Saturday, May 26, 2012

Web Pentecost Mass

This year my parish is doing something different; it is broadcasting its Pentecost vigil mass on the web.  The mass will run about 3 hours and begins at 7PM (EDT) tonight, and instructions for viewing it can be seen here:  

12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”  (Jn 16)

He gave up this life so that the Spirit could come.

So can we.

I couldn’t begin to estimate the number of books I’ve read on the importance of prayer.  For the scientist and followers of the scientific method --- prove it and then I’ll believe it --- prayer is the link, the personal link, to the spirit world, and the antithesis of the material world.  You can’t prove via the scientific method that you are talking to God or, even if there is a “god,” that he hears you.  For the scientific method all truth is in the material world and is provable; but our faith in Jesus believes Him when He said:  When the Spirit of truth comes he will guide you into all the truth.  Pentecost was a visible proof of the existence of God, of His Spirit, and of His truth.  Many saw; many heard, and what seemed to be the words of drunkards --- they were so amazing --- were shown to be truth.  And many believed the truth.

Only a fool would refuse to believe things proven by science, even if he himself cannot do the proofs nor understand them.  Electricity, gravity, and light exist, even if I do not understand them.  Truth, beauty and love exist, even if I do not understand them.

One of the ways the Spirit comes to us is in prayer; we can invite him into our hearts.  A key point of the invitation, however, is our acceptance that perhaps, just perhaps, he will tell us the truth.  That simple openness in prayer is enough of an invite for God to begin to show us, guide us, into all truth. 

Jesus showed us so much by way of example of how we are to live this life and, as we’ve heard over and over again in the Gospels of John, He also TOLD us how to live this life:  Love one another.  But just copying that example, just hearing those words and living the example of Jesus’ life is not enough.  Anyone can ‘look’ like a good man, so that others can see him.  But God has told us that He reads our hearts, and we must not just ‘look’ like we follow Jesus, we must believe what He did and spoke.  We need the Holy Spirit, so that the “proofs” of this life can be exceeded by the “proofs” of God.    Jesus told us that is so.

He gave up this life so that the Spirit could come.  So must we.

If we want to know the real truth about the important things of this life, prayer is the start.

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