Veni Sancte Spiritus!

Processional Hymn: Veni Sancte Spiritus

Hymn of Testimony

A Reading from the Book of Acts ‭‭2:1-21‬ ‭AMP

“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place, and suddenly a sound came from heaven like a rushing violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. There appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were being distributed [among them], and they rested on each one of them [as each person received the Holy Spirit]. And they were all filled [that is, diffused throughout their being] with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues (different languages), as the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak out [clearly and appropriately]. Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout and God-fearing men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound was heard, a crowd gathered, and they were bewildered because each one was hearing those in the upper room speaking in his own language or dialect. They were completely astonished, saying, “Look! Are not all of these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears in our own language or native dialect? [Among us there are] Parthians, Medes and Elamites, and people of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia [Minor], Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and the visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes (Gentile converts to Judaism), Cretans and Arabs–we all hear them speaking in our [native] tongues about the mighty works of God!” And they were beside themselves with amazement and were greatly perplexed, saying one to another, “What could this mean?” But others were laughing and joking and ridiculing them, saying, “They are full of sweet wine and are drunk!” But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be explained to you; listen closely and pay attention to what I have to say. These people are not drunk, as you assume, since it is [only] the third hour of the day (9:00 a.m.); but this is [the beginning of] what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: ‘A ND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ says God, ‘T HAT I WILL POUR OUT M Y S PIRIT UPON ALL MANKIND; A ND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, A ND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE [divinely prompted] VISIONS, A ND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM [divinely prompted] DREAMS; E VEN ON M Y BOND-SERVANTS, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR OUT M Y S PIRIT And they shall prophesy. ‘A ND I WILL BRING ABOUT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE A ND SIGNS (attesting miracles) ON THE EARTH BELOW, B LOOD AND FIRE AND SMOKING VAPOR. ‘T HE SUN SHALL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS A ND THE MOON INTO BLOOD, B EFORE THE GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD COMES. ‘A ND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD [invoking, adoring, and worshiping the Lord Jesus] SHALL BE SAVED (rescued spiritually).’”

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The Word of the Lord.

A Reading from the Letter to the Romans 8:22-27 AMP

“For we know that the whole creation has been moaning together as in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only this, but we too, who have the first fruits of the Spirit [a joyful indication of the blessings to come], even we groan inwardly, as we wait eagerly for [the sign of] our adoption as sons–the redemption and transformation of our body [at the resurrection]. For in this hope we were saved [by faith]. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait eagerly for it with patience and composure. In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because the Spirit intercedes [before God] on behalf of God’s people in accordance with God’s will.”

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The Word of the Lord.

Sequence Hymn:

A Reading from the Holy Gospel According to John 15:26-27, 16:4-15 AMP

““But when the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor–Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of Truth who comes from the Father, He will testify and bear witness about Me. But you will testify also and be My witnesses, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”

“I have told you these things [now], so that when their time comes, you will remember that I told you about them. I did not say these things to you at the beginning, because I was with you. “But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts [and taken complete possession of them]. But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor–Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you]. And He, when He comes, will convict the world about [the guilt of] sin [and the need for a Savior], and about righteousness, and about judgment: about sin [and the true nature of it], because they do not believe in Me [and My message]; about righteousness [personal integrity and godly character], because I am going to My Father and you will no longer see Me; about judgment [the certainty of it], because the ruler of this world (Satan) has been judged and condemned. “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear [to hear] them now. But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth [full and complete truth]. For He will not speak on His own initiative, but He will speak whatever He hears [from the Father–the message regarding the Son], and He will disclose to you what is to come [in the future]. He will glorify and honor Me, because He (the Holy Spirit) will take from what is Mine and will disclose it to you.”

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“All things that the Father has are Mine. Because of this I said that He [the Spirit] will take from what is Mine and will reveal it to you.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Happy Pentecost Brothers and Sister. Today we celebrate the birthday of the Church as well as the 20 year of my ordination!

Of course what would my homily be without a story. This story comes from an e-mail I received recently.

“A mother had one last assignment for her sociology class before graduating — to “smile at everyone she meets.”

But after an encounter with two men in McDonald’s she took it one step further. Read her story, that was emailed to us by a reader, below.

I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with. Her last project of the term was called “Smile.”

The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions. I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway…..so, I thought, this would be a piece of cake, literally.

Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald’s, one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special play time with our son. We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did. I did not move an inch … an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.

As I turned around I smelled a horrible “dirty body” smell…and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men. As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was “smiling.” His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God’s Light as he searched for acceptance.

He said, “Good day” as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.

The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally deficient and the blue eyed gentleman was his salvation. I held my tears….as I stood There with them. The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted.

He said, “Coffee is all Miss” because that was all they could afford to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something…he just wanted to be warm. Then I really felt it…the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me…judging my every action. I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray.

I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue eyed gentleman’s cold hand.

He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, “Thank you.” I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, “God is here working through me to give you hope.”

I walked in tears to join my husband and son.

When I sat down my husband smiled at me. We held hands for a moment and at that time we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give. We are not churchgoers but we are believers. That day showed me the pure Light of God’s sweet love.

I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand.

I turned in “my project” and the instructor read it….then she looked up at me and said, “Can I share this?”

I slowly nodded and she read it to the class.

In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald’s, my husband, son, instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student. I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn….UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE.

Much love and compassion sent to each and every person who may read this.

Learn how to LOVE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS – NOT LOVE THINGS AND USE PEOPLE.”

Source: Adam East at Bored Daddy

This Holy Pentecost take the lesson from the mother in my story. The language of love and kindness needs no translation, people of all languages can speak and understand it!

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They Are One Flesh

A reading from the Book of Sirach 26:1-4, 13-16
Blessed the husband of a good wife,
twice-lengthened are his days;
A worthy wife brings joy to her husband,
peaceful and full is his life.
A good wife is a generous gift
bestowed upon him who fears the Lord;
Be he rich or poor, his heart is content,
and a smile is ever on his face.
A gracious wife delights her husband,
her thoughtfulness puts flesh on his bones;
A gift from the Lord is her governed speech,
and her firm virtue is of surpassing worth.
Choicest of blessings is a modest wife,
priceless her chaste soul.
A holy and decent woman adds grace upon grace;
indeed, no price is worthy of her temperate soul.
Like the sun rising in the Lord’s heavens,
the beauty of a virtuous wife is the radiance of her home.
The word of the Lord.
Thanks Be To God!

A Reading from Proverbs 18:22, 31:10 (NLT):
The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD. Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks Be To God!

Responsorial Psalm
R. How good is the Lord to all.
The Lord is kind and full of compassion,
slow to anger, abounding in mercy.
How good is the Lord to all,
compassionate to all his creatures.
R. How good is the Lord to all.
All your works shall thank you, O Lord,
and all your faithful ones bless you.
The eyes of all look to you
and you give them their food in due season.
R. How good is the Lord to all.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and holy in all his deeds.
The Lord is close to all who call him,
who call on him in truth.
R. How good is the Lord to all.

A Reading from the Book of Ephesians 5:33 (ESV):
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks Be to God!


Continue reading “They Are One Flesh”

True Love?

What Is True Love In Christ?
Rt. Rev. Edward L. Tatro, Jr

My brothers and sisters please take a moment and pray with me. Oh Lord, cleanse the thoughts of my mind and anoint my lips and heart that I may teach Your Word according to your Will. Amen.

Jeremiah 6:16 NKJV: Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

I have a question for you my brothers and sisters, I’m full of questions…just because I wear this collar doesn’t mean I am not inquisitive. I’m full of questions…just ask anyone. Today’s question I just happen to think I know the answer to I hope you know that answer too. What is True Love In Christ?

Webster’s Dictionary defines the word Love: as a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties, affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests. Webster further defines it as: unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: as the fatherly concern of God for humankind, brotherly concern for others, and a person’s adoration of God.

Yes brethren we see that this word Love has a few meanings yet they are all tied together and one. We love our families, our partners, our friends, and we love our God and with that love comes deep and unending respect.

Therefore, before we get to what true love in Christ is, we first need to see what the Scriptures describe love as.

Song of Songs 8:6-7 New International Version: “Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.”

What is the Scripture telling us? The Word is telling us that Love is as strong as death; it cannot be bought for any price. Love is priceless even the richest king can’t buy it. Love must be freely accepted as a gift from God, and then bestowed and shared with everyone to be fully felt.

John 3:16 New Living Translation: ” For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

In this very verse my brothers and sisters God sets the pattern of true love, the foundation for all love relationships; when you love someone dearly you are willing to give freely to the point of self sacrifice. God also showed us that by offering His Son to die for our sins, that He has for us what is called Agape Love, meaning Unconditional Love.

Now this brings me to the question, how do we love others as Christ loves us? The answer to this may just also be the answer of today’s question.

John 15:12-13 King James Version: “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. ”

We may not have to die for someone, but there are other ways to show sacrificial love: listening, helping, encouraging, sharing and giving. Think of someone today who could use this kind of love; and give all the love you can, and then give an ounce more. Remember that it is easy to love, yet easier to hate, so remember to love as much as you can and don’t let society and the Devil win and let you hate!

Romans 13:10 The Message: “You can’t go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love.”

My brethren, Jesus does not leave loopholes in the Law of Love. Whenever love demands it, we must and should go beyond all human “legal” requirements and emulate the God of Love.

Matthew 10:42 New Living Translation: “And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.”

How much we love Jesus and God our Father can be measured by how well we treat others. So to fully answer the question: What Is True Love In Christ? We can surely see that the ultimate sign is when you lay down your life for a friend; as well as, showing love to all, even to those whom you feel do not require it or deserve it.

My brothers and sisters, I leave you with two questions to ponder in your hearts, minds and souls. How would you respond if Jesus asked you: “Do you love me?” and “Are you even my friend?”