THEME: Come, Holy Spirit!

BY: Deacon Bill Frere



Gospel – John 20:19-23
Acts of Apostles 2:1-11

What energizes you? Your job, your family, a hobby or favorite pastime? What stirs you up, gives you life?

For me, it was a Baptism I conducted this week for one of our parish’s kindergarteners. We scheduled it during the school day so that his entire class could also attend. And it was simply amazing! All the kids were so attentive and engaged. And when we got to praying the Our Father, I can’t remember a louder, more energetic chorus of little voices. It was just a Spirit-filled experience for all involved! So blessed!

So what about you? What gives YOU life and energy? What is it that changes you from “I don’t want to do anything but sit and vegetate” to ‘let’s get going.” Your wedding day? The birth of your first child? Time spent with your best friend? Special events like a birthday or a long car ride full of shared memories and stories?

We see that energy, that breath of life, in today’s Gospel – Pentecost! The Holy Spirit coming down upon the Apostles in tongues of fire and a rushing wind! Upon a group of men who, up until today, were in hiding, fearful for their lives, lacking courage. A group of men who basically were illiterate, uneducated farmers and fishermen from a tiny village, country bumpkins far removed from life in the big city.

And yet look at them now – filled with the Spirit, energized, stirred up to spread the Word, converting people from around the known world.

We celebrate today the end of the Easter Season and the return of Ordinary Time. But on this Feast of Pentecost, we also celebrate the birthday of the Church. This is the beginning, when Jesus’ disciples take up His mission of spreading the Word.

It is a reminder to us that, by our Baptism and Confirmation, we have all been filled with the Spirit. We have all been given that energy, that stirring of our spirit to spread the Word. Consider all the time and energy we put in to celebrate a special birthday! How much does your faith energize you?

These are days of unrest and anger, of violence and pain, of hatred and racial divide, of diseases of the body and of the soul. Now more than ever we need to remember that we are all temples of the Holy Spirit, that we are all filled with the Spirit and today is the birth of our faith.

2000 years later, in some ways, we are still huddled together in the Upper Room, in fear. We pray that the Spirit renew us and renew our troubled world. We pray for the Spirit to energize us to bring peace and understanding to this broken world.

Deacon Bill Frere


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