Pentecost celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection and we celebrate the Holy Spirit who dwells in the hearts of all believers. It is also celebrated as the birthday of the Church.
We rejoice greatly that God has chosen to dwell among us and within us. It is His Holy Spirit that enlivens us and inspires us to follow Jesus and to fulfill our role as members of the Body of Christ.
Recently at a Confirmation Mass in New Jersey, the auxiliary bishop of Bergen county said this during the homily:
“The devil has a one word job description: divide.
The Holy Spirit also has a one word job description: unite!”
How right the bishop is! May we all be filled with the Holy Spirit and may the Spirit strengthen us to be people that unite, so that nothing can devide God’s children – neither race, nor language, nor creed, nor economic status, nor gender, nor sexual orientation. As Christ himself prayed at the last supper: may we all be one. Just as we hear in the second reading from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians from the Mass on Pentecost:
Brothers and sisters:
No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
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.
As a body is one though it has many parts,
and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body,
so also Christ.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,
whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons,
and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.