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Seventh Sunday of Easter

May 24, 2020

Seventh Sunday of Easter

May 24, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

 

Acts of the Apostles 1:12-14                     

Psalm 27

First Letter of Saint Peter

John 17:1-11a

 

The Acts of the Apostles, which is the scriptural history of the Holy Spirit’s working in the early Church, shares with us today a beautifully tender story.  We hear from the first chapter of Acts how the eleven apostles watched Jesus ascend, and then returned to Jerusalem to pray.  We hear them identified by name along with Mary, the other women and His brothers as they gather to pray together in the “upper room.”  That is all we hear, but there is much more.

Remembering Mary, the women, apostles and disciples gathered in prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit reminds us of the importance of praying for what we need.  While prayer is principally to make us more open to God, to help us respond better to God’s grace in our lives, we also believe that God’s love leads Him to hear and answer our prayers of petition especially during the Coronavirus pandemic.  We greatly admire the faith of people who pray to God every day for a request and eventually have their prayers answered.  People often ask their priests or deacons to pray for their intentions and ask priests to offer mass for their intentions; that is good, but it is also good that each of us prays for ourselves.  Jesus Himself taught the importance of asking God for what we need as He said, “Ask and it will be given to you; search and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him.”  (Luke 11:9-10) 

Sisters and brothers, if we do not pray every day there is a huge void in our lives and we cannot hope to be happy.  However, what happens if our prayers are not answered?  Or, should I say, what happens if our prayers are not answered in the way we desired?  We have plans and sometimes our plans are not fulfilled.  Our lives can sometimes revolve around “me” or “I” or “myself.”  Our lives should be revolving around the “us” and “we” because we not only pray for our own intentions but for the intentions of our neighbors and for our world.   But God has wonderful plans for us if we will allow them to be fulfilled.  It is only in the next life that we will fully understand God’s plan. 

The disciples in the upper room did not fully understand their mission until they received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  They definitely needed the grace of the Holy Spirit to fully understand Jesus.  Like them we wait in pray with Mary, the women, the apostles and the disciples before Pentecost when we will receive graces from prayer that otherwise we would not receive.

During this week before Pentecost I ask you to please pray like Mary, and all of the devoted followers of our Lord Jesus in the upper room, for a renewed outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Church and on all of us that we may respond to God in more beautiful and tender ways. 

Should we continue to pray?  Maybe this will help; “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.  Worry is useless.  God is merciful and will answer your prayer.”  Saint Padre Pio.

Question of the Day:  In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Saint Paul teaches us to, “Rejoice always.  Pray without ceasing.  In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”  Will you follow that advice? 

Prayer:  Lord God, You promised not to leave us orphaned but to remain with us always.  Be with us in our confusion and disappointment when we feel lost and when we do not know what to do.  Grant that we may hear Your call to silence and prayer and withdraw to our own “upper room to pray in Your peace.”  There we ask You to pour out on us afresh Your Holy Spirit that we may be better witnesses to You in our families, parishes and places of work.  Amen.

Please continue to pray for the victims of the Coronavirus and for all who are affected by this unprecedented pandemic.

Prosit

 

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