Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pentecost: Beach Ball Bouncing World Record

“When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.”  

It looks like Amherst has made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.  This past week at Amherst Middle School, if confirmed by Guinness Book, has stolen the beach-ball bouncing world record.  “A tense 15 seconds passed Monday as 711 seventh and eighth graders struggled to simultaneously keep their brightly-colored balls in the air.  As the clock ticked only 31 dropped their ball to the earth.  A whopping 680 passed the challenge.” 

Now you may think, “It’s not that hard bouncing a ball in the air for 15 seconds.”  I read that one of the students was blind and kept the ball up the whole time.  But, try to get 700 junior high students to do that… better yet, try to get 700 people of any age to do anything… together… for any amount of time! 

We hear in the Acts of the Apostles “When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place… together.”  The people were “Confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language.” 

They had experienced this amazing gift at Pentecost where they were all involved in this amazing moment of community.  They were there, together, speaking the same language, and everyone could be a part of it. 

We have an exciting moment here in our parish (as well as our diocese).  Since November we have been working on the “Rooted in Faith, Forward in Hope Campaign.”  Just this past week we exceeded our goal of raising $1,115,000 in pledges!  244 families have taken part of this. 

We are doing something far greater than getting something in the Guinness Book of World Records here.  “Rooted in Faith, Forward in Hope” is going to help strengthen our parishes, strengthen our faith, educate our children, nurture vocations to the priesthood, and upkeep our service to the poor. 

What astounds me is how difficult it is to get us all to do one thing together.  Even with the beach ball bouncing world record 31 dropped balls (Even the blind boy kept his up)!  With this campaign we’ve also tried to reach every family either by personally meeting them, mailing them, calling them…. And this goal was met by only 244 of our families.  That means that 1,791 families have “dropped the ball” so to speak.  This goal which we weren’t sure was possible has been met by just over 10% of our parishioners!  That is amazing how generous those who are involved have been!  I say this not to criticize but to commend those that have been so generous and to invite and encourage all of us who can still be a part of this campaign.  ( )

It is so difficult to get a large group to do anything together, whether it be keeping a beach ball bouncing or raising the money that will sustain our church.  But, just as the Holy Spirit brought about this great feat nearly 2,000 years ago on Pentecost, where they were all gathered in one place together, that same Holy Spirit is working in our church today.  This is what we celebrate on Pentecost.  When the Holy Spirit brings us together, amazing, astounding events can occur.  We are all invited… each and every one of us to help build the Kingdom of God here on earth.  
 Be a part of it! 


  1. Thank you for showing another example of how God takes some simple in the world's point of view to bring some so miraculous and life-changing for all generations. It's like mustard seeds that are small and insignificant. Yet, look at how they are fully grown. Amazing! Thanks be to God!

  2. So I only did it 4 15 seconds?��


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