Happy Birthday, Church!

5 Jun

“The Wizard of Oz says look inside yourself and find self.  God says look inside yourself and find the Holy Spirit.  The first will get you to Kansas.  The latter will get you to heaven. Take your pick.” ~ Max Lucado, Experiencing the Heart of Jesus: Knowing His Heart, Feeling His Love

Today is a great day in the life of the Church.  It has often been called the “Birthday of the Church” since this is the celebration of the time when the Holy Spirit came down on the Apostles and Mary while they were in the Upper Room in Jerusalem.  It imparted upon them wonderful gifts that gave them the courage to come out of hiding and boldly proclaim the Good News to all.

As we celebrate Pentecost, we close the Easter Season.  This day comes right after our celebration of the Ascension.  On that day, we heard that Jesus’ mission was now ours.  In order to be able to perform His works and continue His mission, Jesus knew that we would need the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit, classically defined as the love between the Father and the Son, a love that is so strong and so perfect that it is, in itself, the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, is given freely to all of God’s people.

We first received the Holy Spirit at our Baptism.  Later, we received the Holy Spirit more fully at our Confirmation.  We also receive the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit in the reception of other sacraments.

The Holy Spirit always gives us what we need.  If we embrace the possibility of the Spirit, there is nothing that can prevent us from doing God’s will.  We receive grace and courage in abundance.  The question is, are we willing to use the marvelous Gifts of the Spirit to better not only ourselves but our world.

The fact of the matter is that God never gives us anything purely for ourselves.  He showers graces, blessings, and gifts upon us in order that we use them for others.  We benefit from God’s gifts best when we freely share His gifts with others.

God has promised and He has delivered in the gift of His Son.  Jesus promised us that He would never leave us on our own and He delivered by sending the Holy Spirit.

FAITH ACTION:  Pray for a renewal of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in your life and in the lives of your loved ones, that you may be more able to embrace the will of God.