This week we celebrate Pentecost, that wonderful moment when the Holy Spirit came barging in to a roomful of frightened disciples and set them on fire to spread the love of God, bursting over barriers of language to bring God’s mercy and love and goodness to people in their own native tongues. Things get messy when the Holy Spirit comes barging in! But it’s all about love, and communication, and including everybody, and joy. Hooray! It reminds me of a line from that movie, “Moonstruck.” “Love don’t make things nice! Love ruins everything!” The Holy Spirit isn’t worried about our nice neat ways of doing things – the Holy Spirit is all about growth and love, and reaching people. What joy.
Given that the first act of the Holy Spirit among those early Christians was to break down language walls, it’s with much joy that I tell you that our first Spanish Mass in the migrant camps will be in Pentecost week, on Thursday, June 16. We will leave from St Joe’s at 7pm. Mass is late because people work late on the farms. As the days grow shorter we hope to start earlier.
Please pray for us! Pray that we will break down walls of language and fear and strangeness, and that our Masses may be life-giving for all who come. Pray for safety for all. Please pray that my often-clumsy Spanish will be more of a bridge than a barrier. Pray that our country will become a welcoming place and that we will end the hypocrisy of punishing people we depend on to plant and harvest our food, for being here. May we all be a blessing, each to each other, and may we all be blessed by our Masses together.
This past Saturday I was in Baltimore for the ordinations of four new women priests! Congratulations to Patti La Rosa, Marellen Mayers, Ann Penick and Caryl Johnson. It was a lovely ceremony, as always. My favorite parts are the opening procession with clergy of all denominations, and the part where the ordinands lie on the floor while the Litany of Saints is sung. Those moments connect us both with the church across the world in the present moment, and with the church through history. As Mother Theresa said, we are a drop in a mighty ocean --- but if that drop was not there, it would be missed!
Come and celebrate with us on Pentecost! Rachael is going to make her family Pentecost tradition, flaming peaches!
Blessings and love to all, Chava
Oscar Romero Church
An Inclusive Church in the Catholic Tradition
Mass: Sundays, 11 am
St Joseph's House of Hospitality, 402 South Ave, Rochester NY 14620