Dear Brothers and Sisters of the 4th Day,
As I begin this message, I would like to first offer gratitude to Father Gary Gummersheimer for his service and faithful dedication to the Belleville Cursillo Movement for these past six years. Father Gary has inspired and guided us in faith by his words and reflections. We are grateful for his priesthood and witness to our Lord and Savior. May we assure him of our continued prayers for his ministry!
Happy Birthday! Yes, Happy Birthday to the Church. It is hard to imagine, but we find ourselves at the great day of Pentecost. The day which sent forth, and released, the power of the Holy Spirit on the early Church. This day gave us yet another example of how, throughout the ages, God has kept and continues to keep His promise. The promise of His unfailing, unending, and undeserved gifts of the Holy Spirit. The prophet Isaiah foretold them (Is 11:1-2); Jesus announces and asserts them in the coming of the Advocate (Jn 14:15-20); God Himself sends them in the driving winds and tongues of fire (Acts 2:1-4).
Our Cursillo Movement helps us to see more clearly the impact these gifts have on the world around us and the environments in which we find ourselves. I suppose the question we should ask ourselves is how have we allowed them to affect our relationships? Our relationship with neighbor, with nature, and most importantly, with God.
We’ve been given these great gifts to make a difference in a troubled, divided, and confused world. As much as we may want to, and try as we may, it is difficult to escape the noise of mistrust, anger, and discontent we’re bombarded with on a daily basis. But we CAN, by our witness to Christ and by our acceptance of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, show our culture another way to address its many challenges. We have answers to provide, love to give, hope to offer, and faith to share. And in doing so we can restore joy to a misguided or broken soul—one person at a time.
A daunting task, well maybe, but one well worth our time and effort. We can take comfort in knowing that we have a constant companion as our guide. The world needs to see us, and these precious seven gifts in action!
Let us continue the process of Christian initiation by praying for, encouraging, and supporting our newly confirmed members and those new members of the Church received at the Easter Vigil.
So, Happy Birthday Church! May you continue and always “kindle in us the fire of your love.”