The Easter Season comes to its climax with the feast of Pentecost, when the Church celebrates the greatest Easter Gift of all-the one from whom all other Easter Gifts arise-the coming of the Holy Spirit.
In fact, since the start of the Easter Season, we have been celebrating the gift of Word, of Sacrament, of Church and community, of healing, of charisms, of sharing the Good News. Every Sunday we have seen these dimensions of our Christian-and particularly Catholic-lives proclaimed in all of the readings.
The feast of Pentecost gives us an important, but all too short, opportunity to help correct the lopsidedness that is part of so much of our contemporary Catholic life. We Catholics are so aware of Jesus as the Word-made-flesh, centering our lives on his words, actions, and Paschal Mystery. We further concentrate on Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist.
But Jesus sends us the Holy Spirit as the very dynamic of our Catholic lives. The whole point of the Rising of Jesus from the dead was to bestow his Spirit-divine Life and Love-upon us through grace and faith. In fact, the Holy Spirit operates dynamically in every believer’s life. But we Catholics hardly allude to the Spirit. We hardly recognize the dynamism. We hardly recognize the power of the Holy Spirit-so desperately needed today-to lead us to commitment, to proclamation, to witness, and to share our faith.
“Come Holy Spirit”-what a great gift we can give our Catholic people if we just pointed out to them the daily power of the Spirit: when we pray, when we read the Scripture, when we share faith in our family, when we meet in small group, when we pray in concern for another, when we serve others in need, when we make peace, and when we experience joy. These daily gifts underlie any extraordinary gifts of the Spirit any of us might receive.
Without awareness of these gifts, we Catholics are doomed to be the inward-looking, protective, and silent people whom so many others see us to be. With increased awareness of the Holy Spirit, we can become much more a people of openness, of sharing, of witness, of invitation, and proclamation.
“Come Holy Spirit.”
Frank DeSiano, CSP