Some prayers and reflections for summer
I’m on my way to New Orleans for the annual Spring meeting of the United States Catholic Bishops. As I travel, I find myself praying and reflecting on the many great things that have been going on here in the Archdiocese in recent weeks.
We are blessed to live in the country’s largest Archdiocese. And as we all know, the faith is alive in “Catholic L.A.” — in all its beautiful diversity.
I felt this very strongly this past Sunday as we celebrated Pentecost and the “birthday” of the universal Catholic Church.
Our Cathedral was filled to overflowing for our Mass with the ecclesial movements of the Archdiocese.
It was a glorious liturgy that showed the rich “fruits” of that first Pentecost. Worshipping together, we could see what God intended in sending his Spirit so long ago.
He sent his Spirit to create his Church as one family of God — to make us all brothers and sisters called by his Son and gathered by his Spirit from every nation, every people, and every language under heaven.
We see the fruits of the Spirit’s work every day here in our Church. The Spirit is living and active everywhere — in our parishes and schools; in our ministries to the poor and to those who are suffering and hurting. He is working in all the little ways that each of us tries to spread the joy of our love for Jesus to others.
We are also seeing God’s Spirit working in the growth of vocations to the priesthood and religious and consecrated life.
I had the blessing recently to ordain four new priests and 15 new permanent deacons for our Archdiocese. We are looking forward to even more in the years to come. Our diaconate program is growing and so are the numbers of men studying at St. John’s Seminary.
These are signs of God’s blessings and the vitality of our homes and Catholic communities. So I hope you will join me in continuing to pray every day for our priests and deacons, for all our Religious and consecrated men and women, and also for our seminarians. Also, let’s keep praying every day that many more will hear the voice of Jesus calling them to his priesthood and consecrated life.
The school year is also ending in these next couple of weeks and parish religious education programs are winding down for the summer.
I had the blessing to celebrate the closing Mass of the school year at Bishop Alemany High School recently.
I am praying for all high school graduates in the Archdiocese and their families. Graduation is the start of the great adventure of life and service in the world.
So let’s keep all graduates in our prayers. Let’s ask God to give them the grace to always seek to use their talents and education for the good of others and the glory of God.
Finally, the Confirmation season is coming to an end for my brother bishops and me. This year, I have been blessed to be able to celebrate the Sacrament at parishes all over the Archdiocese and I will be visiting a few more in the next week or so.
It is such a joy for me to meet so many young people and to bring them the gift of the Holy Spirit.
I hope you will keep our newly Confirmed in your prayers.
My prayer is that they will continue to grow in their friendship with Jesus and their desire to share their faith and serve his Church.
As we enter the months of summer, please pray for me as I am praying for all of you.
Summer is a wonderful time for all of us to relax a little and be renewed and to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation.
Let’s use these times of relaxation as a way to spend more time in prayer and reflection on the things of God.
Let’s keep our Holy Father Pope Francis in our prayers — and especially pray for his intentions. The Pope has been focusing on peace in our troubled world, especially in the Holy Land and the Middle East.
Let’s pray with him and reflect on his prayer for peace: “God of Love, You created us and You call us to live as brothers and sisters. Give us the strength daily to be instruments of peace; enable us to see everyone who crosses our path as our brother or sister.”
So I wish you all a great summer, filled with fun and family and prayer. And I entrust all of you and your families to our Blessed Mother Mary. May she help us to always know the joy of living with Jesus.
Archbishop Gomez’s book, “Immigration and the Next America,” is available at the Cathedral Gift Shop (www.olacathedralgifts.com/immigrationandthenextamericarenewingthesoulofournation.aspx). Follow him at www.facebook.com/ArchbishopGomez.