Posted by: frburke23 | June 3, 2017

Thought for Pentecost Sunday (June 4, 2017)

Thought for Pentecost Sunday (June 4, 2017)
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem.
At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd,
but they were confused
because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
They were astounded, and in amazement they asked,
“Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans?
Then how does each of us hear them in his native language?
We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites,
inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia,
Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,
Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene,
as well as travelers from Rome,
both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs,
yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues
of the mighty acts of God.”
Happy birthday to the Church on this feast day of Pentecost. St. Cyril of Alexandria said that with the Holy Spirit within us, “it is quite natural for people who had been absorbed by the things of this world to become entirely otherworldly in outlook, and for cowards to become people of great courage.”
This made me think of all the people that the Holy Spirit has completely transformed, beginning with these apostles who were gathered in the upper room, afraid they would be next to be crucified. They went from fleeing the persecution to shedding their blood for Jesus. You can only explain this through the power of the Holy Spirit.
St. Francis of Assisi had everything the world had to offer. His father was a successful merchant and wanted Francis to follow in his footsteps. However, Francis left everything for a life of poverty and is still impacting our world almost 800 years after his death. You can only explain this through the power of the Holy Spirit.
St. Teresa of Calcutta left her first religious community to form another one to serve the poorest of the poor in Calcutta and now around the world. You can only explain this through the power of the Holy Spirit.
St. John Paul II was an athlete, a playwright, a philosopher, among his many talents. Yet, he gave up everything to follow Jesus as a priest, bishop and eventually pope. His travels around the world have impacted millions around the world, including me. You can only explain this through the power of the Holy Spirit.
These are just a few people who were “absorbed by the things of this world”, but through the Holy Spirit became “entirely otherworldly in outlook.” Some of them were cowards and were given great courage by the Holy Spirit.
What about you?
Have you tried to fill your life with the things of the world?
Have you felt cowardly when it comes to sharing your faith?
Have you called upon the Holy Spirit to completely transform your life?
Maybe God is calling you to be the next St. Francis, St. Teresa or St. John Paul II?
Happy Pentecost. Come Holy Spirit, come!
Fr. Burke

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