Happy Pentecost Sunday and the beginning into Ordinary Time! What a journey this Easter Season has brought us on. We have experienced many emotions along the way. Anger, uneasiness, fear, boredom, frustration, just to mention a few. We have experienced separation from family and friends, an acute awareness of distancing, and even an eagerness to return to some sort of “normal”. But as we end our Easter Season this Pentecost Sunday, we return to some sense of normal in respect that Masses will resume.
It is this Sunday, we gather to celebrate Pentecost, a day on which we come together to remember that day long ago when a Jewish festival became something life-changing for those who had chosen to believe in the resurrection, had chosen to put their trust in Jesus, had chosen to fol- low wherever he wanted to lead them. It’s really not possible to overestimate the power of this experience in the life of the Church. Whatever exactly happened that day, however we understand the descriptions used by the authors of the Gospels and Acts, one thing is pretty clear:
The community of faith was changed forever by this experience, was changed from being paralyzed by fear to being on fire with the Good News, on fire with the mission of Jesus, on fire to tell the whole world what they witnessed and how they had been transformed in ways they could never have imagined.
Who want’s that? Now that might strike you as an odd question. And yet, I believe it’s one we must sincerely ask ourselves. You see, we’re not here this day to only remember the past. We’re also here to give thanks to God for the gift of himself in the person of the Holy Spirit, the gift given long ago and the gift given to each of us, in this time and in this place. And so, what happened TO and FOR them is what God hopes for each of us. He wants to put his very life into us, he wants to pour the grace of his Spirit into our hearts and our minds. He wants to set us on fire, that kind of fire that changes the world.
Respectfully, I know that not everyone is ready to return to Mass, and some are even against it. But it is in our differences that God allows us to choose, and it is with a Christian heart that we understand both sides in this situation. We don’t pass judgment, but instead allow the Holy Spirit (renewed in us this Pentecost Sunday) to guide our decision and respect that of others.
My friends, amongst all that is going on, put your faith in all the gifts that Jesus has left us; the gift of love, forgiveness, understanding, and yes...the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us.
May each of you have a blessed week and know you are in my prayers,