BEARING FRUIT: the Mystery of the Holy Spirit
6th Week of EASTER
RCIA Session, May 6 & 10
READINGS for ASCENSION of OUR LORD, May 13
Acts of the Apostles 1:1-11
Psalm 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
“While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.
They said, "Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven." -cf. Acts 1:1-11
"Jesus said to his disciples: 'Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.'" -cf. Mark 16:15-20
"'I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy might be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.'" -cf. John 15:9-17
- Thursday, May 10: Usual class groups -- reflecting on the Mystery of the Holy Spirit; Confession available with one priest from 6:00-8:30 pm; it will be organized by class groups
- Thursday, May 17: Usual class groups - reviewing the Sacrament of Confirmation; special dinner night for English-speaking adult group; Usual Parish Confession at 6:00 pm; two priests available from 7pm to 8pm
- Thursday, May 24: FIESTA! Final night of RCIA - Certificates will be given -- there will be piñatas and food, door prizes and fun for all the families in RCIA - please celebrate with us!
MAIN GOALS THIS WEEK:
- To reflect on the readings for the Feast of the Ascension which will be the Feast Day on Sunday, May 13
- To reflect on our mission - why "it is better for you that I go" -- the centrality and challenge of sacrificial love for all -- the work & gifts of the Holy Spirit which make love possible
- To learn about the animating power of the Holy Spirit - within us and within the Church/the People of God
- To know the SEVEN GIFTS of the Holy Spirit and how to cooperate with the grace of the Holy Spirit
- To pray for the Holy Spirit to "stir" within us, to lead us in faithfulness and the mission of the Church
PRACTICE THE FAITH: Join a Small Christian Community in the Parish
- St. Monica Parish has many Small Christian Communities that meet in homes. These provide great support for those who wish to live and grow in faith, and who look for support to take up the mission of the Church. Contact Anne Corcoran to join one or to form one.
TOOLS this week: love, joy, peace, patience, understanding...
- Chapter 9 in the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults (USCCA)
- TWO CLASSIC HOLY SPIRIT PRAYERS
REFLECTING TOGETHER THIS WEEK: Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. 1 John 4:7-10
What "fruit" do you bear? Is it the fruit of the Spirit, or some other fruit - because whatever is alive in our hearts is what will show on the outside?
How is it possible to let the Holy Spirit bestow the seven GIFTS on you? How do those gifts grow in us each? How do they grow in us as a Parish?
If we live in God, and God lives in us, how do we go about bringing the good news of God's presence and love to the people living in the boundaries of St. Monica Church?
If you were the Pastor of St. Monica and had responsibility to save every soul in the Parish boundaries, how would you go about that?
What is the place of telling people about God? What other ways are there to help persons encounter and know God?
Would our neighbors be any worse off if St. Monica Parish ceased to exist here at 6131 N. Michigan Road? What would they miss? If there is not much they would miss, what could we do to change that? What will YOU do to change that?
EXPLORING MORE DEEPLY: Deus Caritas Est
"The Spirit, in fact, is that interior power which harmonizes their hearts with Christ's heart and moves them to love their brethren." #19
"The Church's deepest nature is expressed in her three-fold responsibility: of proclaiming the word of God (derygma-martyria), celebrating the sacraments (leitourgia), and exercising the ministry of charity (diakonia). These duties presuppose each other and are inseparable." #25
"...he (St. Lawrence) presented the poor themselves as the real treasure of the Church." #23
"The Christian's program - the program of the Good Samaritan, the program of Jesus - is a 'heart which sees.' This heart sees where love is needed and acts accordingly. ...A Christian knows when it is time to speak of God and when it is better to say and to let love alone speak." #31
"Love is the light - and in the end, the only light - that can always illuminate a world grown dim and give us the courage needed to keep living and working. Love is possible, and we are able to practice it because we are created in the image of God. To experience love and in this way to cause the light of God to enter into the world - this is the invitation I would like to extend with the present Encyclical." #39
-Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, December 25, 2005