This Sunday marks the great feast of the Church year, the Feast of Pentecost. Arriving 50 days after the celebration of Easter, the Church celebrates the promised gift of Jesus in the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. This Sunday, we hear from the Book of Acts, chapter 2, the dramatic description of that moment in the lives of the disciples of Jesus:
"When the day of Pentecost had come, the disciples were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability."
Pentecost marks the end our our Easter cycle. But it also marks the beginning of new life in the power of the Holy Spirit. We might well ask ourselves, where is the Holy Spirit in our own lives? Why does it matter? Where can I find the Holy Spirit? And while we may not experience something as intense as what is described in the Book of Act, as Christians, we believe that the Holy Spirit is working in our daily lives. The Holy Spirit is active when we offer words and actions of kindness and support to anyone who is suffering, lonely, broken, lost. The Holy Spirit is present and active within us whenever we open our hearts to prayer before God...be that in church or in our own private devotions. The Holy Spirit is active when we offer forgiveness or when we seek to be forgiven. The Holy Spirit is active when we seek justice, peace making, or even a greater understanding of the beauty and mystery of God in our lives and in our world. In short, the Holy Spirit is God, permeating all of our being, all of our words, all of our thoughts, and all of our deeds, if we simply allow God to guide us. To be sure, the Holy Spirit is a profound and sacred mystery. But trusting in the sacred presence of God to guide us into all truth--even in the times of our greatest despair and confusion and questioning--is calling upon the Holy Spirit in our lives. And be assured that the Holy Spirit is always faithful, always present, always within and around us. It wasn't just the disciples who experienced the Holy Spirit on that Pentecost so many years ago. It is us, whenever we call upon God for guidance, whenever we seek the Truth, whenever we do justice, love kindness, show mercy.
It is no secret that the world in which we live is in tumult. Raging political campaigns, the threat of terrorism and the fear of wars, economic disparity across the board, uncertainty about the state of our natural world...the list is endless. As we face our daily lives in this world that we share, we need only lookto St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians, 5:22-23 to see where the Holy Spirit of God is at work. And maybe we can all pause now and then and ask ourselves, are we allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our own lives, our families, our work places, with friend, neighbors, strangers and enemies alike?
"But the fruit of the Spirit is
Yours faithfully in the power of the Spirit,