Pentecost Sunday

When I was twenty-two years of age in August of 2000, I experienced World Youth Day in Rome. As for many of my generation, the event was life-changing for me. Surrounded by joyful, hope-filled young people from seemingly every nation and tongue, we were gathered around the Pope, sharing a common Faith and love. The Pope spoke to us of our shared family bond in the Church and invited us to give our lives in service to others. Now twenty-four years later, my life as a priest, like that of so many others from those special days, continues on that same path of love and unity — despite my many weaknesses. What makes that continuation possible?

This week’s feast gives the answer: the Holy Spirit. The gift of God — His very life — the third person of the Trinity, is the Spirit who animates the entire Church and each member of it. He makes us one-in-love in a way that utterly exceeds human capacity. For example, he makes the apostles speak with tongues of fire, and everyone hears them in his own native tongue. The Holy Spirit is the means by which Jesus establishes a new family, one that crosses all possible boundaries of time, space, and culture. The Holy Spirit never tires in enthusing us for mission. Aren’t we longing to experience the Holy Spirit in a fresh way? Today we celebrate this untiring flame, once ignited on earth and burning still. So, we humbly cry out: Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle in us the fire of your love!

Fr. Joe

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