Feast of Pentecost


Feast of Pentecost A 2011

There are many images of the Holy Spirit provided by the Scriptures.  The Holy Spirit is called the Paraclete, the Advocate, and the Consoler.  The Holy Spirit is associated with tongues of fire, with a dove, and with wind.  Each image in its own way reveals something about the Spirit.  The Spirit defends us in the midst of danger, strengthens us when we are weak, supports us in the midst of desolation, consoles us in the midst of loss.  The Spirit gives us words of wisdom which confounds human wisdom.  The Spirit allows us to utter Jesus is Lord when we cannot comprehend this truth.  The Spirit dwells in us so that we can share in the gifts and the fruits of the Spirit.

There are a number of t.v. shows out about people recreating themselves.  The Biggest Loser is about people trying to discover their inner thin self.  People go on Dr. Phil to seek advice and to modify their behaviors. Continually we seek to recreate ourselves by going to school, by dieting, by exercising, by taking on a new hobby, by volunteering, and numerous other ways. Rather than merely recreating ourselves, we must ask for the Holy Spirit to recreate us.

At baptism we were given this Spirit and at confirmation we received the sacramental fullness of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit is near to us even closer to us than we are to ourselves.  How often do we call upon the Spirit or remind ourselves that we and others are temples of the Spirit?

When Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit upon those who believed in him, this gift transformed their innermost being. They went from residing in a locked room due to fear fear to boldly preaching the good news.  Believers could work miracles of healing, bring forgiveness to the lost, and provide assistance to the destitute. 

The Holy Spirit wants to come upon us and recreate us but it is difficult to let God work in us.  It means we have to let go of our own dreams and our own hopes while trusting that his plan is greater than we can fathom.  It’s not always easy, even the apostles probably thought to themselves this is absolutely crazy.  They brought others good news and in doing so they put their lives at stake.  Perhaps this should remind us of the many people who want to bring freedom to others only to lose their lives in the process.  In the end, they remained faithful because the presence of the Holy Spirit gave them peace and joy.

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