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06/0417 - Pentecost - Fr. Damian

Pentecost, the "birthday of the Church," is a splendid feast of the Church year. One of its attractions is the fact that nobody has figured out how to commercialize it. There are no Pentecost sales in the stores, no Pentecost cards to send, no Pentecost gifts to buy, no Pentecost dinners with relatives, no count-down of shopping days until Pentecost, no Pentecost specials on television, no Pentecost outfits, no Pentecost decorations, no special Pentecost cooking, and no office Pentecost parties. Without the pressure of sales people, we can reflect on the inner meaning of Pentecost.


So, Do you know Holy Spirit?

Holy Spirit is the third divine person of The Trinity: The "Triune God" manifested as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; each aspect itself being God.


The Holy Spirit illuminates our mind to recognize the truth. The Spirit can warm the coldness of hearts distanced from God and others. The Holy Spirit can cleanse us and set us free from difficult memories and a burdening past. The Holy Spirit can burn out evil from our hearts to leave space for the grace of God.


The Holy Spirit is compared to breath. Jesus breathes on the apostles, sending His own Spirit into them. The Holy Spirit is like blood in the body that brings the oxygen of Christ's grace to every limb and member to keep it strong and holy.

The Holy Spirit can make us powerful instruments of Christ's grace to people around us. The Holy Spirit has no Gospel of His own. The Spirit reminds us of everything Jesus called us to be.


Finally, the Holy Spirit is compared to water. Water irrigates, nourishes, gives growth and can also destroy. In our life and the life of the Church, the Holy Spirit gives daily growth to fidelity. Sometimes, as well, the Holy Spirit can come with a torrent of power to eliminate what is obsolete and a barrier to the Gospel today.


The Holy Spirit has been called the "soul of the Church." We all have seen pictures of our younger days. Our bodies have changed in all kinds of ways. Yet our soul provides the continuity so that the person we see in the photograph of years ago is still ourselves. The same is true of the Church. Many externals of the Church have changed and will change. The continuities in the Church that make it the identical community Jesus founded are preserved by the Holy Spirit.


Whether we experience the Holy Spirit as a dove-like gift, as water, as fire or as breath, the Holy Spirit will always guide us and the Church to what is in accord with Christ's will. Friends will leave us. Allies may abandon us. Scandals may try us. The Holy Spirit remains with us as our link to Christ and to His Church. He is as close to us as the beating of our heart.


In the end, I wanna share with you one story.


A man who was raised in the city bought a farm and moved to the country. He soon bought a cow. When he went to buy the feed for the cow, he was told the best way to use it for maximum milk.


Several weeks later, the man came back to the store and said there was something wrong with the feed because the cow had gone dry. The salesman asked him if he were milking the cow every day.


The man said he only took enough milk for breakfast; that he never drank milk the rest of the day. The salesman told him that wasn’t how it works. When you milk a cow, he said, you have to take it all, or the cow will quickly go dry.


That is the same way with the Holy Spirit. We take all that is available, or we end up without any at all. You just cannot take “a little” of what God has to offer. Remember it! Amen.


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