Come Holy Spirit!

9 June 2019

Once the Apostles had got used to the fact that Jesus was alive; that he had truly risen from dead we get the impression that they expected everything would now get back to normal. They probably believed that the Jewish Leadership would now have to recognise the truth that Jesus had been sent by the Father.  They were troubled indeed when Jesus spoke to them about returning to the Father not recalling at this point his words:
 
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:26-28
 
When the Holy Spirit arrived, however, the change in the Apostles was remarkable. Fearful, bewildered crowds had gathered outside the house worried about the noise of the violent wind. Peter went out to address them.
This simple uneducated fisherman preached to them like a theologian. After this sermon three thousand were added to their number. Peter immediately took on the role of Leadership and organised the replacement of Judas, and Matthias was chosen by lot.
 
“The Acts of the Apostles” is a fascinating read and demonstrates the great change in the apostles and the power of the Holy Spirit. The early chapters deal with the work of the Apostles and the growth of the Church. Later chapters deal with the conversion of St. Paul and the great work he did among gentiles. He and his followers spread the Christian message to many nations.
 
The courage of those early Christian is impressive. There was great opposition to their work but they were undaunted and many were martyred. All the apostles except John died for their faith.
 
I find their work sobering and wonder about the work of the Holy Spirit in our times. I question myself about my own relationship with the Holy Spirit. How often do I pray to Him for guidance inspiration and the faith needs of our world.
Faith is weak in our society many people especially the young seem to have given up attending Mass. Atheism and or agnosticism seems to be considered clever and sophisticated. Sadly, our need for the power of the Holy Spirit is great but how many of us call on the Spirit when we pray for more vocations when we sit with or tend the dying.
 
Our world cries out for the power of the Spirit to be active among us. On this feast of Pentecost let us pray for ourselves and many others to be more aware of the power Holy Spirit.