“When Pentecost day came around, the apostles had all met in one room, when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven, the noise of which filled the entire house in which they were sitting.” Acts of the Apostles 2:1,2
This weekend we shall be celebrating the great feast of Pentecost, the ‘Birthday of the Church’. Pentecost is a Greek word meaning ‘Fiftieth’ and was a Jewish harvest festival called ‘Shavuot’ which would be celebrated to thank the Lord for all His goodness to them as provider and sustainer of His people. Jews still celebrate Shavuot also known as the Festival of Weeks (Jesus Himself would have celebrated this feast along with His disciples.) On this special day already holy to the Jews, some fifty days after Jesus had risen triumphantly from the dead, the promised Gift of the Holy Spirit is given to all the disciples and Mary, the Mother of Jesus was with them. Thus the early Christian Church was born.
We too have received this promised gift of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity when we received our Baptism. This made us children of God and members of His Family. The Holy Spirit strengthens us every time we receive Jesus in Holy Communion at Mass and when we come together to celebrate the Eucharist. He also moulds and shapes up into the people we are to become through the healing Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession.
Without the Holy Spirit’s Presence and influence in our lives it is impossible for us to please God. His gentle inspiration, (He is often shown symbolically as a dove) helps us to grow into the person God wants us to be and we become ever so slowly like Jesus. God Our Father loves us dearly and unconditionally and this was proven through the Life of Jesus, especially His sufferings and Death on the Cross.
His promised Gift of Himself in the Person of His Holy Spirit will help us in our day to day lives. However, He will not force us to love Him or ask Him into our lives in a new deeper way. He respects our decision and if we choose Him, He will gladly and joyfully comes to us afresh like living water springing up within us to eternal life!
We are now in the season of Ordinary Time. As the beauty of creation is all around us with the blossoms on the trees, the lovely spring sunshine with flowers bursting into life with all their colours, we are to thank our loving God for all He has provided for us in our lives. Let us also ask Him to come to us in a new and deeper way as we pray; Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love! Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created and You shall renew the face of the earth. Amen.
Our prayer this week:
O Holy Spirit of God, Who descended upon the Apostles and filled them with your power and wisdom, watch over me and guide me in all my thoughts and acts. Never let me forget to call on you whenever I need help.
O Holy Spirit, Spirit of Truth, come into our hearts and shine the brightness of your light on all people, that they may be one in faith and pleasing to you. Amen