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Epiphany/Stella Maris
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Today’s Scripture

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

For the ancient Jews, Pentecost was one of the top three religious holidays. It had two important meanings. First, on Pentecost, 50 days after the Passover (the word “Pentecost” comes from the Greek for “fifty”), the first fruits of the spring grain harvest were offered to God in a special sacrifice at the Temple. (That may sound strange to us, who live in a climate that has only one harvest each year. But in Palestine, they had two yearly harvests.) In this sense, it was highly appropriate that God sent the Holy Spirit to his Church in a public way on Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is the first fruit of the harvest of the New Covenant. The New Covenant is Christ giving us a new, redeemed life of grace. This life begins here on earth under the action of the Holy Spirit, but it will only reach its fulfillment – the full harvest – in heaven. But there was a second meaning to the Jewish festival of Pentecost. It commemorated God giving Moses the Ten Commandments on Mt Sinai. Soon after the Israelites had miraculously escaped from Egypt, God sent them the Law, a guide for how they should live now that they were freed from slavery to Pharaoh. In this sense too, it was appropriate that God sent his Church the Holy Spirit during that Festival. The Holy Spirit is the bond of unity between the Father and the Son. And the Law of the New Covenant, the Law of the Church, is unity. As St Paul says, the Church is a body with many parts, but it remains one, united body. It is the Church’s mission to reunite the human family that has been torn apart by sin. That’s why all the visitors in Jerusalem heard the Apostle’s words in their own languages. That’s why as soon as the risen Jesus breathes on his Apostles; he instructs them to forgive sins.

Please pray for our sick that they may receive God’s healing strength: Teresa Morone, Albert Ferranti, Marisa Della Pia, Dom Dinella, Sarah Wallace, Marie Devlin, James Curci, Susan and Frank Addis, Eileen McClain, Grace Jones, Brian Ligato, Danielle Peters, Marie and Hugh Quigley, Geraldine DiDonato, Pam Casey, Gerri Liberato-Abbott, Louie DiBruno, Michael Cornaglia, Sr., Karen Specht, Angel Scorza, Tom and Linda Sammaritano, Sister Peg, Stephanie Sinex, Shawn Keefe, Maria Dattilo, Ashleigh Leone, Tommy Van Horn Jr., Fr. Casey, Mary Young, Rose Campolongo, Landon Reid, Annette Slattery, Anna Musolino, Joann Auld, Pat Kennedy, Sr. Francine OSF, Constance DeMayo, Robert Federico, Tom Rucci