Pentecost Sunday


By Fr. Chris Valka, CSB

Today marks the great Feast of Pentecost. Spiritually, it is one of the great three feasts of the year alongside Christmas and Easter. It is the birthday of the Church; the day we receive all that we need to continue the work of Christ here and now.

However, each year Pentecost comes and goes with little fanfare in comparison to the Christmas and Easter, but I am beginning to think it won’t be quite the case at St Basil’s.

I don’t know if you noticed, but the Holy Spirit seems to be moving through these old walls. If I were to mark a moment when I really started to sense it, it would be the beginning of Lent – around the time we started placing our prayers in a basket in the back of the church.

We have started to pray for one another, and in doing so become aware of each other’s struggles and blessings. I have to tell you, I have tried this idea at other parishes before, but it never really took off. St. Basil’s has been different. Originally, we planned to stop during Lent, and then thought we would continue through Easter. Now it seems, we should continue for there is nothing more important than a willingness to give and receive the prayers of one another.

This community really did pray its way through Lent and we have sensed a new resurrection during Easter. Now it is time to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We have been speaking about the rights, responsibilities, power and trust you have been given. This is YOUR parish, and believe it or not, you are leading the way. Mine has been a response to the voices I have heard about the needs of this community.

So we continue to pray. We pray, “Come Holy Spirit” and we try new approaches as we seek the Spirit’s confirmation. We pray as we listen; we pray as we experiment; we pray as we celebrate; we pray as we struggle; we pray as we forgive; and we pray as we welcome so that we may learn how to belong to this great gift of the Church.