Our Parish Mission Statement: As parishioners of St. Agnes, we live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ; to serve Him faithfully with love and commitment through prayer, through community, and through service, to seek the face of the living God.
“When the Paraclete comes, whom I will send to you from the Father…” (Jn 15:26). With these words, Jesus promises to send his disciples the Holy Spirit, the ultimate gift, the gift of gifts. He uses an unusual and mysterious word to describe the Spirit: Paraclete. Today let us reflect on this word, which is not easy to translate, for it has a number of meanings. Essentially, it means two things: Comforter and Advocate.
The Paraclete is the Comforter. All of us, particularly at times of difficulty like those we are presently experiencing due to the pandemic, look for consolation. Often, though, we turn only to earthly comforts, ephemeral comforts that quickly fade. Today, Jesus offers us heavenly comfort, the Holy Spirit, who is “of comforters the best” (Sequence). The Holy Spirit comes down within us; as the Spirit, he acts in our spirit. He is the very love of God, who does not abandon us; for being present to those who are alone is itself a source of comfort.
We too are called to testify in the Holy Spirit, to become paracletes, comforters. The Spirit is asking us to embody the comfort he brings. How can we do this? Not by making great speeches, but by drawing near to others. Not with trite words, but with prayer and closeness. Let us remember that closeness, compassion and tenderness are God’s “trademark”, always.
The Paraclete is also the Advocate. In Jesus’ day, advocates did not do what they do today: rather than speaking in the place of defendants, they simply stood next to them and suggested arguments they could use in their own defence. The Paraclete does not take our place, but defends us from the deceits of evil by inspiring thoughts and feelings. He does so discreetly, without forcing us: he proposes but does not impose.
Holy Spirit, Paraclete Spirit, comfort our hearts. Make us missionaries of your comfort, paracletes of your mercy before the world. Our Advocate, sweet counsellor of the soul, make us witnesses of the “today” of God, prophets of unity for the Church and humanity, and apostles grounded in your grace, which creates and renews all things. Amen.
Excerpts from the Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/homilies/2021/documents/papa-francesco_20210523_omelia-pentecoste.html
Regular Mass Times: Tuesday - 6:30 pm Wednesday - 6:30 pm Thursday - 9:00 am Friday - 9:00 am Saturday - 5:00 pm Sunday - 9:00 am & 11:00 am
Prayer Circle To request prayers or to join the circle, please contact Shirley Shultz (403-335-4581) or Laura Gardiner (403-337-2210)