The Easter Season has plunged us into the refreshing waters of multiple mysteries of our faith . . . Eucharist, Priesthood, the Passion, Death and glorious Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus. Today, we celebrate Pentecost, which completes the ongoing cycle of God’s unending faithfulness to us, God’s abundant love for us, and God’s delight in our participation in the fullness of life, which he promises.
In the opening chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, the dramatic story of the coming of the Holy Spirit is officially recorded in the history of the Church. The presence of the Holy Spirit was announced with thunderous wind, the shaking of the earth, and tongues of fire resting over the heads of the apostles who were gathered in the Upper Room. The apostles had retreated to the safety of the Upper Room to pray, to reflect and discuss their experience of Jesus, and to wait for the Holy Spirit to fill their hearts with courage and peace. Immediately upon receiving the Holy Spirit, the apostles were MOVED to leave their fears aside, MOVED to leave the protective walls of the Upper Room, and MOVED to passionately tell the story of Jesus to the crowd that had gathered outside. Remarkably, the crowds were moved to faith in Jesus. Over 500 people were moved to be baptized on that very day. And at that moment the Church was born! On that day of Pentecost we mark the birthday of the Church!!!
For over 2000 years the Holy Spirit continues to move the hearts and lives of the baptized. The quiet, generous, compassionate deeds of love and justice in the lives of ordinary people IS the work of the Spirit. The heroic, courageous, sacrificial life of otherwise ordinary people IS the work of the Spirit. Each day, we the baptized are inspired, challenged, and graced with God’s energy to move from the darkness of our fears into the light of faith, and to move from our defensive walls into the freedom of love and life.
We the baptized are called to rise up with and through the Holy Spirit.
We are invited to continue the work of the Holy Spirit.
We are indeed privileged to lift up God’s people and together share the gifts of the Spirit- joy, courage, compassion and love!
May your Pentecost be graced with new energy, deep joy and hope and an abiding peace that brings blessings to your life, and to the lives of those you encounter.
Sr. Gerrie Contento, MPF