Reflection from Fr. John Poncini, Pastor . . .
Today we are celebrating the great Solemnity of Pentecost, which means 50, fifty days after Easter. This 50th day marks the Birthday of the Church through the fulfilment of the Paschal Mystery, that is, the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the Jewish tradition, Pentecost was the celebration of receiving the commandments from God 50 days after their Exodus from Egypt. It was a celebration of God’s covenant with his people. Today, we are celebrating that new and eternal covenant with God as he sends forth the Holy Spirit.
On the day of the first Pentecost we heard about how the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages of the mighty acts of God.
Then the psalm asked God: “Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.”We can add to that and make it personal, “Lord, send out your spirit, and renew my life, and the lives of those I love.”
The Holy Spirit gives us new life and is present in us as the source of our new life in Christ. The Holy Spirit is the Fruit of the Love relationship between God the Father and God the Son that pours forth into our lives.
Through Baptism and Confirmation we have all received the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts prepare us to receive the Holy Spirit’s inspirations in our hearts.
- Wisdomwhich gives us a “taste” for the things of God. We experiencedelight in what is right.
- Understandingis the gift of the Holy Spirit that gives us a deeper senseof the meaning of the teachings of the Church.
- Knowledgeenables us to judge everything by the light of heaven.
- Counselhelps us to speak the words that will draw others closer to God.
- Fortitudegives us the strength to keep trying to love and be faithful toGod and to our calling when things get tough.
- Pietygives us reverence towards God and towards each human person.
- Fear of the Lordbrings us to avoid sin because we love God and don’twant to offend him.
St John Paul II petitioned the Holy Spirit each day to increase these gifts in greater abundance.
As we conclude the Easter Season on Pentecost Sunday, let our daily prayer petitions be:
“Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.”
“Lord, send out your spirit, and renew my life, and the lives of those I love.”
Fr. John Poncini