Come, Holy Spirit, Come!
From Ascension to Pentecost, we have prayed earnestly for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Church. In union with Mary, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, we have raised our hearts to heaven for a deepening of the grace of the Holy Spirit that we first received in baptism and confirmation. “The Holy Spirit, whom Christ the head pours out on his members, builds, animates, and sanctifies the Church” (CCC 747). Consequently, with faith and hope, we expect a new breath of the Holy Spirit to infuse new life into us; we expect a re-creation, a transformation, a renewal in the Holy Spirit, our Advocate. He comes to clothe us in power and grace, the only means by which we can live according to our identity as sons and daughters of God. So we prayed last week for Jesus to come into our lives. We prayed, “Come, Lord Jesus.” But without the Holy Spirit, we can’t say with power and effect that “Jesus is Lord” ( 1 Cor 12:3).
We can’t fulfill our Christian vocation unless we proclaim in faith to the world that Jesus is Lord of the universe. The Holy Spirit transformed the Apostles on the Pentecost, and they became emboldened to proclaim Jesus (Acts 2: 1-11). They were no longer afraid of proclaiming Jesus to the world. Like them, we too must become bold in announcing to others in words and by a life of virtue that Jesus is the Lord and redeemer of humanity. The Holy Spirit brings new life, a renewal, a recreation of our being. When we experience the infusion of the Holy Spirit, we receive its sevenfold gift and more, and He transforms us into an effective witnesses to the Gospel. The Holy Spirit is the refining fire that forges us into a powerful force for Christ. We need the Holy Spirit to be effective witnesses to Jesus.
Veni, Sancte Spiritus! Come, Holy Spirit! That is our invocation today. Let’s invite the paraclete to assist and guide us as we continue to grow in holiness and a life of charity. We cannot become effective witnesses to the Gospel, our primary vocation unless we are under the control of the Holy Spirit, the One who guides us into all truth. As we continue to grow as a parish, we must continue to make the Holy Spirit our companion. He is the agent of transformation and growth. Our church will experience new life, a vigorous life in the Spirit, and we will bear courageous witness to Christ to all we come in contact with. Let us invite the Holy Spirit to breathe life into us without much ado. Let us call down the fire of the Holy Spirit to fall upon us and renew us on this Pentecost when we celebrate the birthday of the Church that is, her manifestation to the world (cf. CCC 1076).
We have come to the end of the Easter season. We must build on all we have gained during the joyful season of the resurrection. There is so much going on in our parish to consolidate the growth we have made. Let us watch out for all the exciting moments of grace.
We look forward, in particular, to our parish Corpus Christi procession and picnic that follows it. So please mark your calendar for June 19. It will be a day of testimony to the Real Presence of Jesus in our midst. Come, Holy Spirit, come!
In the Joy of the Spirit,
Fr. Bernard, OP