Celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit, the feast of Pentecost
This Sunday we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit, the feast of Pentecost. It is a time for rejoicing, even in our current circumstances. The Holy Spirit, after all, is the manifestation of God who inspires us in our lives, who nudges us to do our best as Christians, who is the presence of God in our lives, and who enriches our communities. In fact, it is the Holy Spirit who is so instrumental in forming and keeping our community alive, especially as we are separated by the pandemic.
Our parish has historically depended upon the Spirit to keep us focused as we make decisions about the parish. For example, it is the action and power of the Holy Spirit that chooses our Pastoral Council every two years. I can tell you from personal experience that it is daunting (as well as exciting) to stand before the congregation on Pentecost Sunday and draw twelve names from the basket! Who else but the Holy Spirit could choose the twelve who would work, learn and grow together into a complementary group who help discern where the Spirit is leading the parish?
The Spirit teaches us that as Christians, we are not in this life, or in this faith, alone. Ours is a communal faith, we are a people of God. We are in relationship with all of creation, and we are responsible for one another. I have seen this reality play out during this pandemic, in spades. Parishioners volunteer to reach out, to help anyone in need. People reach out to me to ask how they can help. Neighbors are shopping for others, calling others to check on them. Especially in times like these, when we cannot be together physically, we still need to hear one another’s voices, to see one another’s faces… we belong together, as the Body of Christ. And it is the Holy Spirit who animates us, as a community, to step out of ourselves and serve others. So, Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in us the fire of your love!