THE SPIRIT CHANGES THOSE IN WHOM HE COMES TO DWELL—HE SO TRANSFORMS THEM THAT THEY BEGIN TO LIVE A COMPLETELY NEW KIND OF LIFE AND BECOME PEOPLE OF GREAT COURAGE. This line from St. Cyril on Pentecost was very much on display last weekend on Pentecost Sunday. It was especially so in the new Fr. Ben Keller, whom you’ve known here as Brother Ben and this year as Deacon Ben. He was brave enough to go into Ordination last Saturday, during a particularly uncertain time in the church as well as in the larger world. Msgr. Blood and I went last Saturday to St. Pius V Church on south Grand, where I grew up (and had my own First Mass in ’78).
Archbishop Carlson stood in for Archbishop Rozanski, whose mother had just died. I’m always glad to go back to St. Pius, with grand architecture, a stunning mosaic of the reigning Christ, and decades of memories for me.
Of course Ben didn’t seem noticeably different after the Ordination, including at his First Mass here and a delightful reception at Millennium Park, hosted by the Young Adult Group. That’s the point— his poise, his charm, are intact and used now at a new level of the church. He will have great effect at Purdue University.
I hope you feel new, too! Now our major liturgical cycles are over for this year. We were born (again) with Christ, we suffered with him, died with him; we rose with him at Easter. We were taken into heaven with him at Ascension, and now gifted with the Spirit so that we, too, can live a new kind of life. Take some risks! Tell someone new about our faith—maybe one of your children you’re worried about. It’s never imposing on someone to tell them what God has done for you.
So this week we entered back into “Ordinary Time”—of which there really is none, in God. After the final two special Sunday feasts, Trinity and Corpus Christi, we’ll go on hearing just a slice of the gospel each week to reflect on. Other churches, instead of Ordinary Time, call this extended season “Kingdomtide”, because Jesus unfolds a new view of living in God’s kingdom each week, while we’re still on earth.
Let’s hold steady on a safe environment in our church together. Boeing is still requiring anyone in its buildings to wear a mask at all times. Now we’ve heard that it’s permissible for those fully vaccinated not to wear a mask in church (only those fully vaccinated). But the risk of exposure is not gone, either for yourself or others. I’ll keep wearing mine at the usual times. Our continued distancing with empty pews and separated by family bubbles will help our environment.