Pentecost Reflection: The Holy Spirit and Pentecost and me!
I am offered the opportunity to let the Spirit flow through my mind and my mouth, through my hands (and my keyboard!) and it is a reason for great joy.
This morning while reading the morning prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours, it occurred to me that the reason why the Holy Spirit is "different" at Pentecost is because of what Jesus has done and that it is all interconnected. It answered a simmering question that has always puzzled me.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (Le blog de la Bergerie) - This morning while reading the morning prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours, it occurred to me that the reason why the Holy Spirit is "different" at Pentecost is because of what Jesus has done and that it is all interconnected. It answered a simmering question that has always puzzled me.
To be completely truthful, out of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit has not been the easiest one for me to grasp. I'm not sure why but God is obvious to me (and was obvious - although not as clearly - even for all those years where I was out of the Church; although the knowledge was dormant, I still understood him to be God the Creator) and I can certainly sing his praise better now that I believe he is the Almighty, the All-knowing, the Eternal One who holds us in the palm of his hand
"Jesus" is also very clear to me nowadays and it brings me great joy to see distinctly who he is and what he has done and what are the consequences for me and for the world. This is new in my life, it is intricately linked to my coming back to the Church. I know exactly when it happened, I have dates (and I might write about it one day) but for now, what I want to say is that the Holy Spirit has been somewhat elusive to me, more fleeting, harder to grasp and to articulate.
On the other hand, I love the feast of Pentecost and I have no problem basking in this glorious moment every year. I understand it as a mega-epiphany moment where all the light switches where turned on for the disciples. Just to hear about it during the Liturgy brings me joy and strength. The results of this amazing moment are the gifts of the Spirit, when he hovers above us, we are filled with discernment and gratitude, truth and charity. It is by their fruits that you will know them.
But there is still something that used to puzzle me and it had to do with timing and with the questions of "Before" and "After". Was the Holy Spirit at Pentecost a brand new Spirit or not. Where was the Spirit before? Someone asked me about it recently, asking "Why was it different?" and I was not sure how to answer.
But it occurred to me this morning that the answer is linked to what happened to Jesus. Once Jesus had redeemed us. Once this enormous event called the Paschal mystery had happened in the economy of salvation then everything is changed. The Holy Spirit is now revealed in a different manner. Although the Holy Spirit was there from the creation of the world, hovering over the waters as we hear in Genesis and although he is repeatedly mentioned throughout the Psalms, at Pentecost the Spirit is completely revealed because of what Christ did for us.
By the way, the natural world (the stones and the oceans, the plants and the animals) have not changed because of the Resurrection. They are here and they look the same. But the change was for us humans, for our souls. New doors were opened, new ways were laid out and it is because of Christ who is "the way, the life and the truth".
What has changed dramatically is our relationship to God and to each other which is now fulfilled when we know Christ and love him and attach ourselves to him. And as a result, our relationship to the world is changed too, the way we "look" at plants and waters, the way we "handle" them should be infused with Christian truth and love. So, in the end, everything is changed, everything is "new"!
This morning insight into the bond of unity between Christ and the Spirit helped me reach deeper into the mystery of the Holy Spirit revealed at Pentecost. And don't think that this was only a past event. At Pentecost, something was set in motion that is still reverberating today. Just like when we peel an artichoke, it is only when we reach the heart that we get to taste the best part. I know it first hand, I saw it in action this morning, I tasted the goodness of the Holy Spirit, the power of God's love!
The salvation of the world is all about love, the Trinitarian love coming to us and our own response. It is all about whether we open ourselves (or not) to this love and whether we are changed in this on-going process. One of the easiest analogies for me is is to compare it with a man and a woman falling in love: once they have professed their love and commitment to each other, the whole world is changed for them because "they" are changed.
Pentecost started on that specific day in the upper room when the gifts of the Spirit where poured out on the disciples and the Holy Spirit has not stopped being poured out ever since. There are some moments where the Trinitarian love seems to be more obscured in the world (usually because of our sins of pride or greed or apathy) and there are other moments where it is definitively shining.
But it is there and as a Christian, as a "little Christ", that I am offered the opportunity to let the Spirit flow through my mind and my mouth, through my hands (and my keyboard!) and it is a reason for great joy. Thank God for the world, for his creation, and for us, his creatures, being transformed by the Holy Spirit.
Michèle Szekely writes from San Francisco (where she is a member of Notre-Dame des Victoires), unless she is writing from the French Alps, from her parents chalet. She has published two books of nature nature photography: "San Francisco en noir et blanc" & "Pictures For The Journey". Be sure to check out her French-American Catholic blog: le blog de la Bergerie
Le blog de la Bergerie is a bi-lingual (French and English) weblog edited by Michele Szekely featuring original writings and other inspired content. The goal of the site: 'A Catholic and French-American blog dedicated to sharing the faith in English and in French and to strengthen the friendship between both countries in the process; a place to find articles and commentaries on the family, on the faith and the world, on the faith in the world, on Sacred Scriptures, on the new evangelization, on book reviews.'Used with permission.
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