Lincoln’s Log 5-30-2021

The Holy Trinity

This weekend we celebrate the Mystery at the heart of our faith, the Holy Trinity. It is a Mystery, which does NOT mean that we cannot know it, but it means that we cannot comprehend it. We can get glimpses and tastes of the Mystery, but we can never “master” it like we can master a math problem or a philosophical proof.  The Trinity is infinitely knowable. But where do we start? I’ve found that a good approach to getting in touch with this Mystery is through the Litany of the Holy Trinity. The Litany uses brief statements to point us in the direction of the Trinity. Taken together, the litany explores many facets of the Trinity and can get our minds oriented to explore this great Mystery. Here is an excerpt from the Litany. 

God the Father of Heaven,

Have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us

God the Holy Ghost, etc.

Holy Trinity, One God,

Father from Whom are all things,

Son through Whom are all things,

Holy Ghost in Whom are all things,

Holy and undivided Trinity,

Father everlasting,

Only-begotten Son of the Father,

Spirit Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son,

Co-eternal Majesty of Three Divine Persons,

Father, the Creator,

Son, the Redeemer,

Holy Ghost, the Comforter,

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts,

Who art, Who wast, and Who art to come,

God Most High, Who inhabitest eternity,

To Whom alone are due all honor and glory,

Who alone does great wonders,

Power infinite,

Wisdom incomprehensible,

Love unspeakable,

You can find the rest of the Litany of the Holy Trinity here. Spend some time this week reflecting on this Great Mystery.

Peace,

Dcn. Lincoln
Parish Pastoral Leader

Lincoln’s Log 5-23-2021

Pentecost Sequence

The feast of Pentecost which we celebrate this weekend is one of my favorites.  Below is the “sequence” for Pentecost.  A sequence is a liturgical poem that unpacks the meaning of the feast.

Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!

Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine.

You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul’s most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;

In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.

O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
And our inmost being fill!

Where you are not, we have naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:

Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.

On the faithful, who adore
And confess you, evermore
In your sevenfold gift descend;

Give them virtue’s sure reward;
Give them your salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end.
Amen. Alleluia.

May the fullness of the Holy Spirit descend upon us today and every day!

Peace,

Dcn. Lincoln

Parish Pastoral Leader

Lincoln’s Log 5-16-2021

Back to the Beginning – Acts of the Apostles…

“[Before the Ascension, Jesus told his disciples] … you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Acts 1:8

All through the Easter season, we read from the Acts of the Apostles. This book is a sequel to the Gospel of Luke and tells the story of the early church. Each Sunday of Easter, we read a small snippet of Acts so it is challenging to get the context for each reading.

Here is some context for this Sunday’s reading:

We return to the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles as we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus. The Book of Acts was written by Luke and assumes that we have read Luke’s Gospel of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. He begins the story of Acts with the story of Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit, His Ascension, and a call to mission. For the past several weeks, we have seen the effects of the Holy Spirit in the life of the early church. This week we return to the beginning and hear the promise of the Holy Spirit. We are always living “between” these two realities. The Holy Spirit has come upon the church and empowers us for the mission, yet we are always living in the promise of the Spirit’s coming even more. This tension is what moves us to cry out, “Come, Holy Spirit.”

Today’s reading lays out the mission of the church. As Jesus ascends to the right hand of the Father, He gives the disciples their marching orders (compare Acts 1:7-9 to Mt. 28:19-20). His final words to them send them out to “the ends of the earth.” In fact, Jesus’ description that they will receive the power of the Holy Spirit and then witness “in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” is the story of the Acts of the Apostles in miniature. The disciples receive the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem (we’ll hear about that next week) and Peter first witnesses to Jesus there. Then these missionary disciples move out and proclaim the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria as they are empowered by the Holy Spirit. Finally, Paul witnesses to Jesus in Rome, the gateway to the ends of the earth. We are invited to this same mission.

Stay tuned for next week…

Next week, we hear the great story of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-11). As you prepare your hearts to receive the Holy Spirit anew, join in the prayer of the church for the Spirit’s coming: “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle in us the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and we shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth.” Amen.

Peace,

Dcn. Lincoln

Parish Pastoral Leader

Lincoln’s Log 5-9-2021

Previously, in the Acts of the Apostles…

“… Peter proceeded to speak and said, ‘In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.”

Acts 10:34

All through the Easter season, we read from the Acts of the Apostles. This book is a sequel to the Gospel of Luke and tells the story of the early church. Each Sunday of Easter, we read a small snippet of Acts so it is challenging to get the context for each reading.

Here is some context for this Sunday’s reading:

Peter was deeply Jewish and knew Jesus as the Jewish Messiah. He was very skeptical about proclaiming Jesus to non-Jews. What did a Jewish Messiah mean for those who were outside of God’s chosen people? However, Jesus came to save ALL people. God sends a vision to Peter (Acts 10:8-16) which challenges the way Peter thinks about God and who God chooses to save. He had also sent a vision to Cornelius, a Roman centurion, who was a prayerful man who was friendly to the Jewish people. In Cornelius’ vision, God tells Cornelius to send his men to invite Peter to preach at Cornelius’ home (Acts 10:1-8). God is setting up a meeting between the Jewish world (in Peter) and the Gentile (non-Jewish) world in Cornelius.

This encounter is what we read about in today’s reading (selections from Acts 10:25-48). This section of Acts records the first Gentile conversion to Christianity. As Peter preaches, the Holy Spirit descends upon the members of Cornelius’ household gathered there. They begin to speak in tongues and glorify God (signs of the Holy Spirit’s presence). Peter is overwhelmed that God is acting among the Gentiles and these new Gentile converts are baptized on the spot.

God does not act as we expect Him to. He challenges Peter to be open to new movements of the Spirit. God reveals that He is the God of all people. No one should be excluded from the grace of God. Cornelius takes the risk to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and then to a missionary of a foreign religion. He puts his future and career on the line and trusts the God he does not know or understand. His faith is rewarded.

Stay tuned for next week…

I would encourage you to finish reading the Acts of the Apostles in the next two weeks as the church expands to the ends of the earth. At Mass for the next two Sundays (Ascension and Pentecost) we return to the beginning of the story of Acts and explore Jesus’ promise of the mission of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:1-11) and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the apostles (Acts 2:1-11).

Peace,

Dcn. Lincoln
Parish Pastoral Leader