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Acts 2:1-11
1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13
Jn 20:19-23

Today we celebrate the birthday of the church. The formal beginning of the church has long been recognized as the time when the bestowal of the Holy Spirit was given by the Risen Christ to the disciples. In our liturgical year we have prayed through forty days of Lent that culminated with the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus ascended to heaven and now comes again to the disciples. 

The readings for the feast of Pentecost begin with the Holy Spirit coming to the disciples.

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. (Acts 2:1-11)

We may not have experienced a loud noise or tongues of fire as the disciples did, but we, too, received the Holy Spirt when we were baptized, and in a deeper way at our confirmation. 

The Gospel of John tells us what happens when we receive the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit’s [own self] bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with [Christ] so that we may also be glorified with [Christ].

Just as children in human families have to learn to share, to participate in family experiences, and to grow into their own personhood with the gifts and limitations each possesses, so too, we in the Christian community/family have to do the same.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us: “Knowledge of faith is possible only in the Holy Spirit: to be in touch with Christ, we must first have been touched by the Holy Spirit. [The Spirit] comes to meet us and kindle faith in us” (CCC, 683).

As members of the Christian family we need to be open to the Spirit within us, guiding us, calling us, and encouraging us to be one with the Risen Christ. We are in a relationship with the Spirit that is with us at all times, whether we realize it or not. Pope Francis tells us, “If people were to listen to the Holy Spirit, they would hear [the Spirit] say, ‘God loves you.’” 

Many of us are not aware of the Spirit’s presence in our daily lives. We may come to recognize that presence if we take time for prayer and quiet time for reflection and listening. As Pope Francis says, we may come to know the Spirit’s love and presence when we truly listen – listen to the words of scripture, listen to the wise words of spiritual people, listen to our own insights gained through pain and joy, and become aware of the love that surrounds us.

Happy Birthday Christian Community!

When are the times you are aware of the Spirit’s presence?

What steps can you take for quiet listening every day?

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Geri Mulligan says:

    Happy Pentecost … thanks so much! Love the pix

    Sent from my iPad

    Sent from my iPad >


    1. Sr. Erin Zubal does a great job choosing photos!


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