I might begin today by wishing everyone a Happy Birthday! After all, this is Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit, breathing life into the Church. It seems doubly important this year as we are finally returning to normal life after these many months of the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope the expression “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is true of us in regards to our gathering in person at Mass. Words of gratitude also for your continued support financially, prayerfully, and your words of encouragement.
The account in the Acts of the Apostles of the coming of the Holy Spirit is quite dramatic. Though the disciples are gathered inside, they all hear and feel a sudden strong driving wind. The wind is an appropriate image of the Holy Spirit. We cannot see the wind, but we sense its presence by the sound it creates and the effect it has on light objects, trees, and even our own skin. Likewise, we feel the effects of the Holy Spirit in the way we are gently nudged or powerfully driven to do something or say something that can transform us and our world.
In fire and wind, the Spirit of the Lord descends with God’s sevenfold gifts. When we pray for guidance and receive wisdom, that’s the Spirit. When we are tempted to do or say something rash or harsh, we resist by saying a quick prayer. God’s Spirit of counsel is giving us restraint. When we are looking for credit for our accomplishments, fear of the Lord reminds us that all our talents come from God. When we are confused about Church teaching and come across an article that gives us insight, the Spirit is granting us knowledge and understanding. When we are at the end of our rope, but keep persevering in faith, we are being filled with fortitude. When we are feeling restless at Mass but a hymn fills us with a sense of God’s love, the Spirit is giving us piety.
And so, on this tremendous feast of Pentecost, let us ask the Lord to fill us with even more of his gifts so that we can better serve him and his Church. With that we pray that familiar tune. “Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest, and in our hearts take up thy rest; Come with thy grace and heavenly aid to fill the hearts which thou hast made.”
Love, Peace, Joy,