Sunday, May 27, 2012
Acts 2:1-11 Gal. 5:16-25 John 20:19-23
Pentecost Sunday is sometimes referred to as the “Birthday of the Church.” As it is recounted in Acts, it was a dramatic scene with wind, tongues of fire and the Apostles and disciples being filled with the Holy Spirit, the Advocate promised by Jesus. Only after this event, were they able to remember all they had been taught by Jesus. We could say it was a time of “enlightenment.” They were also made strong, even bold and convinced enough to go out and witness to this Jesus who lived, suffered, died and rose for all of us. It was only then that the number of Christians began to grow, that people were baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This new community of believers was now the Church, God’s believing people.
There is one Holy Spirit of Love given to us by Jesus as our guide and advocate. We are one body held together in faith and love by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s gifts to us blossom into excellent fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. If you have these virtues in your life and in your heart, you will know the Holy Spirit is alive and well within you. If on the other hand you have the opposites of these in your heart, like envy, jealousy, dissensions, hatred, violence, lust, idolatry, etc., these are not from the Holy Spirit. We receive gifts from the Spirit but we must also nurture them and use them in order for them to come to fruition and become part of our way of living and dealing with others.
In the Gospel we hear Jesus say that he wants his Apostles to have the Holy Spirit who is a Spirit of truth, of peace and of forgiveness. He wanted them to remember his teachings. He wanted to bring them peace and forgiveness after they had denied or abandoned him during his Passion and death. Don’t we also need peace and forgiveness? How can we be instruments of peace and offer forgiveness to others if we do not have these in our own heart?
As we serve and care for our patients, residents and clients and as we deal with our colleagues and families, may we look to the Holy Spirit of Love for all these virtues, for all the excellent gifts that are ours if we accept them and use them. Just imagine what it would be like at St. Mary’s and DYP if we were all vibrating with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and generosity… We would definitely be putting patients first and offering distinguished service to all.
Sr. Suzanne Beaudoin, SSCh
Director of Pastoral Care