Today we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost, that moment in history when the Father and Son fulfilled their promise of sending the Holy Spirit. After receiving this gift the apostles were never the same. The fear that had kept them confined behind locked doors disappeared and they burst forth from the Upper Room in Jerusalem to boldly and fearlessly proclaim the Risen Lord Jesus Christ. Since that day their message has gone to the four corners of the earth.
As we recall this wonderful and powerful event, we pray, “Come, Holy Spirit, enlighten our minds and enkindle within us the fire of your love.”
Each one of us has received the promised gift of the Spirit to help us be faithful to the mission entrusted to us by Jesus, that being, to proclaim the Gospel in word and in deed. This mission for our life began on the day of our baptism and we were sealed in it with the gift of the Spirit when we received the Sacrament of Confirmation.
The Spirit is described as fire and wind. Fire has the potential to warm us, to light the way by scattering the darkness. It also has the power to be destructive, to burn out within us all that is decaying or dead. Wind is refreshing, it cools us on a hot day. It also has the power to change our plans as it can come up out of nowhere. This is how the Holy Spirit works in our lives, in the Church, and in the world.
The Holy Spirit has bestowed on us seven gifts to assist us as we follow the Risen Lord. These are: wisdom, knowledge, understanding, counsel, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "The moral life of Christians is sustained by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These are permanent dispositions which make human beings docile in following the promptings of the Holy Spirit." (CCC 1830).
We have also received the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit. The catechism states, "The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory.” (CCC 1832). The fruits of the Spirit are charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity.”
May all of us have the courage to open our lives fully to the presence, power, and movement of the Holy Spirit who desires to do new and wonderful things in us, through us, and among us. May we always remember that the job description of the Holy Spirit is to bring about change, new growth, new life, new possibilities.
We pray again: “Come, Holy Spirit, enlighten our minds and enkindle within our hearts the fire of your love.”
- Father Dennis, May 23, 2021