Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Beloved and The Advocate

I keep having sporatic inspirations for good blog posts and then they disappear amid car accidents, phone failures, breaking leases and THE END OF THE WORLD. That's right ALL of the things in my life are breaking, but we're still here! PHEW!

So I guess it's not ALL bad. Especially since....

It's time for the Pentecost Novena!!! My favesies!!!

I really did have a crazy couple weeks. A lady decided to BACK HER CAR DOWN A MAJOR STREET IN REVERSE and hit me. Geico and the auto place I found were on it in a flash, but then seemed to forget about me as I STILL am driving a rental. Grrr. But at least I'm getting around and not having to pay for it!

Then, today, my phone decided it didn't want to power on. Or rather, it just wanted to continually appear to be powering on but never actually do so. I had to take it to not one, but two Verizon stores before the collective dudes finally got it working.

And this is all while I'm trying to move from my beloved Conover to this new place:

But you know what?! It's ALL GOOD. Because these are just THINGS. And Father had a really awesome homily this morning at my soon-to-be NEW parish: St. John the Beloved.

Before I get into the awesome deets of the homily, I would just like to say that in my Scripture course the kids and I talk about how Salvation History can't be a series of coincidences. I mean, I suppose it could be, but that's not what faith is. We trust the string of events from Adam to us is part of a perfect plan because we have the faith that God loves us that much. Plus, those would be a TON of coincidences!

God, I think, has recently made it clear that there are no coincidences with the fact that each parish I've been a parishioner of in the past 8 years has been named after one title of St. John or another. My first 3 years in youth ministry I was working at and a parishoner of St. John the Apostle. When I moved back to MD after the convent, I became a parishoner of St. John the Evangelist. Now, I am within a 5-10 minute walk of my NEW parish- St. John the Beloved. All different titles for the same guy. Coincidence? Time to start praying to St. John on the regs.

I am now taking to prayer and reflecting on how God has called me to be each of those titles in some aspect or another at different times in my life and how I can continue to try and be Apostle, Evangelist, and Beloved. John is also a signifcant name in my family. It's my dad's name, both of my grandfathers' name, and now the middle name for my nephew. I looked up what the name means and it means: "God is gracious." A good reminder and another thing to take to prayer!

So I set out to run over to the latest St. John's in my life- St. John the Beloved- and find that on First Saturdays of the month they say a rosary, have Adoration, and do "first Saturday" devotions in accordance to the messages of Fatima. They also had started the Holy Spirit novena as a parish which I was, of course, so excited to be reminded about!

Now back to Father's awesome homily. I hope I can re-convey the awesomeness. 1.) it was not lengthy or preachy, but straightfoward and to the point 2.) he actually preached on the Gospel! Amazing how it seems that happens few and far between with some preachers.

He took the line: "When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted" and expounded on it, mentioning that isn't this what we do? We see so many signs, yet we still doubt. And this line seems contradictory- to worship but still doubt? Yet we do.

He also mentioned that the Ascension isn't complete without the feast of Pentecost, which I was particularly excited about. Jesus rose into heaven with the purpose of sending us His Spirit. I just loved contemplating that thought. All of these events (the Glorious Mysteries!)- the Resurrection, the Ascension, and next week- the descending of the Spirit at Pentecost- had to happen as part of God's plan so that we could be united with His Spirit while on earth.

The other thing I was contemplating about regarding this time in the liturgical year is why does Pentecost happen for us at a more relaxed time in our calendar year? Of course, the Western world is not the only place where the liturgical year is honored, so it may not be so in other parts of the world, but it just seems for us that summer is when we wind down and relax- not try to be sent out on a mission which is what the Spirit urges us to do! But then I thought, this is probably the perfect time to receive the Spirit! We need It to stay motivated and not lazy!!

So amidst the crazy, the Spirit-our Advocate- is working! It has also been very humbling to be cleaning out a house which I moved into 3 years ago after leaving the convent. I am grateful to my roommates who took me in, as they were the perfect community for me at the time. (I'm also grateful that I haven't accumulated many more possessions after three years!)
(my roommates and I at our house celebrating Steph's bday two years ago)
It's definitely the end of the era. I'm also grateful for this time to find myself again and I rebuild. And I'm looking forward to what lies ahead!

Hope you will join in me in praying to our Advocate during this time before Pentecost. Come Holy Spirit, Come!



molly said...

Great post, Julia! All good. Have a great - relaxing - summer!

Mad Hatter said...

"Joanna" is a feminine version of the name "John", so it also means "God is gracious."
Pentecost is one of my favorite feasts, because being more open to the Holy Spirit enriched and empowered my faith life. My folk group members will wear red on Sunday.