June 5, 2015
Calling it a “stroke of God’s providence,” Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone celebrated the opening Mass of the 28th Annual Northern California Catholic Charismatic Convention on the weekend of Pentecost.
In his May 22 homily, the archbishop drew on the Acts of the Apostles and the martyrdoms of St. Peter and St. Paul. He quoted Pope Francis on the “horrendous” martyrdoms of Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere as well as what the pontiff has termed the “white glove” martyrdoms of being ostracized and shut out for upholding Christian beliefs.
“Every individual Christian is called to repeat the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus in their individual lives,” Archbishop Cordileone told the gathering of about 500 people at the Santa Clara Convention Center for the May 22-25 gathering, traditionally held on the Memorial Day weekend. “This pattern of the suffering, death and resurrection of the Lord is repeated in the life of the church” in every era, he said.
The archbishop received a standing ovation, said Deacon Ernie Von Emster. His anticipated appearance filled the auditorium, which is quite unusual for the first Mass of the annual charismatic conference, said St. Veronica parishioner Norma Guerrero, who noted the first Mass of the convention on Friday evening frequently has poor attendance as participants from the dioceses of Stockton, Monterey, Santa Rosa, San Jose, Sacramento and the Archdiocese of San Francisco slowly make their way to the weekend event.
The Holy Spirit has guided the church from its birth on the first Pentecost Sunday when a rushing wind and tongues of fire entered the locked room where the disciples were waiting for the Spirit the Lord had promised would come after his ascension to heaven, Archbishop Cordileone said in his homily.
“There was so much political turmoil and they were afraid, so they were huddled together in that upper room. Then under the power of the Holy Spirit they were emboldened to go forth courageously to a hostile world and proclaim the Gospel with great courage, with great determination and tenacity,” Archbishop Cordileone said.
Today, as always, we need the guidance and gifts of the Holy Spirit, said Archbishop Cordileone, noting Pope Francis said two things are needed for the seed of the Word to produce the kingdom of God: the Holy Spirit and Christian witness.
“The good news is not meant to be confined within the walls where we worship, we are to get up and be on our way,” Archbishop Cordileone said, to “show we are people on the move, ready to proclaim the Gospel.”