Pentecost – The Birthday of the Church
Jesus told the Eleven: “Wait here until you are clothed with power from on high; then
you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth.” The public mission of the Church began with the Gift of the Spirit on Pentecost. That selfsame Spirit continues to
guide and invigorate us today. At every Mass you have been to, the Spirit has come upon bread and wine to change them into the Body and Blood of Jesus. The Spirit has encouraged and supported every deed of kindness, every act of service, every sacrifice of love you have made. The Spirit has helped you every time you prayed, and forgiven your sins in every confession. The Spirit teaches you to recognize Truth, reminding you of all Jesus has said and helping you to hear the Voice of Christ among all the voices that constantly clamor for our attention.
The Spirit is the last of the Persons of the Trinity to be revealed, and most often works in quiet, hidden, subtle ways. It is not that the Spirit is shy or distant, but because
the Spirit is Love, and love always focuses on the other, not the self.
The Sequence for this feast is one of my favorite prayers in the rich heritage of our faith; pray it today, and whenever you need spiritual strength and hope.
Come, Holy Spirit, come
and from Your celestial home
shed a ray of light divine.
Come, Father of the poor,
come, source of all our store,
come, within our bosoms shine.
You, of comforters the best,
You, the soul’s most welcome Guest,
sweet refreshment here below.
In our labor, rest most sweet,
grateful coolness in the heat,
solace in the midst of woe.
O most blessed Light divine,
shine within these hearts of Yours,
and our inmost being fill.
Where You are not, we have naught,
nothing good in deed or thought,
nothing free from taint of ill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew,
on our dryness pour Your dew,
wash the stains of guilt away.
Bend the stubborn heart and will,
melt the frozen, warm the chill,
guide the steps that go astray.
On the faithful, who adore
and confess You, evermore
in Your seven-fold gifts descend.
Give them virtue’s sure reward,
give them Your salvation, Lord,
give them joys that never end.