Today marks an important turning point in the early Church. As we hear in today’s first reading, once the disciples had received the gift of the Holy Spirit, they found new strength and courage to proclaim the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As they proclaimed the message, they were heard in various languages, for the message of salvation could not be contained in only one dialect.
We, who live in southern California, realize that the message of faith takes on many languages. I have been blessed to serve in a variety of parishes during my years as a priest. At Sacred Heart in Lancaster I lived with a variety of priests serving our community. At one time I was ministering with a priest born in Vietnam and another born in Nigeria, while having a seminarian from Korea. During the summer we had assistance from a Jesuit priest born in India. Each brings a message of faith influenced by their background, which enhances our appreciation of the Catholic (Universal) Church.
Please pray for greater understanding and appreciation of the variety of cultural and linguistic groups that exist in our Church and that find residence here in Southern California. As we celebrate the great day of Pentecost, may we realize “there are different spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone” (2nd reading). “Lord, send out you Spirit and renew the face of the earth” (Responsorial Psalm).