Pentecost Sunday

“Wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, with uncertainty or insincerity. And the harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."  James 3:17-18

As we celebrate Pentecost this Sunday and recall that wondrous outpouring of the Holy Spirit on those first Apostles, it is a timely moment for us to reflect on the Sacrament of Confirmation in our own lives by which we are more perfectly bound to the Church and we are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. This strength allows us to live the freedom of being God’s children, it unites us more fully to Jesus, and it increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us. The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit – wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord – are permanent dispositions which make us docile in following the promptings and faithful in obeying the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them.

How much do we need to rely more on these gifts of the Holy Spirit to navigate the times we are living, so to make good discernments and wise decisions? A couple of weeks ago someone shared with me a column from the Exchange section of the Star Tribune entitled “Wisdom more than expertise is needed.” I was impressed by the author’s balanced but incisive take on how we should respond to the current virus crisis. The author made an important distinction between expertise and wisdom: “We need expertise, of course, but what we crucially need from our decisionmakers is wisdom. Expertise, by definition, is narrowness of knowledge. To become truly an expert in anything one must focus on a narrow slice of human knowledge and experience. Wise decision making, on the other hand, requires breadth of knowledge and experience. Wisdom is understanding what is true and good, and the relative importance of often competing truths and goods, and the acting accordingly. A wise leader is an embodiment of virtues rather than a master of specialized knowledge.”

We are living in the unchartered waters of a global health crisis! The experts are extremely valuable in helping us to gain knowledge and understanding of the uniqueness of COVID-19. We need to listen to epidemiologists and others in the health care profession. But ultimately the counsel of experts will only take us so far as it is limited by the specific goal trying to be achieved (i.e. how to stop the virus while maximally minimizing deaths). What we all need is wisdom – the ordering of knowledge to the ultimate good, which is defined by our relationship with God and the word of truth He speaks. Indeed, there is an eternal horizon within which we decide and act each day. Wisdom allows for a holistic approach to all the circumstances we are navigating in living life, especially in a time of crisis, helping us to discern what is the best path when there are multiple competing goods.

 Wisdom is ultimately a gift of Holy Spirit, which thus depends upon our asking and our receptivity. Let us fervently ask the Lord on this Pentecost Sunday for wisdom using the ancient prayer “Come Holy Spirit”:

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful
And kindle in them the fire of Your love 
V: Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created 
R: And You shall renew the face of the earth

Let us Pray:
O God, who instructed the hearts of the faithful by the light
of the Holy Spirit, Grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise
and ever rejoice in His consolation.
Through Christ, our Lord. Amen

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Peter Williams


*I invite you to pray the original novena during these days of waiting upon the promise of the Father:

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While you cannot receive the Eucharist in this manner, you are invited to make a Spiritual Communion, praying the Act of Spiritual Communion listed below:

Act of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus,
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I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
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come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.   Amen.

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Our collections have significantly dropped since March without the Sunday Masses. This outbreak has put a strain on all of us and we are grateful for whatever support you can provide to Saint Ambrose during these unprecedented times. Please consider using this easy way to make a payment via credit card. You may set up a one time payment or recurring payments. Any amount you are able to contribute is greatly appreciated.

Click on the Stewardship icon above and you will be redirected to donate online. You may also send in a donation to our parish office @ 4125 Woodbury Drive, Woodbury, MN 55129. Please call Greg Hereford @ 651.768.3010 if you have any questions. Thank you and God Bless.


Whether you are a visitor, new parishioner or longtime member, we hope you feel welcome at Saint Ambrose Catholic Church. Saint Ambrose strives to be an actively involved community which seeks to witness the Gospel of Jesus Christ to one another, as well as the greater community of Woodbury through our Worship, Education and Outreach. We would love to have you join us!




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Saint Ambrose - Christmas 2019

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