One of the songs I learned as a child was the prayer to the Holy Spirit. I remember we often sang it when we gathered as a community to pray the Holy Rosary. It goes like this:
‘Come, Holy Spirit, I need you. Come, Holy Spirit, I pray,
Come, with your strength and your power. Come in your own special way.’
Since, then I always believed that the Holy Spirit is the power of God, the life of faith and the life of the Church. It is. Without the Holy Spirit, the faith that we professed now would never have spread out and reached the ends of the earth. Without the Holy Spirit, the Church that Christ established upon Peter would never have survived the persecutions, the schisms, the heresies, the abuses and scandals in the middle ages, the revolutions, the reformations and the trials, challenges and persecutions of the modern times.
It is the Holy Spirit that guides, sustains, enlivens and empowers the Church to be the living witness of Christ in every age, in every generation, over the centuries and for over two millennia now.
Thanks be to the Holy Spirit. And Today’s solemnity is indeed to thank God- the Holy Spirit for being the best gift God could give to his Church.
The day of Pentecost celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples and the sending out of the disciples for the mission to the ends of the earth as missionaries of the gospel- the good news of salvation. Traditionally this is understood as the birthday of the Church. This is also called the inauguration of the Church which foundation is laid out by Christ himself, upon St Peter. Rightfully, the Pentecost therefore celebrates our beginnings as a Church.
Reflecting on this great Pentecost event, Fr Flor McCarthy, SDB, wrote:
On Pentecost day the Apostles spoke new language. What was this new language?
It was the language of peace rather than of war; the language of cooperation rather than of competition; the language of forgiveness rather than of vengeance; the language of hope rather than of despair; the language of tolerance rather than of bigotry; the language of friendship rather than of hostility; the language of unity rather than of division; the language of love, rather than of hate.
Through the gift of the Spirit, people of different languages learned to profess one faith, to the praise and glory of God. That is the real miracle of Pentecost, and it is a miracle which, thankfully, still happens.
Today let us thank the Holy Spirit for being the Church’s life, power, guide, light, meaning in what we do and in what we are.
I pray you all have a spirit-filled week. God bless!