Come, Holy Spirit!

Come, Holy Spirit!

June 9, 2019 | N W | Deacon Eddie, Grace, Holy Spirit, Light, Love, Mission, Pentecost, Sacraments, Service

Pentecost Sunday
June 9, 2019 – Year C
Readings: Acts 2:1-11 / Ps 104 / 1 Cor 12:3B-7, 12-13 / Jn 20:19-23
by Rev. Mr. Eddie Craig, Permanent Deacon

Good morning and Happy Birthday! Because it is our birthday. Now you are probably thinking, “Deacon Eddie, it’s not my birthday!” But you would be wrong, because it is your birthday. Because, you see, at your baptism, something special happened. At your baptism, a change took place in your very being. Each and every one of us who has received that sacrament became a son or a daughter of God, we became a temple of the Holy Spirit, and collectively we became a part of the Body of Christ, or in other words, the Church.

Today, on Pentecost, we celebrate the birthday of the Church. That’s why we’re all wearing red, because we are commemorating the time after Jesus had ascended, when the disciples were all together, and the Holy Spirit descended upon them. In the first reading today, the Holy Spirit is depicted as fire, thus the red. But the Holy Spirit is something that is hard to understand, because prior to Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was referred to a little differently. If you think back to the story in Genesis of the creation of the world, you think of the Spirit descending upon the water. So the Spirit was there, but it was described a little differently. There are many different explanations to help us understand the Holy Spirit.

I think the best explanation is that the Holy Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son. In our creed, we talk about the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son. When we encounter the Holy Spirit, we are literally encountering the fundamental love of God. That’s nice and it makes it a little easier to understand, but it still can be confusing.

This week I came across a blog post on Busted Halo. It’s by a lady named Tinamarie Stolz. I want to share that with you because I think it gives us a much deeper insight into the Holy Spirit and the actions that come about through the Holy Spirit.

She talks about her childhood and says, “My parents read to me and my sisters every night before bed. Out of the hundreds of evening reading times, one stands out to me. My mom held a book up, and on the cover was a picture of an old woman, smiling, and a white veil with blue trim. The woman’s name was Mother Teresa. The book began with the story of this woman as a young girl and her call to become a nun. Pretty normal for books in a Catholic household. But this story became different.

“As my mom continued to read, I felt my heart crack open and my stomach tense up. Mother Teresa followed God’s call, even though God asked her to leave her family and move across the world. The words cut across my tender heart and they seemed to hit me at my core. It all came to a climax when this nun saw a woman in a ditch on the side of the road, half dead and being eaten by ants. Horror filled my insides, but this nun, this Mother Teresa ran to her, picked her up, carried her home, cleaned her, and stayed by her side until she died.

“I ran away; I hid in the book closet. It was simultaneously the most horrible and the most wonderful thing I had ever heard. My legs felt unstable, and my heart pounded as big tears flooded my eyes. My mom, of course, went looking for me. As I cried, she asked, ‘Are you scared?’ I shook my head. I was not afraid, but deeply, profoundly, and intensely moved. Light replaced horror. ‘It’s OK, Tinamarie. That’s the Holy Spirit,’ my mom whispered as she pulled me in for a hug. That night I found a piece of myself I’m still discovering. The story exposed to me a profound truth of living a life with Christ. It cannot be lived outside of service and justice.”

You see, the Holy Spirit, the love between the Father and the Son, the Christian love is not a feeling, but is an action. Life in that love cannot be fully lived outside of service. Brothers, and sisters, every time we receive a sacrament – when we were baptized, when we were confirmed, every time we receive the Eucharist – we receive the grace of the Holy Spirit. But that grace, the love between the Father and the Son, is left unfulfilled if that is where it ends. It is left unfulfilled unless that grace that we receive prompts us to share it with those less fortunate than us, to share it with those we love, and to share it on a daily basis.

So today, on our birthday, I encourage us all to pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit, that ultimate gift that keeps on giving. Come, Holy Spirit.

Mass Times