Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pentecost Weekend

Well, I am now home, visiting my family in southern Cali, but my last weekend in MN was jam-packed with activities revolving around Pentecost. I posted pictures on Facebook, which you can view at

Friday night was the prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In the five weeks (plus one week for a break after Easter) between Easter and Pentecost, the School of St. Paul covered a teaching cycle on the Holy Spirit and what Charismatics generally call "the outpouring of the HS." We spoke about who is the HS, what is the outpouring, the gifts and charisms, living in the Spirit, and Mary as an Apostle of the HS. The HS cycle ended with the prayer for the outpouring, which consists of you offering a prayer to be shown your charisms or to be strengthened in some area, singing for the Holy Spirit to enliven us, then people praying over you and sharing Scripture texts, images that flash to their mind, prayers, etc. A secretary writes down the passages, images, and prayers so you have a record to pray with later. It can be intense, depending on the passages that are received and what the person is currently going through in life. My passages revolved around exalting in hardship and afflictions because persevering in these eventually lead to a hope which does not disappoint. Way to peg the nail on the head.

Saturday the SSP group took their Holy-Spirit-filled selves to Peavey Park where we had a potluck lunch, praised for 45 minutes, and then had adoration. The park is is a poor area of town so as people passed by, they asked if the food was up for grabs. We said, "Sure," so before we knew it, we had people all around us and were able to share with them about their lives and a little bit about faith. I must say, though, the poor know there is a God because they depend on Him every day to provide. After lunch we praised and when some people approached us from behind to investigate, we invited them to praise with us. After praise, Deacon Luis went off to bring Jesus and then he processed with the monstrance through the park to the gazebo we had assembled. Here comes Jesus! We adored and some of us went off in pairs through the park to invite people to pray if they wanted. It was a great day and besides some wind, the weather was perfect.

Saturday night was my last time with the youth group. I was supposed to give a talk on Pentecost, but instead, they threw me a surprise going away party. I was completely surprised and didn't suspect a thing. How loved it made me feel as we laughed, ate authentic Mexican food made by the moms, and even after they squished my face in the cake (I guess it's a tradition done either in Mexico or Ecuador). And as a true testament that when you give, you receive, I gave the youth group a picture of Jesus that had been with me for a long time and it just seemed right to give this picture to them. Well, after I gave it to them, they said they had a gift for me too. I opened it up and what was it but a picture of Jesus that Rosalba, the wife of the leader, had made for me. When you give, you receive. I was beaming when I joined the EC household later for dinner.

Lastly, on Sunday was our Emmanuel Community day. We get together about once a month for a day of teachings, prayer (praise, mass, adoration), and fellowship (recreation, sharing, and meals). This was a special community day because we invited people not in the community to attend to discover more about the EC. It was a great day. Nothing went according to schedule (the flexible, EC way) and yet people were excited afterwards. As a fruit of the EC day, four people decided to join the EC household that I have just left. And while I've left them physically, I joined them last night by video on skype and it was so joy-giving to see them and to share with them.

What do I see from the joy I have from yesterday's posting of the Pentecost pictures and the household? My call is to be a missionary and the Emmanuel Community is the conduit God gives me to live out my call. Thank you, Father, for this much-needed joy!