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Celebration of Pentecost

Jun 4

Written by:
6/4/2017 12:10 AM  RssIcon

Throughout the Easter Season, we read from the Acts of the Apostles at both Daily Mass and during our Sunday Liturgies. The fifth book of the New Testament, the Acts of the Apostles sees the growth of the Church from Jesus Ascension to St. Paul’s arrival into Rome and the preparation for his trial before Caesar. It is a remarkable book and a wonderful insight into the first growth of the Christian community.

Yet, some argue that the book was mis-named; as it could be called the Acts of the Holy Spirit, as we see the Apostles and members of the Early Church so openly responsive to what the Holy Spirit is doing in their lives. We see Philip appearing and disappearing. We see Peter preaching and converting thousands at a time. Paul moves and follows the promptings of the Spirit throughout his four missionary journeys that take him from Jerusalem, to Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) into ancient Greece and all the way to Rome, as mentioned above. Throughout all their travels, the first Christian missionaries were winning converts and bringing many souls to belief in Jesus Christ, seemingly on a daily basis!

The question arises as to how we reconnect with this same Spirit so that we can see the same fruits of the Spirit in our day and age as they saw in the Early Church. As I ask that question, I am keenly aware that it was not the Spirit who has changed, but we have! So how do we change back…

First, we have to recognize that we have the Spirit already! He was given to us at our Baptism. We were sealed into Him at our Confirmation. We are united into Him every time we receive Holy Communion. When we pray, it is the Spirit who prays in us and gives us the longing to be more closely united with the Living God.

Secondly, through our prayer, through our exercising of the spiritual gifts, through our desire to be more closely united with God, we have to work to allow the Spirit to inform our lives on a daily basis. As St. Paul was so pliable to the Spirit’s promptings, and the more he replied, the more the Spirit led him; so must we share in that same openness.

Finally, trust. Trust that in the Spirit’s guidance, you will be led, day by day, closer to the Living God, and that unity is the true source of happiness and fulfillment in both this life and in the life to come. That does not necessarily mean that the journey will always be easy. After all, Jesus promises only the Cross; but with the recognition that the Spirit is with us always, the Cross becomes lighter, the Cross becomes the source of life and blessing!

As we celebrate Pentecost this year, I pray for a new outpouring of the Spirit on both of these wonderful communities, that we might always be led by the Advocate who always pleads our cause before the Father in Heaven!

In Christ,
Fr. Kyle Schnippel

 


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