Pastor’s Reflection for May 15, 2016
Happy Birthday Church! This is the birthday of the Church as we celebrate Pentecost Sunday. This is the day that the Holy Spirit came down upon the apostles and empowered them to carry out their mission. In our tradition, Confirmation is our personal Pentecost. It is the sacrament in which we confirm our baptism and ask for a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit to help us to be faithful disciples of Jesus. This past Friday we celebrated as 56 of our young people received this sacrament.
There are many ways to describe the workings of the Holy Spirit and I find this instruction by St. Cyril of Jerusalem a good one:
But why did Christ call the grace of the Spirit water? Because all things are dependent on water; plants and animals have their origin in water. Water comes down from heaven as rain, and although it is always the same in itself, it produces many different effects, one in the palm tree, another in the vine, and so on throughout the whole of creation. It does not come down, now as one thing, now as another, but while remaining essentially the same, it adapts itself to the needs of every creature that receives it.
In the same way the Holy Spirit, whose nature is always the same, simple and indivisible, apportions grace to each man as He wills. Like a dry tree which puts forth shoots when watered, the soul bears the fruit of holiness when repentance has made it worthy of receiving the Holy Spirit. Although the Spirit never changes, the effects of His action, by the will of God and in the name of Christ, are both many and marvelous.
The Spirit makes one man a teacher of divine truth, inspires another to prophesy, gives another the power of casting out devils, enables another to interpret holy Scripture. The Spirit strengthens one man’s self – control, shows another how to help the poor, teaches another to fast and lead a life of asceticism, makes another oblivious to the needs of the body, trains another for martyrdom. His action is different in different people, but the Spirit Himself is always the same. In each person, Scripture says, the Spirit reveals His presence in a particular way for the common good.
I will be available for confessions on Tuesday, May 17, from 7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
May Jesus continue to shepherd you in all of your needs.
God love you,