Pentecost Sunday - 2012
Today we conclude the Easter season also known as the Paschal Mystery -- from Jesus’ agony in the olive garden to the day of Pentecost. In reality all the events of the season are one great mystery for us!
Today let us consider the power of this feast, this gift from God, presented to us by Jesus Christ. Perhaps the magnitude of he powers given us in this gift of the Holy Spirit is of importance for all of us living in this first decade of the 21st century.
We learn that after their “Confirmation,” the apostles wasted no time in preaching the message of the Good News to number gatherings of people from many nations, languages and cultures. Nationality or language differences did not hind them. Gifted by the Spirit, the apostles preached in many languages -- without the benefit of Rosetta Stone!
What was clear about the happenings of Pentecost is not complicated. The fits of the Holy Spirit enabled the apostles to preach to the whole world! God’s message was not intended for one nation or culture. The message of God was intended to bring about a true unity under God. This is what our Church is called to do -- particularly in our times: to preach and teach in a manner that brings people to God. This is the mission given to each of those who were present for the Pentecost moment. The charge is identical for each of us today: working with God in building his kingdom on earth. Considering this charge, we cannot overlook the other gift of that Pentecost moment: “...whose sins you shall forgive are forgiven....” The Sacrament of Reconciliation. For us today reconciliation with God is a necessity. Without our own purification from sin, we cannot be true preachers of the Word of God demonstrated to others whom we might be seeking to bring to reconciliation with God by the lives we live.
St. Paul’s comparison of the human body as an example of our mission as followers of Jesus Christ should be examined: many different organs working toward a common goal. While a body has many different parts but all work together for the good of the whole body. Shouldn’t Christians today be more mindful of this comparison as it applies to our culture in our world today? Do the members of the Christian religions accept equality in diversity as Jesus and Paul endeavored to teach those who wish unity with God? Yet just look at the lack of dignity among us. We are, all of us, equal in dignity but so different in the God-given talents needed to accomplish the goal the Holy Spirit puts before us -- unity of heart and mind.
Let us pray: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts and minds of those who profess their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Yes, Holy Spirit, fill my heart and mind with your graces if there is ever a time when I cannot see beyond differences in others. Help me to know what weakness blocks my accepting others who are different in color, nationality,lifestyle or language or natural talents and other gifts. Never allow, I pray, a defective part of my mind and heart to bring about the end of my being a true follower of Jesus Christ. Amen.