FROM FATHER NICO
How providential I am writing to you for the first time this weekend, the second anniversary of my wonderful time with all of you. I officially started at Saint Philip on August 15th, 2020, on the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary. Upon her prayers, I placed each of you and the priests even before arriving at our parish. And I continue to do so each day. Mary’s intercession never fails. As we celebrate the feast of Mary’s Assumption on Monday, August 15th, we praise God for giving us a mother who invites us daily to say our fiat, our YES, to Jesus even if, often, it is challenging. Following the Lord, day by day, we can trust that, like Mary, God will welcome us into heaven with joy.
Please note that 2 Masses will be offered on August 15th – 7 AM & 9 AM. I hope you can join and pray with us!
In our Gospel this Sunday, Jesus said, “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!”
What is this fire? On the river Jordan, John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, baptized with water for repentance. Also there, John announced that someone greater and mightier is coming, the One who will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire.
What is this fire? On the first Pentecost Sunday, the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles, Mary, and the first followers of Jesus as tongues of fire resting on their foreheads. They were blazing with the Holy Spirit, who enabled them to proclaim and live the faith with conviction.
Jesus wants to set the earth on divine fire, to fill the world with the Holy Spirit. This sacred fire is the source of divine light. And we know that light is a source of warmth. This warmth Jesus wants us to experience is love. The Holy Spirit is the intense Divine Love between the Father and the Son. God wants to share with us this Divine Love and how He wishes we are filled with it already.
A man blazing with the Divine Fire lived in our lifetime is Pope John Paul II. Filled with the light and warmth of the Holy Spirit, he led the Church into the new millennium. He guided the Church as Pope with his teaching and preaching, with his warm smile and kind gestures, with his gentleness and tenderness to all. His invitation to the Church throughout his years was to open wide the doors to Christ, to open wide the doors of our lives, hearts, minds, and souls so that the Lord can fill us with his Divine Fire — the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Love.
And this is precisely the invitation for us, to open wide our doors for Christ, so he can come and set our hearts on fire. To open wide our doors for him so he can fill us with his love. And like John Paul II, when we are filled with God’s love, when we are blazing with it, we become courageous in proclaiming and living our faith. We become kinder, gentler, and tender people. We become loving toward others. And only with God’s love shared among us can we set the world on fire!
God bless you!
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