Pastor’s Thoughts

May 16, 2024

We celebrate this weekend the feast of Pentecost. The word “Pentecost” comes from the Greek word meaning “fiftieth.” It refers to the ancient Jewish festival celebrated on the fiftieth day after First Fruits, also known as the “Feast of Weeks”. For Christians, it marks the sending of the Holy Spirit for all time upon the disciples and upon each and every Baptized Christian. Today in the Gospel we read about the disciples of Jesus who were in hiding behind locked doors. The disciples felt safer grouped together in isolation as they commiserated their fears of moving out into the world as Jesus’ disciples. Suddenly, in the midst of their fears, Jesus walks through the locked door. Their reactions must have belied credulity. Jesus tells them to get up and fear not. Recognizing the legitimacy of their fears, Jesus calls the Holy Spirit down upon them. The power they received from the Spirit calmed their fears, gave them unbounded impetus, and removed doubt. The disciples were armed now for a life of mission, ministry, and service. That was then; what about now? Each of us at Baptism was given the ability to cling to Christ and Christ to us. That same Baptismal commitment was strengthened in Confirmation as the Holy Spirit was called down upon us once again by the Bishop. If we do not feel that ‘power’ and ‘conviction’ in our lives does that mean the Holy Spirit has left departed from us? Absolutely not! When you send a text, email, or make a phone call do you see the text flying through the air or your voice waves vibrating in front of your eyes? It’s there despite your personal awareness. So too, the Holy Spirit is there despite our being unaware or always “feeling” something. Pentecost is that time to acknowledge that without the Spirit none of us would even exist. Let this Pentecost be a time to rekindle our grasp of the Spirit already at work within us. Know that despite our personal feelings and sometime lack of awareness, we need only reach out and rekindle His presence. Recall the beautiful prayer we learned many years ago. “Come, O Holy Spirit fill the hearts of thy faithful and kindle in them the fire of Your love. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created and You shall renew the face of the earth. Let Us Pray, O God who did instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, Grant us in that same Spirit to be truly wise and ever to rejoice in His consultation through Jesus Christ our Lord.” AMEN Fr. Roach