After Jesus ascended, the disciples were confused and fearful as they gathered together. Questions filled their minds: what should they do now? What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus? Physically they were together in the same place, but their hearts and minds were all over the place! They needed the Holy Spirit!
Jesus’ words came back to them: “You will receive power from the Holy Spirit…you are to be witnesses, even to the end of the earth.” And it happened! The Spirit came upon them, and the great rush of “wind” and tongues of fire blew away their doubts and fears. They stood together and in a variety of languages boldly proclaimed the Good News of Jesus and the mighty acts of God. Christianity began to spread through the work of the Spirit in each of them…and, happily, faith in Jesus Christ is ours today.
We ourselves are called to be Spirit-filled people, to let the Good News of Jesus come alive in us and through us for the world in which we live. As St. Paul stated in today’s 2nd reading, we each have different spiritual gifts, different forms of service to provide – true fruits of the Holy Spirit at work in us. Our world has a variety of serious needs which we can help meet with our particular gifts shared in our vocations: the need for wisdom and understanding, the need for generosity and sacrifice, the need for patience and prudence and peace, the need for true forgiveness as well as gratitude for blessings large and small.
This Pentecost 2017 we are invited to be “Pentecost People”: people of peace and forgiveness and power and purpose – all based on the life-giving Message of Jesus. As people of the Church and with the support of one another, may we move beyond our own confusion and fears and live credible lives of forgiveness, joy, and Gospel Life!
And so from our hearts we pray: Come Holy Spirit, fill our hearts and kindle within us the fire of your love!
Peace be with you. Amen. Alleluia!!
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is a member of the Passionist community in Chicago, Illinois.