Today we celebrate Pentecost Sunday. It is on this feast that we recall the fulfillment of the promise Jesus made before he returned to the right hand of the Father to send the gift of the Holy Spirit.
“Come, Holy Spirit, enlighten our minds and enkindle within our hearts the fire of your love!”
Before receiving the Holy Spirit the disciples kept themselves locked up behind closed doors in the Upper Room in Jerusalem. They were a fearful lot and lacked the courage to boldly proclaim the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, when the Spirit was poured out upon them, they were radically changed. They burst forth from the Upper Room, filled with courage and nothing could stop them now from preaching the Good News of salvation.
The Scriptures speak of the Holy Spirit as wind and fire. As wind, the Spirit blows where the Spirit wills, turning things upside down and blowing in new life. As fire, the Spirit burns away all that is dying or dead. As fire, the Spirit is warmth and light burning within hearts.
Each one of us first received the gift of the Holy Spirit in baptism when we were anointed with the Sacred Chrism. We were anointed anew in the Sacrament of Confirmation so that the seven gifts of the Spirit might blossom forth more fully in our lives. It is these seven gifts that help us to live as holy and faithful disciples of the Lord.
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Awe of God. These seven gifts were first announced by the Prophet Isaiah and would dwell in their fullness in the Messiah. In fulfillment of his mission, Jesus handed on these seven gifts to all who would embrace him and the Gospel way of life.
We are also called to bear rich and abundant fruit for the Kingdom of God. Those guided by the Holy Spirit bring forth in their lives through their actions this fruit. There are twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit which we are called to nurture in our lives: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity.
As we celebrate this great feast may all of us open our lives more fully to the presence, movement, and power of the Holy Spirit so that new and wonderful things may continue to happen in our lives, our parish, our Church, and our world.
– Fr. Dennis, June 4, 2017