kind and joy-filled.
It’s the kind of loving that is attractive to others and draws their attention:
“Look at those Christians. See how they love one another and others.”
When we make use the Spirit’s gift of piety, which draws us closer to the All-Holy One who is Pure, Absolute Love, we produce more readily this fruit of the Spirit—love.

The fruit of the Spirit is joy.
This joy in the Spirit, this joy spilling forth from the Spirit,
is permanent where happiness is temporary.
When Jesus prays to the Father, he “rejoices in the Holy Spirit” (Lk. 10:21).
Jesus, full of joy springing from wonder, preaches parables rooted
in the awesomeness of life springing up all round him—a sower sowing seeds and the bountiful harvest that results (cf Mk. 4: 1-8; Mt. 13: 1-13) or how the Father provides for the birds of the air and clothes the fields with flowers (cf. Mt. 6: 26-30).

Jesus welcomes children who are bundles of joy,
because of their hearts are filled with wonder.

Moved by the Spirit of joy, we can become like little children
(cf. Mk. 10:15, Matt. 18:3), alive with awe and wonder.
Anytime we unpack this particular gift of the Holy Spirit, the gift of awe
and wonder, we are able to marvel at life erupting all round us from the frozen death of winter, we rejoice in frozen hearts now thawed by the mercy of God.
With masks are removed from our faces, we breathe in more easily
the breath of the Risen Lord, the fresh air of the Spirit, and we sing for joy.

Filled with awe and wonder at the many glorious gifts of God,
we can then produce the fruit of the Spirit identified as generosity.
For the Spirit’s gift of awe and wonder produces not only joy
but generosity, which flows from joy and gives birth to even more joy.
Those who are joy-filled are also generous, because these fruits of the Spirit
go hand-in-hand.
Jesus notices generosity welling up and out of the widow
who gives all she has to the temple treasury, two small coins (cf. Lk 21: 2-3).
Jesus embodies generosity by the great gift of his body broken for us,
by the magnanimous gift of his blood poured out for us.
Parishioners in their generosity not only break open their bank accounts
to build a new church or to help those who have lost everything to fire
or struggle to make ends meet, but also generously share the gift of their time and talent in a multitude of ways.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is peace.
“Peace I leave you; my peace I give to you,” says the Lord.
“Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and afraid.” (John 14: 27)
When our world turns upside down and the foundations of life
are shaken, this fruit is a sure sign of the Spirit of God at work.
It blooms forth in the lives of people of faith who persevere in the face of hardship, rejoicing in the gifts of God each day, relishing life in all its richness,wonder and delight.
The Spirit helps us produce this fruit by the gift of knowledge of the ways of God.
For peace flows from us because we know that suffering love leads to glory,
that every trial is a new opportunity to trust in God’s goodness,
that death never ever has the last word.

Another fruit of the Spirit of the All-Merciful God is patience.
Patience as a fruit of the Spirit is not passive, but active. (cf. 1 Cor. 13: 4)
It is what Jesus displays toward his hard-headed disciples,
who do not understand him nor his ways.
Patience as a fruit of the Spirit is rooted in God’s love as seen
in Jesus’ marvelous mercy toward sinners, trusting they will turn back to God.
It is manifested in the many St. Monica’s of this world who faithfully pray for their wayward Augustine’s, trusting that God hears their prayers and will act to save the lost, to bind up the broken, to lift up those who fall.

Patience looks a lot like persevering in hope, which is why the Spirit gives
the gift of fortitude, to strengthen us to keep on keeping on even when things are not going our way, trusting that in the long haul that God’s plan will be victorious,
that life will spring from death.

Connected to the fruit of patience is the fruit of faithfulness,
because faithfulness also springs from the Spirit’s gift of fortitude,
giving strength to persevere in good times and bad, in sickness and in health.

Husband and wife produce this fruit of faithfulness to God and to each other
as they support each other during times of trouble
and rejoice with each other during times of blessing.
Those who suffer through the pain of divorce produce this fruit as they stay close to God and their church community through thick and thin and are resurrected to new life
on the other side of the death of divorce, a life where they learn they can love and be loved again, where they recognize they have gifts to share which bless the lives of others, gifts which flow from God’s faithfulness to them.

This fruit of the Spirit named faithfulness is produced by a people of faith,
who persevere through a pandemic, who endure in trust the shutting down of the Sacramental life of the Church, who then worship in spite of the hindrance of masks and social distance, who say to God who has said to them in Christ—“I am with you always” (cf. Mt. 28:20)—that they are there always for God—to adore and praise and give thanks.
Yes indeed, a fantastic fruit of the Holy Spirit is faithfulness.

Kindness and gentleness are fruits growing from the living water of the Holy Spirit.
Spirit-infused disciples look upon others with a “kind gaze”,
bringing to light the goodness residing in them.
This is the way Jesus looked upon every single person he encountered in his life.
Kindness is a particular way of loving which benefits and helps others
and is ever ready to be of assistance. (cf. 1 Cor. 13:4)
A kind deed done every day transforms the world in which we live.

Kindness fits hand-in-glove with the fruit of gentleness.
Jesus, the Gentle One, fulfils the prophecy of Isaiah, for by the anointing of the Spirit
“a bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering wick he will not quench”
(cf Matthew 12: 18, 20; Isaiah 42:1-4), as he gently reaches out to touch with tenderness
those who are hurting and in need of healing.
Jesus, the Gentle One, is the Good Shepherd who carries the wounded sheep
on his shoulders after binding up its wounds.

Jesus, full of the Spirit, reveals the kindness and gentleness of God
by reaching out to those broken by suffering, rejected by the world,
and he wipes away ever tear from their eyes (cf. Revelation 21: 4).
Jesus, full of gentleness and kindness toward his first followers, reaches out
to tenderly touch their feet, to wash them clean, and then tells them to do the same.
The fruit of kindness and gentleness, nourished by the life-giving water of the Spirit, springs forth from using the Spirit’s gift of wisdom.
For those who are wise in the ways of God, know that kindness and gentleness
ultimately win the day, not brute strength and violence.

The 9th fruit of the Spirit is the fruit of self-control.
Jesus reveals this fruit of self-control as Pilate interrogates him, as the soldiers mock him, as the religious leaders scoff at him hanging from the cross.
This fruit becomes evident in the life of one who does not respond to hate with hate,
who holds his or her tongue instead of lashing out.
The gift of the Spirit which produces this fruit in us, if we make use of this gift,
is the great gift of understanding.
Understanding that when another person is hateful toward us
they are most likely responding from a place of deep woundedness,
helps us to control our response to them.

The fruit of the spirit is:
Love, joy, and generosity;
Peace, patience, and faithfulness;
Kindness and gentleness and self-control.

Making full use of the seven-fold gifts of the Holy Spirit helps us produce
these nine fruits of the Spirit, so we may magnify the Lord by our life.

Fr. Joseph A. Jacobi

Ascension Sunday

ASCENSION SUNDAY: Honor High School Graduates
Acts 1: 1-11 + Psalm 47: 2-9 + Ephesians 1: 17-23 + Mark 16: 15-20
Holy Spirit Church: Sunday, May 16, 2021

The Scripture readings for this Solemnity of the Ascension speak about power,
either directly or indirectly. What do we think of when we hear that word, “power”?

Some think of the sheer physical power of athletes, like
Lebron James executing a tomahawk slam that no one can stop, or
Aaron Judge of the Yankees flicking his wrists and a baseball rockets 400 feet
out of the ballpark, or Adrian Peterson running right through several tacklers.

Others think of power by focusing on “Superhuman Power,” like of the Avengers:
Captain America taking on a whole horde of alien soldiers, or
the Hulk tackling an alien spaceship, or
Tony Stark as Iron Man manhandling a nuclear warhead,
directing it wherever he wants it to go.

Others think of the power of a nation, such as the disciples in today’s 1st reading
who ask if Jesus is going to restore the Kingdom to Israel in order to kick out
the Romans and retake their land and country.

However, the Scriptural meaning of Power in the readings for today refers
to the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Scriptures speak of power not in terms of sheer physical strength,
superhuman strength, or strength of a nation, but in a quite different way.

The power of Holy Spirit is a divine gift which energizes the disciples
of the Risen and Ascended Lord to do deeds of love & faith
previously thought impossible.

For the Lord Jesus ascends into heaven, to be seated in glory at the right hand
of the Father, so the Holy Spirit might descend upon his followers.
This gift of the Spirit, 1st given to us at Baptism, empowers us as it did
those first disciples to be witnesses to Risen Lord and to continue his saving work.
The Holy Spirit empowers us to love as Christ loves.

We are given a mission – to bring others to the Father as Jesus did—
a mission that is only possible by the gift of a Spirit of power.

In Mark’s Gospel, when the disciples are given the power of the Holy Spirit, they are given over Evil. We are given the same power so that nothing will stop us from being witnesses to the Risen and Ascended Lord Jesus.

In Mark’s Gospel, the disciples are given the Spirit of power in order to
drive out demons; pick up serpents; and drink any deadly thing.
All of these are meant to be taken symbolically, not literally.

For we are not called upon to be an “exorcist,” although we are empowered
to cast out the demons of hatred and the fear that gives birth to prejudice.

We are not called upon to go play with cobras or cottonmouths,
but to courageously confront those who would twist and turn the truth into deadly lies.

Jesus, by gifting us with the power of the Holy Spirit is not asking us to drink
Coca-Cola laced with arsenic.
Rather, when we drink in the deadly air of this culture—
a consumerist culture that places things before people,
a hedonist culture that places pleasure before sacrifice,
a me-first culture that encourages destructive selfish behavior—
we know that even when we drink in such poison,
even when we breathe in such pollution
it has no power over us because of the power of Spirit.

But we have to stay connected to our power source, to the Spirit
who continues to flow into our lives through a community of faith called “the Church.”
High School Graduates, stay connected to your power source, to the Eucharist,
so that you might have the energy to live out your faith,
to grow in love of God and others during college.

It is not easy to be a disciple of Jesus Christ,
to witness to Him by lives of sacrificial love.
It not easy to live lives marked by forgiveness and mercy—
but when we are “plugged in” to a community of faith,
in the power of the shared Spirit,
there is nothing to fear.
The power of evil wilts in the face of the power of the Holy Spirit.

We are also empowered by the gift of the Holy Spirit to speak new languages.
This does not mean we can easily start speaking in a language which is foreign to us.
Rather by the power of the Spirit we can speak in a new way to God
and speak in a new way about God.
This “new” language is called the “Language of Prayer.”

Parents teach their children how to speak in this new language, by kneeling
at their child’s bedside night after night teaching them how to talk to God, or
at the dinner table by thanking God for the gift of food and drink,
or by bringing their children to Mass Sunday after Sunday.

You high school graduates learned this language while being part of the Church,
a language of Christ-like love and sacrifice,
of being connected to Christ like branches to a vine in order to produce abundant fruit.
You have learned the language of seeking the common good
and the language of self-giving service,
By the Sacrament of Confirmation, you were empowered by the Spirit
in a very special way to be witnesses to the Risen Lord, to love as he loves.

This new language that you have learned is very different from the language
used by those in positions of power,
who use language to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.
Instead, we use prayer language to talk about God and what God has accomplished.

It is this “new” language called prayer that puts us into proper relationship with God
and with each other.
It is by praying in union with others, by uniting ourselves to others in worship
by praising and adoring God,
that we are able to accomplish what before seemed impossible.

As we grow in our life of Prayer, we become more and more open
to the power of Holy Spirit, who is given to us to complete what we previously thought as Mission Impossible:
To love as Christ loves, so as to continue His saving Mission of bringing all people home
to our Heavenly Father.

Fr. Joseph A. Jacobi

Coordinator of Children’s Evangelization (CCE)

FLSA STATUS: Part Time

Summary:    

Holy Spirit Catholic Church recognizes that it is the young people who are the hope of our Catholic Church. It is in the formation of young people as disciples of Jesus Christ that leads all of us to an encounter with the God of love. Holy Spirit Catholic Church is a rapidly growing parish in the fastest growing county in Oklahoma.

The parish is seeking a Coordinator of Children’s Evangelization (CCE) to organize and lead the efforts to evangelize and catechize the children of our parish (Through Grade 5) and their families. It is our hope that the successful candidate will be a joy-filled person of faith, be willing to take an active part in the life of the parish, be an example of fidelity to their Catholic faith, and show others what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

The successful candidate will be part of a dynamic pastoral team with an opportunity to help shape the way our parish forms disciples, and assist in providing direction for the future of our parish. The CCE will enjoy the full support of the pastor, as well as the support and camaraderie of a growing parish staff. The CCE will have volunteers to assist in the implementation of efforts to evangelize the children of our parish. In addition, the CCE will have opportunities to grow by their participation in retreats and leadership development opportunities.

Qualifications:

  • 1-3 years’ experience in catechetical leadership
  • Shows a concern for ongoing personal and spiritual growth
  • Empowers others to use their talents through participation and action

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelors or Masters in theological studies, ministry, religious education or equivalent
  • 3-5 years’ experience in catechesis, catechetical leadership, and ministering to children
  • Ability to communicate in both English and Spanish

Essential Functions/Responsibilities

  1. Provides yearly formation opportunities to help facilitate an encounter with Christ (such as Totus Tuus, Vacation Bible School, or other activities)
  1. Coordinates and develops all aspects of an evangelization/catechetical program for children
  1. Assists in the recruiting, support, training, and evaluation of volunteers for the children’s catechetical and evangelization efforts; encourages volunteers to attend formation opportunities at the archdiocesan level
  1. Provides opportunities for parent formation and spiritual growth, and equips parents to take an active role in their child’s religious formation
  1. Communicates, advocates and promotes children’s activities with parents, volunteers, parish staff and parish organizations
  1. Maintains regular communication with the Archdiocesan Secretariat of Evangelization and Catechesis and regularly attends meetings scheduled by the Secretariat

7. Cooperates with the parish Safe Environment Facilitator in providing the necessary information about staff, catechists, and other volunteers in the children’s evangelization programs, including confirming that all have completed the Archdiocesan Safe Environment protocols

_________________________________________________________________

Work Environment

  • This job operates partly in an office setting and partly in a classroom setting.
  • This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets and fax machines.
  • It also demands significant evening and weekend working hours.

Required Physical Demands

  • Physical stamina to supervise children
  • Mobility to move about in a classroom or group setting 
  • Lifting and moving of materials and equipment for presentations is required 
  • Ability to drive  

Travel

  • Travel is required as needed to attend workshops and in-service trainings sponsored by the Archdiocese and others (as approved by the Pastor), as well as national meeting in coordination with the Pastor. 

Note: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by an employee in this position.  These statements are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of employees in this position. Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign job duties as required.  This job description is not to be construed as a guaranteed contract of employment for a definite period.