CONTINUED MOVEMENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Rev. Robert F. Tucker
St. Louis de Montfort Parish, Litchfield
May 20, 2018
The Christian Churches celebrate the Feast of Pentecost or fifty days after Easter, of the coming of the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Blessed Trinity on the early church disciples and followers.  The continued movement of the Holy Spirit is celebrated in a special way this day. From the Acts of the Apostles we read that the Holy Spirit came like a noise of a strong driving wind.  The wind is an appropriate image as we cannot see the wind, but we can feel it and its effects. Similarly, we cannot see the Holy Spirit but we feel the effect whether a gentle nudge to reach out or speak out when we are reluctant or a push to act when we want to sit and relax. John’s Gospel gives us the coming of the Spirit as the breath of Jesus. Such a gentle image! It recalls the breath of life that God breathed into the first humans in the Book of Genesis. It is a very intimate and creative action that gives life. It gave life to the small band of disciples driving them from a locked room where they hid in fear to their mission of witnessing and baptizing to the ends of the earth.  These early followers and we are challenged to the mission of fulfilling the Responsorial Psalm, “Lord, send out your spirit and renew the face of the earth.”

The message of the Holy Spirit is the same as Jesus gave continuously after the Resurrection, “PEACE BE WITH YOU.”  That peace and love is offered to all equally and invites all to do the same. Jesus came to bring every race, gender, nationality or social status home to heaven. This is now the role of the Church as it lives and uses the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit breathes where is wills and it looks to each one of us as Confirmed Christians to do the same in the name of faith, hope and love.

There is a story of a young girl that bumped into the words, “courage, honor and integrity.” She realized that these words were words used by men not women. Her heroines never spoke these words in fairy tales or in love stories she was now reading.  They were words her brother’s toy soldiers used and men talked about to each other in war stories.  She decided to use them and added them to her vocabulary and rolled them around on her tongue and they tasted delicious. She infused them into her world.  She then in fairness thought of words that boys and men did not use like “compassion, nurture, love, warmth, sweetness.”  She would introduce these girl and women words to every boy and man she met. She would have that at least taste these words and maybe they would like and use them. She began to teach the missing words to the opposite sex. She hoped that now she would not find the opposite sex so opposite after all. She realized that perhaps the best words were never meant to be gender specific.  Let’s take the best words from the fruits of the Holy Spirit and make them real in word and deed; charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity.   
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MOTHERS PLANT SEEDS OF LOVE
Rev. Robert F. Tucker
St. Louis de Montfort Parish, Litchfield
May 13, 2018
It has been stated, “Mothers are where life begins and love never ends.” As we celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend we are challenged to know and appreciate women who have loved, comforted, suffered and served us as mothers.  The greatest gift we can give our mothers living and deceased is to love others this day in the example that they gave to us. It is also a chance to thank God for a family’s greatest treasure which is a mother of faith, who has shown and shared that with all of us.  These are women who truly light the way with seeds of love for today and forever!

The Gospel of St. John this weekend has Jesus imploring His Father to keep his followers in His name, “so that they may be one just as we are one.” Jesus wants us His followers to share everything exactly as He and His Father share love and life. How true this desire is for all women of God on this day. St. Peter realizes how important it is that a replacement for Judas be chosen so that the mission of Jesus might move forward. Peter calls for elections with guidance from the Holy Spirit to lead Him and the remaining ten apostles to seek a replacement.  While this was done in the first century the desire is still the same for today. We are to lead others to the Father and Spirit by the example of Jesus, the Son, in service to the love of the Father.  It is by daily showing and sharing love in the little ways of life that we return love to the Lord and remain always alive in His love.  It is our daily challenge to plant seeds of love all over and in the hearts of all people.

There is a story about a company that advertised for a salesperson and got this reply from an applicant. “I am presently in sales, selling furniture at the address below.  You may judge my sales ability if you will stop in to see me at any time, pretending that you are interested in buying furniture.  When you come in you can identify me by my long red hair.  I will have no way of identifying you. Such salesmanship as I exhibit during your visit, therefore, will be no more than my usual workday approach, and not a special effort to impress a prospective employer.”  Despite hundreds of other applicants, the redheaded furniture salesperson got the job. Do you do your best in treating all the same with the realization each person is someone’s son or daughter and created by the same God!

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Lasting Love
Rev. Robert F. Tucker
St. Louis de Montfort Parish, Litchfield
May 6, 20l8  
A young boy once asked Pope Francis, “What was God doing before He made me?”  Pope Francis immediately replied, “He was loving you!”  Love is the underlying theme of all our Scripture Readings this weekend.  Our God is a loving God, and everything about Him is steeped in pure love.  The very reason for creation was so that God could share His love with others.  So, St. John can write, “Everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.”  Certainly, God’s love shared within the Trinity, between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit  was more than enough.  God did not need the love of humans but as undeserving as we are He chose to give love to us magnanimously.  It is typical for us, as humans , to think of love as a feeling and to judge how we feel about others to state if we love them. This is one sense of love but not the real deep love of these Scripture Readings! Love in this sense is heart to heart, mind to mind and is a permanent condition, a part of one’s character. In the Book of Joy by the Dala Lama and Desmond Tutu they offer us 8 pillars of joy or love to practice for deep real love.  These pillars are; perspective, humility, humor, acceptance, forgiveness, gratitude, compassion, and generosity.

Jesus in our Gospel tells the disciples and us, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”   The key to this love is SACRIFICE!  We must be open to the challenge of sacrificing some part of ourselves to give over time, energy, talent to show this real love. We may never be forced to put our life on the line to save someone else but we are daily challenged to sacrifice, at least a little of self, for another.  This is the love that is spoken of in this Scripture this weekend.  Just as St. Peter breaks boundaries in the First Reading by entering the home of Cornelius and does so out of deep love for others FIRST, so must we be open to practicing that type of love.   Take one person a day to share this type of love by reflecting on the 8 pillars of love and sharing your attention, time and energy as God does with you.

As we enter this real spring time month of May, it is helpful to take a little time to meditate on the return of life. How are we, like the buds of the earth, trees and flowers opening to God and to others? What secrets are buried deep in the soil of our soul that needs to be revealed in love to another? What must I do to let real love unfold and blossom in me? Take a few minutes to be grateful and usually gratitude brings out the courage, determination and willingness to sacrifice to reach out to others.  This may be a good time to be like the woman who just turned 85 and decides to prepare her last will and testament. She goes to her priest to make two final requests. First, she insists on cremation and the priest agrees that is ok. He asks her, “What is your second request?’ She states, “I want my ashes scattered at the Mall not a cemetery,” The priest asks, “Why is that the case?’ The woman replies, “Then, I’ll be sure my daughters and relatives visit me at least a few times a month!”