Parish of St. John the Apostle
Dear Parish Family and Friends,
During the summer months there are several important Holy Days. Two of these important days are Pentecost and Trinity Sunday. On the feast of Pentecost we experience the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This brings to an end the 50 days after the Resurrection, the Lord, glorious at the right hand of the Father, sent the Holy Spirit upon the Disciples. On the Feast of Pentecost, which is as solemn as that of Easter, the liturgy commemorates this outpouring. This is a very great gift of the Father, won by Jesus on the cross.
The Holy Spirit is the life of the Church. From the Holy Spirit, the source of every grace, the Church receives the words of Christ and the wisdom to understand them. By the Holy Spirit the Body of Christ is consecrated in the Eucharist, and the other sacraments are made efficacious.
It is the Holy Spirit who, guiding Christians to Jesus makes them recognize him and forms him in their souls. It is also the Holy Spirit who infuses Christians with the wisdom and the light of counsel. And it is he who gives force to their preaching. Pentecost concludes the Easter Season, and the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity and the Sundays after Trinity begins.
The Sunday after Pentecost is Trinity Sunday. Of course, the Trinity is always celebrated. The Church’s prayer is always addressed to the Father, through his Son, Jesus, in the Holy Spirit. However, on this day, we concentrate with special care on the “Mystery of Faith,” which is at the beginning of all and which Jesus revealed to us. In fact, only the Son of God could have spoken to us of the Father and of the Holy Spirit, which unities them in a bond of indescribable love. When we are in heaven, our inexhaustible joy will consist of contemplating the Trinity, which even now is not far, since it lives in the depths of our hearts by grace.
I would be remiss if I didn’t make mention the Feast of Corpus Christi when we celebrate the Body and Blood of the Lord. The Lord’s Body is actually celebrated though-out the year. Every Mass is a memorial of the passion of Jesus, who is truly present on the altar. But the Church has also reserved a special feast to meditate on the miraculous transformation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, which the Anglican Church acknowledges in Article 28 of the Articles of Religion in the back of the Book of Common Prayer. “The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner.” By the power of the very words of the Lord; “This is my body; this is the cup of my blood” and by the grace of the Holy Spirit, bread and wine are transformed even though they still look the same. They are not mere symbol or a simple reminder of the passion of Jesus. Christ is truly present in both the bread and the wine.
In Christ, Fr. Wirth, Rector