Psalms 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
1 Corinthians 12:3B-7, 12-13
When I was reflecting on the readings for this Sunday, Pentecost Sunday, I was struck by the word PROMISE. That word is not contained in these readings, yet a powerful reminder to me that God’s promises are true. Imagine being a disciple who gave up everything to follow Jesus. Then in a few short years, the man that they followed was hung on a tree to die. Hence, they were afraid for the sake of their own lives since they were His followers. After Jesus’ death they must have been wondering why they sacrificed all that they did to follow him. Until they discovered that the tomb was empty. Jesus rose from the dead as was foretold. Alleluia, He is Risen! We just celebrated Ascension Thursday when Jesus was taken into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. What is next for Jesus’ followers?
This has been leading up to today’s readings as we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost which is fifty days after Easter Sunday. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “On the day of Pentecost when the seven weeks of Easter had come to an end, Christ's Passover is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, manifested, given, and communicated as a divine person: of his fullness, Christ, the Lord, pours out the Spirit in abundance.” (CCC #731) “On that day, the Holy Trinity is fully revealed (CCC#732).” We celebrate the “birthday” of the Catholic Church where the disciples were commissioned to preach the Gospel to all of the nations. It is the same Holy Spirit today as it was for the Apostles in the Upper Room.
I have personally seen the power of the Holy Spirit at work in my own life. The Holy Spirit has allowed me to offer forgiveness where it was difficult to give. The Holy Spirit has inspired me to serve the Church. The Holy Spirit helped me in ways that I could not have even imagined. I have seen the Holy Spirit work through the lives of my family, friends, coworkers and youth that I serve. I have witnessed the impossible become possible with the aid of the Holy Spirit.
In today’s second reading we hear, “As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.” Some of us are Christ’s hands while others are Christ’s feet so to speak. We are all called to serve others with our own unique talents and gifts. Today’s sequence is a beautiful description of the working of the Holy Spirit in our life.
In contrast, when we sin and choose to turn away from God, we injure the Body of Christ as we are all members of his one body. We can all struggle with difficulties and temptations but God gives us His grace to be with us and come to our assistance. God will never leave us as orphans; He sent us His Spirit to be with us to guide us on the path of holiness and to give glory to Him; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
In these readings I am reminded that God promises never to leave us. God gave us His Advocate to be with us always. May we always be open to allowing the Holy Spirit to lead, guide and transform our lives and those around us. We are all called to live and walk in the same Spirit that worked in the lives the disciples, giving them the courage, even to the point of death to spread God’s love and truth to all.
By: Katie Tylinski, Regional Director for Faith Formation, Parishes of Region 2