COME HOLY SPIRIT
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
This weekend we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. We often associate it with the coming of the Holy Spirit, the apostles in the cenacle, and the tongues of fire. Even though these are all true, there is much more behind it. For a better understanding of it, we would need first to look back at the Old Testament in the book of Exodus, and then look at how this celebration helps us, person- ally.
The feast of Shavuot, also known as the feast of weeks, is the celebration of the manifestation of God at Mount Sinai when God gave/revealed the Law to the people of Israel. God gives them the Way of Life (the Law) through the two tablets of the 10 commandments. This moment, according to the Jewish scholars, God manifests his love for his people. The Law is not meant to limit us with Do’s” and Don’ts. Rather, it means to show us the way to True Happiness, the way to Eternal Life. However, because of Original Sin, there is always a doubt about God’s ways, and we see every- thing that limits us as a burden, hence the thought that “I have to do that, or I should do that, but I can’t.” The truth is that it’s actually completely the opposite. We should always interpret any law from God as “this is what will make me happy,” like “love one another as I have loved you.” Only then we will be happy/saved.
The Prophet Jeremiah announces that when the Messiah comes, God would reveal himself once again. In this new revelation, it would not be like in the Old Testament, that the Law was written on stone. He announces that God would write the Law (Way of Happiness and Life) “on man’s hearts” (Jr 31:33). Indeed, when Christ came, God wrote his Law using the HOLY SPIRIT. It is the third Person of the Trinity that speaks to our hearts. Jesus announces that the Spirit would remind everything that he taught (Jn 14:26). The whole law is summarized by the Love of God and the neighbor. The Holy Spirit comes to give us GOD’S LOVE! God’s love manifested by Jesus Christ is a NEW LOVE, in which, one does not resist evil, one that forgives. Surely, we by ourselves, can’t love the person that is different or is a sore on our side. We can tolerate them at best! To for- give is not to let it go, but to pray for the person killing you, like Christ who says, “Father, Forgive them.” The Holy Spirit comes to give us THIS LOVE. If we want to be Christians, that is, CHRIST LIKE, then we NEED THE HOLY SPIRIT BADLY!!! We can’t love like that. St. Paul in the letter to the Romans recalls Psalm 44 that says we are like sheep led to the slaughter. I would add that this happens every day. Every day we encounter events, small or big, and people that make us suffer. Those moments we need the love of God, because we can’t deal with it on our own strength. That’s why it’s so important to ASK FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT! St. Paul also says “we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed... struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” (2Co 4:7- 10). In other words, today, in this Pentecost, it is THROUGH US THAT GOD WANTS TO MANI- FEST HIS LOVE FOR THE WORLD.
I invite you to ask for God’s help. Welcome the sweet guest of our souls. Ask for the Holy Spirit, to renew the face of the earth through love. Ask for his fruits; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, modesty and chastity. On the next page, we included an act of the consecration to the Holy Spirit and the prayer for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Only then we will be able to BE HOLY!
God bless Fr. Steven
Father Steven Clemence