Study: Reflect on a time when you felt God’s strength. Was it with the help of others or in a particular situation? How did God help you?
Pray: We all need strength to face challenges in life. Ask for the power of the Holy Spirit to face what lies ahead.
Serve: How might the Holy Spirit be working through you to help another? How might the Spirit call you to serve someone else?
Where do people find their strength? As a priest I have had the privilege of walking with families during moments of trial and difficulty. At times when pain and struggle seem too difficult to bear, I often witness people who face incredible obstacles through their faith, which sustains them in truly amazing ways.
Faith gives life, guidance, meaning, and strength. Yet what makes our faith possible? How does God empower our faith in the midst of the activity and demands of daily life? The answer is simple: The Holy Spirit.
The feast of Pentecost celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Church after Jesus ascended into Heaven. Through this coming the Apostles were transformed – their hearts were on fire, blazing with a desire to live as Christ taught, and sharing what they had received with others.
Pentecost was an amazing event! Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the Church gained courage and strength that it had not previously experienced. Disciples (who had formerly been afraid and doubtful) were now fearlessly proclaiming the Good News – facing even persecution and death.
Something happened. Something powerful and life changing. Something that could not be attributed to a human cause. Through Pentecost God intervened in the lives of people, and from this moment the Church has been on fire.
Yet Pentecost was not a one-time event. Indeed, the power of this feast continues through the whole Church. The Holy Spirit, promised to us by Jesus, is sent by the Father so that this same strength is ours as well. It is the Spirit which dwells within us, guiding and empowering us in our moments of need.
Every saint, every person of faith, every heroic and Christ-like act of goodness – is filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. For whenever we open our hearts, asking the Spirit to dwell in our lives, God will send the Spirit to give us the strength we need.
This is our promise! We stand in the same tradition as the Apostles, and we seek God to be with us. Just as God sent the Spirit upon the early Church, so too will God send the Spirit upon the Church today. What is needed is an invitation:
Come Holy Spirit!
Kindle in our hearts the fire of your love!