Most of us do not live spontaneous lives. We feel more secure when we know where we’re going, how we’re getting there, what we’ll do when we get there as well as how and when we will return. Detail and organization in our lives give us a sense of security as well as control. Certain cultural types excel in this and are more comfortable with this than others. This weekend, we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost; fifty days after the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord. In the Pentecost experience the early followers of Jesus have to learn to wait upon the Lord to give the direction. The Acts of the Apostles tells us that Jesus’ disciples were gathered together in one place waiting upon this promised gift from God, the Holy Spirit. With the arrival of the Holy Spirit the assembly busts out of their fear with joy and manifest gifts of great excitement. Only by patient waiting, listening, discernment and testing do these new leaders determine how and what they should be doing. For most this is an unsettling experience. It was easier when Jesus was physically with them; they just followed His lead. Now they have to discern their every step walking in a newness of faith. The manifestation of this “Holy Spirit” also brings with Him a sense of intimacy with God and with their leader and now Savior Jesus. I once attended a national conference for Pastoral Musicians. The closing Liturgy was technically very rich with music, song, instrumentation, new techniques in application of music to the Liturgy. The choir and instrumentalists all did what they were supposed to do but there was an experience of emptiness. Though all were applying their skill it lacked the cohesiveness and joy of the Holy Spirit. It was as if each participant was trying hard to be heard rather than surrendering to the give and take of the Spirit in order to give proper worship to God. Church community leaders are challenged in the same way. Leadership in the Church is not a permission to remake a congregation in one’s image but pray, discern, discuss and apply all the gifts at our command to be faithful to the Spirit’s call at this moment in time. Come Lord Jesus and fill our communities of faith with your dynamic leadership in the Holy Spirit.
TOLTON: FROM SLAVE TO PRIEST, the powerful live production performed by actor Jim Coleman and directed by Leonardo Defilippis of Saint Luke Productions, will be presented at Marie Maday Theater at Lyons’ Hall Canisius College on Thursday, May 24 at 2:00pm & 7:00pm. Meet Fr. Augustus Tolton, the first African American priest, in this one-man multimedia performance. From his dramatic escape from slavery to his courageous struggle in the face of prejudice, Fr. Tolton’s inspiring life centers around his message reconciliation and hope. This riveting drama is filled with all the elements of professional theater, runs 75 minutes, and is suitable for ages 10 and up. Admission will be free-will offerings. For additional information, contact Luz Milagros Ramos at (716) 847-2217. Learn more at www.ToltonDrama.com.