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Solemnity of Pentecost

Today is Pentecost, the feast day of the Holy Spirit. Let us acknowledge this fact and invite Him into our lives. This is what Our Blessed Lady, the Apostles and the early disciples of Jesus did on that first Pentecost almost 2,000 years ago.

He made His presence felt with a mighty wind that rushed through the room in which they were, and with tongues of fire that rested on each of their heads. For nine days since Ascension Thursday, at Jesus’ request, they had been pleading with Him to come among them. When He did He changed them forever.

His coming made them completely different people. Before that fateful day the Apostles would have been considered as cowards, uncertain about their future, lacking direction and inspiration. Once the Holy Spirit had entered their hearts and minds, at their invitation, they became fearless, enthusiastic for the cause of Christ, with a mission and a message.

Their one desire was to preach about Christ who had been crucified and was now risen from the dead. Now they realised that those three years they had spent in His company had all come together and what they had seen and heard made sense. They regarded themselves as the most blessed of men. The world was at their feet and their one desire was to conquer it for Christ. During that day there were 3,000 converts and the Catholic Church was born. The Holy Spirit had given them all the strength, the zest and the hope they needed to continue the work that Christ had started. They were completely under the control of the Holy Spirit - their words were His words. They not only heard God’s words but spoke them to those who needed to hear them in the languages they could understand.

It is easy to be carried away by what happened on that particular day long ago … but what about now? What does it mean for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit? His coming at Pentecost was not a one-off occasion. This was just the start of His permanent presence in the Catholic Church.

The Holy Spirit came to each of us at our Baptism and our Confirmation. If only we could realise just how close He is to us still! What a difference He could make in our lives. What a mistake it is for us to allow Him to remain dormant within us.

If our prayer life is tepid or the bare minimum, if we are not making headway in our relationships with God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, it means just one thing.

And if we are drifting through life without purpose or direction, if there is no joy nor peace in our lives, if there is frequent impatience or anger, inability to control the tongue and delight in gossiping, it means just one thing.

And if we are selfish, lacking in care for others, if I cannot control our senses and seek to dally with pornography on the internet, it means just one thing … that the Holy Spirit is dormant within us, His presence ignored, as we go on our own tragic way.

Can we not hear the Holy Spirit saying, 'Come to Me. Open your heart and let Me change you to lead a fulfilled and exciting life. Let Me grow in you. Let My love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control be with you'?

On this Pentecost Sunday in 2018 let each one of us make a resolution to wake up to His presence within us. Let us begin by first thanking God the Father and His Son Jesus for giving us God the Holy Spirit. Let us admit our sorrow to the Holy Spirit for not letting Him be effective in our lives. Let us ask Him to make us aware of His beautiful presence in us and at the beginning of every day to say this prayer, 'Give me the strength Holy Spirit to do the work of this day, and grant that at its close, I am found worthy of Your trust in me.' And at the end of each day to ask, 'Holy Spirit, how did we get on?' … the ‘we’ being the Holy Spirit and ourselves. For if I forgot Him and went it alone, my day has failed to live up to His expectations.

Come Holy Spirit, Creator come
From Thy bright heavenly throne,
Come, take possession of our souls,
And make them all Thy own.
Make them all Thy own.

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