May 31, 2020

Today we celebrate the glorious Feast of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus promised would be with us to the end of time as our Advocate, descended on the apostles in the form of tongues of fire.  If we remember the Baptism of Jesus, the Spirit was in the form of a dove.  It would seem strange that now the Spirit manifests himself in a different manner.  But in reality, this form of appearance makes perfect sense.

Fire both brings light and makes things move with more energy while at the same time it purifies most things with which it makes contact.  This is what happened to the Apostles on that first Pentecost Sunday.  The presence of the Holy Spirit enlightened the Apostles so that they could be understood by all who heard them, even though there were many nations present.  The Spirit purified the Apostles of the fear the hindered them from proclaiming the resurrection of Christ, and impelled them to go forth and preach, buoying their spirits with the courage necessary to be faithful witnesses of the Good News.

We too have received the Holy Spirit in Baptism & Confirmation and with the Spirit, the gifts which help us to bring Christ to others.  St. Paul writes to the people of Corinth: “For each person, the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”  What are the gifts I possess that I can share to bring others to Jesus?  This is a good question for all of us to ask ourselves.

It is our special joy to welcome all of you back to Sunday Mass once again.  A few months can seem like a long time when you are missing something you love.  It was a wonderful thing to step into the sanctuary on Memorial Day morning and see so many people assisting at Mass and participating so well.  While there are the precautions we have to take, it is a good thing to be able to pray together once again.  Thank you for your cooperation and patience in all of this.