Christ is risen, alleluia! Indeed He is risen alleluia!
With today’s feast of Pentecost, we say farewell to the Easter Season. For 50 days, we have been celebrating our redemption through the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. Some consider this the second most important celebration of our Christian life next to Easter. The end of the Easter season finds us reflecting on the gospel that was also proclaimed on the Second Sunday of Easter. The Gospel of John’s scene of the coming of the Spirit while spectacular, Jesus appearing despite locked doors and breathing on the disciples , is not as powerful as Luke’s scene with strong winds and tongues of fire appearing above their heads. Regardless of the scene, the Holy Spirit moves the disciples to go and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. With the coming of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost celebrates the full revelation of the Trinity -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Next weekend, the solemnity of the Holy Trinity, will invite us to contemplate the mystery of our triune God and its meaning for our daily lives.
Our return to Ordinary Time invites us to explore the impact of the Spirit working in the church. Throughout the Easter Season excerpts for the Acts of the Apostles has been proclaimed. This second volume from the writer of Luke, illustrates how with the aid of the Holy Spirit, the early Christians did many of the same things Jesus did in his ministry.
This year Pentecost takes on additional meaning, as COVID restrictions come to an end. This past year has had its struggles, and all our lives have been impacted. I never imagined that a virus would bring the world to a virtual halt. Already last weekend there was the joy of seeing smiles, as masks, for the most part, were discarded. Midst the excitement there are still some clouds. COVID-19 is impacting the lives of many, especially in India. Thankfully, the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths are declining in our county. We will need to be vigilant and encourage each other to be vaccinated.
Some have declared that to wear a mask or get vaccinated is a personal choice. Our individual freedoms give us the right to decide. God has given us free will, and we have the freedom to choose as we wish. However, I wonder if we have a misplaced notion of freedom. When cast against the gospel, freedom is more communal than individual. When making choices, I need to consider how my actions impact others. There are times I make the choice to limit my own liberty to benefit the good of others. For instance, I forgo a purchase and use those funds to assist those who are in need.
Wishing each of you a beautiful, wonderful and unforgettable Pentecost, may you and your families be blessed by the Holy Spirit -- with happiness, good health, great fortune and prosperity as you celebrate Pentecost!