24 May – Pentecost Sunday
The Day of Pentecost
Today we celebrate the great day of Pentecost when Christ filled the Church with the power of his Spirit and sent it out into the world to bring his peace, joy and forgiveness to all mankind.
– The Sunday Missal
When Pentecost day came round, they had all met in one room, when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven, the noise of which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and something appeared to them that seemed like tongues of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak foreign languages as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech.
Now there were devout men living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven, and at this sound they all assembled, each one bewildered to hear these men speaking his own language. They were amazed and astonished. ‘Surely’ they said ‘all these men speaking are Galileans? How does it happen that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; people from Mesopotamia, Judaea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya round Cyrene; as well as visitors from Rome – Jews and proselytes alike – Cretans and Arabs; we hear them preaching in our own language about the marvels of God.’
If you are guided by the Spirit you will be in no danger of yielding to self-indulgence, since self-indulgence is the opposite of the Spirit, the Spirit is totally against such a thing, and it is precisely because the two are so opposed that you do not always carry out your good intentions. If you are led by the Spirit, no law can touch you. When self-indulgence is at work the results are obvious: fornication, gross indecency and sexual irresponsibility; idolatry and sorcery; feuds and wrangling, jealousy, bad temper and quarrels; disagreements, factions, envy; drunkenness, orgies and similar things. I warn you now, as I warned you before: those who behave like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. What the Spirit brings is very different: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control. There can be no law against things like that, of course. You cannot belong to Christ Jesus unless you crucify all self-indulgent passions and desires.
Since the Spirit is our life, let us be directed by the Spirit.
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘When the Advocate comes,
whom I shall send to you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father,
he will be my witness.
And you too will be witnesses,
because you have been with me from the outset.
‘I still have many things to say to you
but they would be too much for you now.
But when the Spirit of truth comes
he will lead you to the complete truth,
since he will not be speaking as from himself
but will say only what he has learnt;
and he will tell you of the things to come.
He will glorify me,
since all he tells you
will be taken from what is mine.
Everything the Father has is mine;
that is why I said:
All he tells you
will be taken from what is mine.’
“What the Spirit brings is very different: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness…”
I remember when I attended my first Life in the Spirit weekend. This was shortly before I was baptized. I remember it being a very powerful weekend; it was all very strange and new to me, but very powerful. We were prayed upon and many of us experienced “resting in the Spirit”. I have to admit that I was initially afraid, and I resisted. But when I finally let go, I rested in the Spirit. I cannot explain how it felt like. It completely filled me and it was a very warm feeling that overwhelmed me. Had I continued to resist and be afraid, I would not have experienced what I did that day.
I don’t profess to understand enough about the Holy Spirit to be able to talk about it, except that I know it comes from God. We are all baptized into one body of Christ. We are all parts that make up one body, and because we are of Christ, then we are all also in one Spirit. Our gifts that we receive are from the Holy Spirit, and we are all given unique gifts. We may not know what these gifts are yet, but if we pray about it the Holy Spirit will guide us and show us. The way we use our gifts is entirely up to us but we have to remember that they were given to us to be used for the benefit of others.
I used to wonder about what my gift was. The only gift I knew then was the gift of tongues, and I thought that because I could not speak in tongues maybe that meant I was not “worthy”. But I realize that the Holy Spirit dispenses gifts as it sees fit. Maybe I do not have the gift of tongues or the gift of prophecy, but as today’s reading says, what the Spirit brings is very different: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness, self-control. These are fruits of the Holy Spirit, and are a result of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives.
We each probably know of times when we were kind or patient with someone, or brought joy to our parents, or loved our children, times when we were gentle with the meek… These are times when we should be convinced that the Holy Spirit works in us. I don’t doubt anymore; rather I pray and hope that the Holy Spirit continues to work in me and helps me to be more like Christ, for I know I am not perfect. I pray always for the presence of the Spirit in my life.
(Today’s Oxygen by Annette Soo)
Prayer: Lord, we pray for the Holy Spirit to always fill our hearts and souls that we may live lives worthy of Christ. We pray that we won’t resist the fruits of the Spirit, rather help us to magnify them so that we will always walk in the Spirit.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for giving us the help that we need when we call on you. Thank you for the gifts that the Spirit brings.