Today we celebrate Pentecost Sunday, the birth of the Church, the coming of the Holy Spirit, and the end of the Easter Season. Our readings for this Sunday speak of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the importance of the Holy Spirit in our journey of faith.
In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostle, it was described that the disciples were gathered together behind locked doors. Some passage says that “they” Mary and the disciples of the Lord Jesus, including other women are gathered as they look forward to the promise of the Lord, that something special will happen and they waited for it. When they were all gathered, suddenly, they heard a strong wind. They sensed the unseen power in their midst. It was the coming of the Holy Spirit upon them. Therefore, I think through faith, when we gather in prayer, like the disciples, we can also experience what they had experienced. The disciples’ fear fades away, and they begin to have renewed strength, courage, and wisdom. And that is the same feelings I had every time I prayed in the community or alone. My fear faded away and I felt strengthened and empowered.
Jesus promised us that we will never be alone. He will send His Holy Spirit as His Paraclete, that will guide us along our journey to eternity. Jesus greeted his disciples with “SHALOM”. He breathes on them and gave them the gift of the Holy Spirit. What was amazing after the disciples received the Holy Spirit, they became transformed individuals, who are willing to step out in faith.
For this, I prayed that I will always be filled with the Holy Spirit to step out amidst life day to day challenges, and I can still have the peace that I needed that comes from the Lord.
St. Paul, in the Second reading, explained how the Holy Spirit affects the Church. For it is by the power of the Holy Spirit that the believers can profess with their lips and confess in their hearts that Jesus Christ is Lord. It is the Spirit that gives different services to the Church. So, these readings help me with the Holy Spirit to see everything as a gift. Although like others, I struggled to see them as a gift, every single moment and every person are all gifts. To remind me of this by seeing everything as a gift, in the first hour of the morning, I got this habit of praying and invoking the Holy Spirit. True enough when I engage with the Holy Spirit asking for guidance and enlightenment, I never go astray even when I am taking an exam at the school or talking and listening to somebody with problems, particularly at the intense moment of the pandemic. I can have the right words that people need to hear and I was amazed afterwards, for I know that the words I uttered are not mine, it’s from the Holy Spirit who enlightened me and put the right words in my mouth, as Jesus said in the Gospel “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you”. For this, it’s a matter of awareness of the presence of the Holy Spirit within us. When I am aware of, it is only then that I know what it means to be gifted by the Ruah (the Spirit) of GOD. It is a transforming and empowering experience that will lead one’s life to be a true disciple of Christ, loving and serving others without expecting something in return.
Let me end this reflection by asking you: What gift do you wish to receive from the Holy Spirit? How can you make use of this gift for the works of the new evangelizations? Let us continue to pray and invoke “Veni, Sancta Spiritus! – Come, Holy Spirit.”
SR. CLAIRE MARIE SY, CMT
FRANCISCO PALAU COMMUNITY, MANILA