Pentecost (June 4, 2017)

We have just heard Jesus announce the new creation. Jesus breathes new life into his disciples. And then he announces that mutual forgiveness will be the mark by which his community will be recognized. As God has forgiven us in Jesus, we are to forgive one another as a sign of the new life we share.

St. Luke describes the coming of the Spirit in more dramatic fashion. As the Spirit descends on the disciples as tongues of fire, they begin to make bold proclamation of the Good News in an astounding way.

The same Spirit is given to each of us at our Baptism, and his presence has been strengthened in Confirmation. St. Paul points that that we are one in the Body of Christ because we all share the one Holy Spirit.

Each of us has special gifts which have been given to us as a way of manifesting the Spirit’s presence in us. Our gifts are given, not for our own good, but for the good of others; when we use our gifts for others, we witness to our oneness in Christ. No one’s gift or ministry or work is more important than anyone else’s; all are needed for the unity of the community of the Church.

Each of us is important because we bring a gift or talent or way of working that no one else can bring to the group. We all lose something when an individual person’s gifts are not welcomed or used in the community. We need one another in order to experience the full wonder of God’s love for us.

This morning, we have prayed, “Come, Holy Spirit, come!” This is a bold request on our part. Are we really open to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that God wants to give us?

Are we willing to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit in order to be drawn more deeply into the Mystery of God’s love? Can we find new ways to use these gifts in our efforts to love one another during the day?

May this feast of Pentecost be a rebirthing in each of us of all the spiritual gifts that help us stay centered in the Holy Spirit.