Today we celebrate Pentecost—the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles, the birth of the Church. The readings of today are all referring to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
In the Acts of the Apostles, the Holy Spirit filled the hearts of the apostles and made them speak a universal language understood by all. They spoke the language of unity. Unity, as one major gift of the Holy Spirit, is what we saw in the second reading. As St. Paul says, there are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit.
From one of the ancient Christian authors, we heard these words, “whoever had received the Spirit spoke in every kind of tongue… since it is the same Holy Spirit by whom love is poured out in our hearts”.
Dearest ones, can we pause at this statement? What is happening in our country America, today? Why has simple political affiliation of blue and red, for example, turned into instruments of hate and animosity? Why is the color of skin sometimes abadge for life or death? Why are we divided into extreme worldly ideologies of conservatives and liberals and so on and so forth?
It is obvious that any right discerning mind sees today that there is so much division and hate in our American society. Dearest ones, the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of unification. Saint Cyril of Jerusalem says that he brought new life to humanity in Christ.
Can we allow the Spirit’s new life to possess us today? Can we allow the Holy Spirit to renew, sanctify and make us one in Christ? Our differences are supposed to be our gifts to each other. God in his infinite wisdom gifted each of us differently and wants us to use them to build both his Church and his world.
Jesus in the gospel breathed his Spirit upon his apostles entrusting them with the power to forgive sins. The work of the Holy Spirit is to sanctify us and protect us from sin. He wants to guide us away from being a prey to the devil.
As Irenaeus says, while the devil is our accuser, the Holy Spirit is our advocate. Today, the Holy Spirit made the apostles to become “eloquent, courageous, dedicated mouthpieces and instruments of God.” The Holy Spirit wants to do the same with us. He wants to be our advocate. Can we allow him to guide us by walking in his shadow in all we do?