Come Holy Spirit and Fill the Hearts of your Faithful!
Today, we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son upon the Church. This truth completes the Revelation of God’s own inner nature – Triune God – One God in Three Persons and Three Persons in One God. Without Pentecost, Jesus’ teachings and foreshadowing of the Holy Spirit would not have made sense. The inner love & relationship of the Father for the Son and the Son for the Father would have been incomplete. God would not have revealed this inner unknowable Mystery in a manner for us to know & believe it. This is, a further, humbling act of God. Allow us to see & believe. God, who is Love, who is Union, who is Communion, humbly invites us into this Love, Union, & Communion – not just in knowledge but in Truth. In the whole of our selves we can enter into this immense Mystery now until we are fully taken up into this Mystery forever in Heaven. The Holy Spirit makes this possible.
The new translation of the Words for Absolution now say “poured out the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins”. This too is an aspect of Pentecost. In the Upper Room, prior to gifting the Apostles & their successors with the gift to forgive or retain sins, the Scriptures say “He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the holy Spirit’” (Jn 20:22). The forgiveness of sins is a function of the living, active, present Holy Spirit in our lives and in the life of the Church.
In my preaching and in the general teaching of the Church, we hear much about Jesus. His moral precepts, His parables, His Passion-Death-Resurrection. We are taught how He prays to the Father. We are encouraged to do as Jesus would do & did. We come to know the Father from the perspective of the Son. All this is good & needed, but do you know the Holy Spirit? Not just do you act or pray in a charismatic way or live in some ‘free spirited’ manner, but do you know the power, the truth, the love of the Holy Spirit within? The Apostles prayed nine-days in the Upper Room – the basis for the devotional practice of Novenas – for the promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit. They did this at Christ’s command. They did this with fear & trembling. They did this with hope & joy. They did this in earnest, expectant anticipation. The Father & Son responded by gifting them with the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, the Advocate! God wants to gift us in this same way.
Confirmation is the Sacrament of the Holy Spirit. In a real, effective, and sacramental way, the Holy Spirit is poured out upon and into the confirmandi – the recipient – objectively. But even then, sadly, so few know, love, or seem to experience this same Holy Spirit subjectively and affectively. Pray, ask, trust! Be open to receiving this Outpouring so you too may be forgiven, may be freed, may be forthright in your Catholic Christian call!
Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created.
And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth
Tuesday (4/30), I will be departing for the first phase of my Sabbatical. While I am super excited and ready, I’m also a little nervous and sad. I am excited about how God will work in my life over these next few months & the fun experiences I’ll have. I’m ready for the break from leadership & pastoring. I’m naturally a little nervousness that all the different parts of my travels & plans will work out as well that things will be ok here at Holy Family in my absence. And of course I’m also sad at the (temporary) good-bye. It will be hard to leave my Holy Family family for an extended time. I will definitely carry you in my heart.
Goodbye for now and know of my prayers!
Please pray for me!
Nothing Less than saints for the Holy Family of God.
Holy Family, Filled with the Holy Spirit, Pray for us.
~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries