“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.”
This is one of those days that we can honestly greet each other with the happy phrase, “Happy Feast Day!” Why is that? Today the Church celebrates Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came down upon the Apostles and many gathered with them and the birth of the Church ensued. In some ways, we could say that this is our birthday celebration because this is how it all began. This is how all of life is transformed and made new again. This is the force of the Gospel especially when it is lived through and in the hearts of believers. This is what motivates the Psalmist to invite us to sing with all our hope and might: “When you send forth your spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.”
“As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ.” Our Second Reading clarifies another compelling reason to ask and openly receive all the gifts that God wishes to impart to us through the Holy Spirit. We are not alone in this life. We have great impact and a deep call for service for and with each other. This is what makes the Church a mystery and a hopeful presence in a world that is often without it. Make this day special by renewing your baptism and continuing to ask God for strength of mind and heart. The best, as we have often said here, is yet to come.
Without Pentecost the Christ-event – the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus – remains imprisoned in history as something to remember, think about and reflect on. The Spirit of Jesus comes to dwell within us, so that we can become living Christs here and now. Henri Nouwen