Pentecost Sunday (Note & Bulletin)

All of us desire to live a life faithful to Jesus Christ.  We do not wake up in the morning saying to ourselves, “Today, I want to be a hypocrite, today I want to be dishonest to myself, to others and to God.” Amd so we think of different methods or practices from which we can gain a sense of confidence that we’re “walking the talk.”  We can say if I double my time in prayer this will be evidence that "I am faithful to the Lord.”  Or, if we take on extra service, again, we can feel we have evidence we are being faithful to the Lord.  While our faith does indeed entail a lot of doing, be it prayer or service, our faith is most given life through the receiving of the Holy Spirit. For most of my life I did not think about the role of the Holy Spirit in my faith.  I prayed to God the Father and I prayed to the Lord Jesus and looked to him as an example and model for my life.  Consequently, I tried to live a Christian life through the strength of my will and determination.  My will and determination however, aren't so strong.  My Christian life was not always faithful or honest.  

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost, the sending and receiving of the Holy Spirit.  In the readings it is clear the role of the power of the Holy Spirit on the followers of the Lord.  In the reading from the Acts of the Apostles we hear that the coming of the Holy Spirit sounded like the “rush of a violent wind,” and that tongues of fire rested on each of the disciples.  The Scripture says that, filled with the Holy Spirit, the disciples went into the streets, proclaiming the Good News in languages all could understand.  In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he speaks of a variety of gifts and services and the molding of Christians into one body, because they “were all made to drink of one Spirit.”  Within the Gospel, John writes how the Lord shared his peace with his disciples and how he breathed the Spirit upon them.  Having received the Holy Spirit, Jesus said to them, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”  From the Scriptures it is clear the vital role and power that the Holy Spirit has in our lives of faith.  

Being a follower of the Lord is not primarily about our will and determination, nor by our doing, but through our receiving.  With our baptism, God sends the Holy Spirit to dwell within our hearts.  Knowing that the Holy Spirit lives within us allows us to work with God in our redemption and salvation.  The most helpful description of the Holy Spirit that I have heard is from St AugustineSt Augustine tells us that Holy Spirit is the love that is shared between God the Father and God the Son.  This means that perfect, eternal love, now lives within our hearts, that it calls us its home.  And so the molding of our hearts through the Holy Spirit is the beginning of our own new creation – a new creation that reveals the love of God. As we try to live our lives of faith what begins to mold us more and more is not our will and determination but the experience in our hearts of the love of God.  We desire to pray, not to accumulate evidence that we believe, rather as an expression of coming to know his love for us and our love for him.  We seek to serve, not to accumulate evidence, nor to feel needed, but rather to share the gentle love that we know and feel within.  

Being a Christian, a follower of the Risen Lord, is not a fragmented life in which we have the different parts of our life locked in different boxes.  The living of our faith is the living from within.  And that is living in the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit—the love shared between God the Father with God the SonGod’s perfect and eternal love that dwells within our hearts.  

God Bless, and Take Care!

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Weekly Parish Bulletin462.34 KB

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