May 31, 2020

This Sunday is the celebration of Pentecost. It is fifty days after Easter and the end of the Easter season. It has been called the birthday of the Church. It is the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and disciples locked in the Upper Room waiting. Jesus had told the Apostles to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit who would be their Advocate. They did not know what to expect. Yet, in prayer, they waited.

Then, without warning, there was a great wind, the room shook, and flames as if of fire rested upon their heads. With that they were filled with gift of the Holy Spirit, emboldened to go into the city and proclaim a message of good news that Jesus who had been crucified had now been raised from the dead, fulfilled all the promises of the Old Testament and invites everyone to believe.

This Holy Spirit has been leading and guiding the Church since that first Pentecost through the growth of the Church, the Holy Spirit has touched the hearts of believers. During persecutions and difficult days in the history of the Church, the Holy Spirit has encouraged and inspired men and women of all ages and places. In peace and tranquility the Holy Spirit has formed the Church in the depths of God’s love. And even in this time of isolation, the Holy Spirit is with us giving us insight and patience to live the call to holiness in our own time.

The Sacraments of Initiation into full communion in the Catholic Church are Baptism, Confirmation and Communion. How we all long for a full church celebrating Mass, receiving Communion and being with one another. Though that is not possible just yet, may we trust in the Holy Spirit to be with us and to live out the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit. The Gifts are wisdom, understanding counsel, knowledge, courage, piety and fear of the Lord (also known as wonder and awe of the Lord). The Fruits are: love, joy peace, patience, kind- ness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self control, modesty, continence and chastity.

This Pentecost may the Gifts and Fruits of the Spirit be strong in us and renew the belief and practice of our faith in the Risen Lord Jesus Christ.

Msgr. Joe