June 9, 2019 — Pentecost Sunday/Mass during the day
Today we reach the finale of the Easter season with the celebration of the great Feast of Pentecost. Reflecting on today’s readings inspires a sense of awe as we consider the mighty power of the Holy Spirit at work giving birth to and sustaining our Church. Just as awesome — the same Spirit is calling to us this day to take up our part in the Church’s saving work.
In the first reading, from Acts, we see the creative genius of the Holy Spirit moving through the newly confirmed Apostles “who began to speak in different tongues as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.” The large crowd, gathered from all over the world were “amazed” and “astounded” that each one could understand the Apostles speaking in their own language.
Each one of us, young and old alike, is personally called today by the Holy Spirit into the same mission as that of the first Apostles — to advance the Kingdom of God in our corner of the world. Just as He did on that Pentecost day, the Holy Spirit speaks to us in our “own language” to give us the Good News of the Gospel and urge us to share it.
We can think of our own language as the particular gifts, talents and passions we possess. We truly serve a personal God who sees each of us as unique and individual creations. Therefore each one of us has a personal mission to fulfill through the use of our personal gifts and talents in grateful service of the Kingdom of God.
We see this described in our Second Reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians where he explains: “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God…To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.”
When we consider the stewardship way of life we are called to live, we often focus on the challenges it poses. And living as a modern-day steward is indeed challenging. But on this feast of Pentecost, when we reflect on the unleashing of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the Apostles, and through them the crowd, let’s remember that we Christian stewards have much to celebrate.
When we surrender ourselves to God, putting Him first in all aspects of life — our time, talents, and finances — we can count on a life that is challenging, yes, but even more so a life that is exciting, creative and deeply rewarding. In others words, we can experience life as a great adventure because it is a life guided and directed by the very source of power and creativity— the Holy Spirit.
What’s more, when live in grateful dependence on the Holy Spirit, we can count on not only adventure, but peace — the peace that cannot be found in a “worldly” way of life where one tries to find security in wealth or prestige or self-indulgence. Rather, It is the peace that Jesus brings to us as we commit ourselves to Him. As He said to the Apostles in today’s Gospel reading from John, He says to us today, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
As we celebrate the birthday of the Church today let’s give thanks to God for calling us, His stewards, to the adventure of a lifetime!