From the Pastor's Desk
QUESTION OF THE WEEK:What do I find inspirational in welcoming all people to our parish and community, and what do I find uncomfortable? How can the Holy Spirit affect my reaction?
Pentecost literally means 50th. It is a feast celebrated on the 50th day after the Passover feast by the Jews, and it is a feast celebrated on the 50th day after the feast of the Resurrection of Jesus by the Christians. The Jewish Pentecost was originally a post-harvest thanksgiving feast. Later, the Jews included in it the remembrance of God’s Covenants with Noah after the Deluge and with Moses at Mt. Sinai. Pentecost (Whitsunday), with Christmas and Easter, ranks among the great feasts of Christianity. On Christmas we celebrate the birthday of Christ in His Physical Body.
Today is the birthday of the Church, of all those who have been reborn into His Mystical Body.
On the day of Pentecost: 1) the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary as fiery tongues; 2) the frightened apostles were transformed into fiery preachers and evangelizers and were given the gift of tongues by a special anointing of the Holy Spirit; 3) the listeners experienced a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit through the apostles’ gift of tongues: they heard Peter speaking in their native languages; 4) The early Christians became powerful witnesses and brave martyrs for their Faith in Jesus.
The role of the Holy Spirit in Christian life: 1) As an indwelling God, the Holy Spirit makes us His Living Temples (I Cor 3:16). 2) As a strengthening God, He strengthens us in our fight against temptations and in our mission of bearing witness to Christ by transparent Christian lives. 3) As a sanctifying God, He makes us holy through the Sacraments: a) He makes us children of God and heirs of heaven through Baptism. b) He makes us temples of God, warriors and defenders of the Faith, through Confirmation. c) He enables us to be reconciled to God by pardoning our sins through Reconciliation. d) He gives us spiritual nourishment via the Holy Eucharist by converting bread and wine into Jesus’ Body and Blood through Epiclesis. 4) As a teaching and guiding God, He clarifies and constantly reminds us of Christ’s teachings. 5) As a listening and talking God, He listens to our prayers and enables us to pray, and He speaks to us mainly through the Bible. 6) As a giver of gifts, He enriches us with His gifts, fruits and charisms.
Life messages: We need to permit the Holy Spirit to take control of our lives: 1) by constantly remembering His holy presence and behaving well; 2) by praying for His daily anointing so that we may fight against our temptations and control our evil tendencies, evil habits and addictions; 3) by asking His daily assistance to pray, listening to God through meditative Bible reading and talking to Him; and 4) by asking the help of the Holy Spirit that we may do good for others and be reconciled with God and others every day.