from Peter Poppleton on June 10, 2014
We are privileged to live in an amazing time when a powerful new movement of the Holy Spirit is sweeping the world – building unity under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This Pentecost City of the Lord was blessed to participate in events that involved Archbishop Gomez in Los Angeles and Auxiliary Bishop Nevares in Phoenix. At the cathedral in LA, Archbishop Gomez celebrated Mass for the many Lay Ecclesial movements in Los Angeles and Orange counties. At Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Tempe, Bishop Nevares, along with two evangelical pastors, shared in an Evening of Praise and Intercession for Christian Unity. Catholics from various parishes, members of the Charismatic Renewal Ministry, and Evangelicals joined in exuberant praise and worship and invoked the Holy Spirit to bring about greater unity among Christians. As we Catholics gather with other Christian Churches and other movements of the Spirit, we do so with profound respect for the grace operative in different denominations and charisms.
To play our part in this work, we must be sure our Covenant Life is strong and vibrant. I’m reminded of an image from Nehemiah, with one difference. We are building the City of the Lord with a trowel in one hand, and not a sword, but a cup of mercy in the other. With the trowel we continue to build and strengthen our life focused on who we are, as brothers and sisters in covenant. Let’s continue to deepen our love for the brethren. Let’s celebrate the Lord’s Day together; fellowship and recreate with each other; and let’s be sure that we always and everywhere pray with each other.
And we must be sure the cup of mercy in our other hand is full – ready to be poured out. Let me suggest two ways to keep our cup full. Pope Francis recently instructed the Charismatic Catholics in Italy to return to Sacred Scripture. “Return to this first love, always have the word of God in your pocket or purse.” Many of us read the Magnificat or say the Divine Office. Let us not forget to also pick up the Bible and read through a Gospel or a Letter, or study how Jesus fulfills the Hebrew Scriptures. Let us be sure the Word of God accompanies us wherever we go. Another way to keep the cup full is spending time before the Blessed Sacrament, following the example of all our recent Popes – St. John Paul, Pope Emeritus Benedict, and Pope Francis. Their cup of mercy is always full.
We must be a vibrant and unified community so that we are a credible witness to the work of the Lord among us. Let us always be ready to pick up our trowel in order to build our life. And let us be vigilant in letting the Lord fill our cup of mercy so we can serve the action of the Holy Spirit in the Church.
The following word was received at the Pentecost celebration in Tempe:
"I saw a myriad of angels going before the Lord to clear the way. All obstacles were being removed. The Father was walking in the midst, taking the hands of his children and gathering them together, making them one. In this the Father was glorified. 'My children take my hand and allow me to draw you together. This brings me great joy, my children. Take my hand and let me draw you together. This is my joy. This is my joy. For I am your Father and I am rich in mercy.'"
Let us sincerely and deeply pray that all be one as the Father and Son are one with the Spirit. Come, Holy Spirit!