By Fr. Frank Timar, MSC
Pentecost! What a beautiful story of new beginnings, bold and daring, and mysterious. On the night of His Last Supper, Jesus was very concerned about His disciples. He knew their faith would be shaken, so He prayed for them and then promised to send the Holy Spirit to guide them.Jesus kept His promise, and the disciples’ lives were changed in ways that they could not have imagined. They felt very much alone and probably wondered how they were going to get along without Jesus and how they could possibly do what Jesus asked them to do. And then it happened. Tongues of flame came to rest over the heads of each of them and they were changed forever. They were weak, timid, shallow and lacking in conviction and courage, but the Holy Spirit changed all that and filled them with courage and set their hearts on fire. And the Church was born.
Two thousand some years later, we are still growing. We are as diverse a group as the disciples were in that upper room, and we bring our own challenges, fears and joys. Many of us are struggling to cope with all that is happening in our day. We are excited but also worried as the children move on from grade school to high school to college, to new careers and lives. We are afraid about unresolved health issues that grow more complicated with each passing day. There are many other anxieties and depressions about growing older.
But here we are spending about an hour together and we pray the Holy Spirit will guide us too, because we know we can’t do it on our own. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would remain with us till the end of time. And He keeps this promise too. The Holy Spirit is still at work in our lives. The Holy Spirit inspires us to do what we cannot do on our own: to take risks we thought we did not have the courage to take; to speak up when we could not find the right words to say; to step forward to minister and help others; to reach out to help when it would be so much easier just to take care of our own problems. That might be much safer. But just think how much we can accomplish if we had enough trust and turned our lives over to the Holy Spirit.