May 24, 2015 — Pentecost Sunday
Today is Pentecost Sunday, a day called by many “The Birthday of the Church.” We commemorate the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. Easter is the greatest feast in our Catholic calendar, followed by Christmas. However, Pentecost is one of our most significant feasts after those two celebrations.
Pope Francis has often referred to the magnitude of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In his first homily on Pentecost he said, “Our soul is a kind of sailboat. The Holy Spirit is the wind which fills the sails and drives it forward, and the gusts of wind when it moves more rapidly are the gifts of the Holy Spirit.” Although we celebrate the many gifts that were given by the Holy Spirit to the Apostles and the early followers of Christ, we need to be aware that these are gifts given to us as well.
Stewardship calls us to use these gifts to benefit our Church, our Catholic parishes and communities. Stewardship also reminds us that each of us has received unique gifts, and without our particular gifts, regardless how small they may be, our community is not whole. The key of course is our openness to receiving and using these gifts. To use Pope Francis’ image of the sails, we need to see that if our sails are not up, if we are not open to the Holy Spirit, it cannot fill us. When we accept the Holy Spirit and are filled with it we indeed can be fulfilled.