I am excited about the coming month of July!

The month begins with our annual archdiocesan pilgrimage to Mexico City to pay tribute to Our Lady of Guadalupe. 

This is always a special time for me to be with the faithful of Los Angeles, praying in the presence of the sacred tilma that bears her miraculous image. This year we are expecting nearly 300 will be joining us on this pilgrimage of faith. 

As we always do, we will be bringing prayers and petitions for our families and loved ones and offering them to Our Lady in confidence. 

Near the end of the month, I am also excited to be going to Indianapolis for the National Eucharistic Congress. 

Already thousands of pilgrims from every corner of the country are in procession making their way there, bearing the holy Eucharist, praying and singing, many traveling for thousands of miles. 

The pictures of the pilgrims are so inspiring, there is such joy and hopefulness that radiates from their faces, and I sense a new confidence in the power of Jesus Christ to change our world and change our lives. 

During these past three years of the National Eucharistic Revival launched by the U.S. bishops, we have witnessed a great outpouring of the Spirit. 

More and more, we can see how this Eucharistic revival is part of a larger movement of the Spirit in our times. 

Jesus told us that the Spirit is like the wind. Though we can’t see the Spirit, he is at work in the world and in history, bringing God’s plan of salvation to completion. 

Looking back, we can see that the visitation of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1531 marked the true spiritual founding of the Americas, touching off a great outpouring of holiness and grace that continues today in the mission of the Church. 

Several years ago I had the privilege to celebrate Mass with Pope Francis at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. 

The occasion was a day of reflection on the evangelization of the Americas and the witness of the then soon-to-be-canonized St. Junípero Serra. 

The Holy Father concluded his homily with a powerful call for the Holy Spirit to come again to renew the face of our continent: 

“May a powerful gust of holiness sweep through all the Americas,” he said. “We ask God for this special outpouring of the Holy Spirit! There was so much holiness, so much holiness planted in America!” 

I believe we are now witnessing this outpouring of the Holy Spirit, not only in our country and on this continent, but throughout the world. People are returning to God and returning to the Church. 

This year we received a record number of new Catholics into the Church on Easter. Earlier this month I ordained 11 new priests, more than we have seen in a number of years. And it is not only Los Angeles. We are hearing stories like this across the country. 

People are looking for meaning and purpose and love in their lives. They want to know: How should I live, what is the right path for me to follow? What happens when I die, and does my life make a difference? 

Those questions were on people’s hearts when Jesus walked the earth. Those questions are still on people’s hearts. 

And in the Church, we have the answers that people are looking for. 

In an article I was reading recently, a pastor wrote this: “The sun also rises and life continues for ordinary people at the local level, with all of its joys and its sorrows. People are born, marry, grow old, and die. And the Gospel remains the answer.”

This is the truth! And this is the attitude that we need in the Church in this moment of spiritual revival and renewal. 

By our baptism, each one of us is called to live our faith in Jesus Christ with joy and love. And each one of us is called to lead others to meet Jesus and to know his love and share in his promise of salvation. 

St. Paul used to say, “For we are God’s co-workers.” And so we are. 

God has entrusted each of us with some part to play in his beautiful plan of love, whether it’s in our homes or in our parishes, or at work or in our communities. 

It is an exciting moment to be a believer and a follower of Jesus, a time when the Spirit is once again planting holiness in America. 

Pray for me, and I will pray for you. 

And let us ask Our Lady of Guadalupe to help us to do our part in this great movement of the Spirit in our times, working with his grace to bring many of our neighbors to know the love of her Son, Jesus.