St. John Fisher Roman Catholic Church

30 Jones Hollow Road, Marlborough, CT 06447

HolySpiritThis is perhaps a gift we have all become more in-tuned with as we have watch spring erupt around us. We notice the subtle changes in our yards, our parks and our days. The brilliance of the sun setting over the silhouette of trees or the emerging of buds opening up after winter. God’s glory and majesty is constantly on display for us, yet we often miss the power of this gift, His expression of love. By opening ourselves up to recognizing God’s gifts and power, we automatically create an opportunity deepen our faith. If we allow ourselves, we can be wowed by the power of God. How do we acknowledge this gift? The same God that lovingly created the universe waits to hear from you. Look around. This is all a gift and we are constantly being called in to communion with God be it with through nature, creatures or each other. God’s glory reminds us of our utter dependence upon Him

As we move toward Pentecost this week, let us hold close the fact that we are filled with the Holy Spirit and thereby graced with the gifts of wisdom, understanding, courage, knowledge, right judgment, reverence and wonder and awe. As a result of being fortified with these power gifts, our actions should ultimately reflect the fruits of the Holy Spirit charity joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, faithfulness, modesty, self-control and chastity.

Father Thomas Richstatter beautifully wrote in his article Confirmation: Sacrament of the Spirit, of how Jesus is the perfect manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. “Through the Gospels we see how these seven gifts form Jesus’ personality. They are characteristic of his activity. Consider the wisdom expressed in his parables; his understanding of the poor and the sick; his right judgment when tested by the Pharisees; his courage to continue the journey to Jerusalem where he surmised what fate awaited him; his knowledge of God’s will; his reverence for is heavenly Father, his awe before the wonders of creation – the lilies of the valley, the birds of the air….The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are the manifestation of the Divine Power active in the life of Jesus of Nazareth.”

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ColorCrossGlobal Life Night with Life Teen
Sunday Evenings at 5:00 p.m.
Streaming on YouTube

Calling all Teens -  Life Teen's Global Life Night is on YouTube on Sunday evenings at 5:00 p.m.  These events are being produced for just for you.  Join young people from across the country as we try to stay connect and grow our faith.   The events are free and then  every Monday afternoon on the Youth Ministry Page, there will be a follow-up activity posted based on the Global Life Night from the night before.  The next meeting will be on Sunday, May 3, 2020. https://youtu.be/aAT9dmWHV8U

HolySpiritThe gift of reverence helps us more fully develop a relationship with God.  This is the fire inside that draws us to joyfully serve and obey His will.  Through reverence, this desire comes not from a place of obligation, but from deep place of love, honor and dependence on a merciful and gracious God.   It draws us into a deeper building a more personal loving relationship with a total reliance God. Reverence allows us a window into the presence of God by not only seeing Him in liturgy, scripture and prayer but also seeing Him in others.  By honoring and loving one another, we honor and love God. Our hearts are opened and we recognize that the kingdom of God in the here and now depends upon building right relationships with one another. These relationships attempt to mirror the loving relationship God has with us.  Do we fall short?  Certainly, but reverence gives us the superpower to try again and again to honor God through our actions.  Reverence helps us to live out the charge given by Jesus when he told the apostles “I give you a new commandment:  love one another.   As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.  This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34-35 (NABRE)

Prayer for the Guidance of the Holy Spirit

We stand before You, Holy Spirit,
conscious of our sinfulness,
but aware that we gather in Your name.
Come to us, remain with us,
and enlighten our hearts.
Give us light and strength
to know Your will,
to make it our own,
and to live it in our lives.
Guide us by Your wisdom,
support us by Your power,
for You are God,
sharing the glory of Father and Son.
You desire justice for all:
enable us to uphold the rights of others;
do not allow us to be misled by ignorance
or corrupted by fear or favor.
Unite us to Yourself in the bond of love
and keep us faithful to all that is true.
As we gather in Your name
may we temper justice with love,
so that all our decisions
may be pleasing to You,
and earn the reward
promised to good and faithful servants.
You live and reign with the Father and the Son, one God, forever and ever. Amen.  

-Second Vatican Council

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HolySpiritKnowledge is the gift of the Holy Spirit that helps us to determine the purpose of our lives and to take action to live out our God-given mission.  Working in conjunction with wisdom and understanding, knowledge allows us to gain information in order to understand God and contemplate the mysteries of our faith.  We gain clarity or focus to more fully enter into a meaningful relationship with our God and live our call to discipleship.  It is more than an accumulation of facts, historical data and rituals, knowledge makes the journey into faith a journey of the heart and not just the head.  Psalm 119:11 reminds us that it is the heart not the head that is our guidepost. “in my heart I seek you; do not let me stay from your commandments.” We can more clearly discern our path, our gifts, our challenges, our faith and act accordingly.  Knowledge, working in conjunction with the other gifts, fortifies  us on  the journey toward sainthood.

How have I used knowledge to see where God is working through me?

What is the mission God has charged me with?

Find your stone and add knowledge to your gift basket.

St. Augustine’s Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Breath in me O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.

Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too may be holy.

Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.

Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.

Guard me, then O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.

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HolySpiritThe fourth gift of the Holy Spirit is courage or fortitude.  Courage is the necessary element that allows us to find the strength to utilize our wisdom, understanding and right judgment.  Courage provides us with the ability to stand up for our faith, defend our beliefs and put our faith into action.  We can endure ridicule, suffering and pain, when armed with the gift of courage.  The strength found through this gift is essential as it arms us with the necessary tools to stand firm despite the obstacle.  Through courage we are able to act with compassion and care on behalf of the marginalized, forgotten or discarded.    Courage gives us the confidence to go and boldly live the life of a disciple.

“Recall then that you have received the spiritual seal, the spirit of wisdom, and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence the spirit of holy fear in God’ presence.  Guard what you have received.  God the Father has marked you with His sign; Christ the Lord ha confirmed you and has placed his pledge, the Spirit, in your hearts. (St. Ambrose, de mysteries)

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Pentecost Titian 1490 1576Happy Easter!  But wait there is more!  The Easter season did not end on Sunday, but extends through until Pentecost, fifty days from Easter.  As we continue to journey together through this Easter season together, let us take some time to explore the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  We will have brief reflections for you each week as we, like the disciples, try to fully embrace the meaning of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descends upon the disciples giving them the courage to go out and spread the gospel message and  “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Mt. 28:19-20a)

JenOnEill001“Father into your hands I commend my spirit.”

Luke 23:46

Luke 23:44-49

44 It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon 45 because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. 46 Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”; and when he had said this he breathed his last. 47 The centurion who witnessed what had happened glorified God and said, “This man was innocent beyond doubt.” 48 When all the people who had gathered for this spectacle saw what had happened, they returned home beating their breasts; 49 but all his acquaintances stood at a distance, including the women who had followed him from Galilee and saw these events. New American Bible (Revised Edition) NABRE

JenOnEill001"It is finished”

John 19:30

John 19:30

29 There was a vessel filled with common wine So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. 30When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.” And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.                                                                          New American Bible (Revised Edition) NABRE

“My God, My God why have you forsaken me?”

Mark 15:34

JenOnEill001Mark 15:33-39

The Death of Jesus. 33 At noon darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 And at three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 Some of the bystanders who heard it said, “Look, he is calling Elijah.” 36 One of them ran, soaked a sponge with wine, put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to take him down.” 37 Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 When the centurion who stood facing him saw how he breathed his last he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”                                                                                  New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

“I am thirsty”

John 19:28

 

John 19:28-29

JenOnEill00128 After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.” 29 There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth.                                                         New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

“My God, My God why have you forsaken me?”

Mark 15:34

JenOnEill001Mark 15:33-39

The Death of Jesus. 33 At noon darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 And at three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 Some of the bystanders who heard it said, “Look, he is calling Elijah.” 36 One of them ran, soaked a sponge with wine, put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to take him down.” 37 Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 When the centurion who stood facing him saw how he breathed his last he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”                                                                                  New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

JenOnEill001“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Luke 23:43

 

Luke 23:39-43

39 Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.” 40 The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? 41 And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”                                                                                                                               New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

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