The Easter season of 2023 is rapidly drawing to a close. Before this, we had the season of Lent and of Holy Week. And today, we celebrate the feast of Pentecost. We commemorate, we celebrate the day when the Holy Spirit, as promised by Jesus, descended upon the Apostles, Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the other disciples.
Now keep in mind, that these early disciples of Jesus were also in hiding. They still feared the power of the Sanhedrin, and Roman authorities. And they did not know exactly what was about to happen, or when it would happen. It was one thing to feel courage when they could see our Risen Lord in front of them. It was another thing when they are in hiding, fearing that the Jerusalem authorities may find them.
Then something happened, something wondrous. The fierce wind, the tongues of flame settling on top of each head. The people in that were no longer simple fishermen, homemakers, a tax collector. They became proclaimers of the Good News of our Risen Lord. They were promising a healing, a peace that could only come through the name of Jesus.
This is the story that has been told; that is being told, being proclaimed in so many homes, street corners, churches; throughout this country, throughout this world, and in this place, here, now!
But I am finding it necessary to ask if this, the greatest story ever told; this Good News, still has the power to move hearts; to move souls? I mean we have all heard the reports of declining numbers of members, in our parishes, in our dioceses. Religious orders are fading away, in this country, and in Europe. We have all heard the stories of churches closing down. And it can be discouraging.
But there is reason to hope. In what has been called the Global South, we see a rebirth of faith communities; communities fired up by the Holy Spirit. And we see the efforts being made here is our own parish. And we are called to be in one way or another, evangelizers, bearers of the Good News of Jesus Christ. As Saint Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.”
We each have a role in proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ; by word or by action, we bring the Gospel message to life, through the power of the Holy Spirit.