Pentecost Sunday - Year B - 24th May 2015

"Come Holy Spirit"

Birthdays deserve to be celebrated. They are occasions when we can be thankful for the gift of life, and for the love we have received. They provide the opportunity for families to get together and recall good memories from the past and also a chance to look to the future, aware of how far we have come. So it is with Pentecost. Today is the birthday of the church, a time for us to celebrate who we are and to rediscover what it means to be the people of God.

At times we can all feel anxious about the future. As we see news reports of wars and crimes we can worry that our world is going from bad to worse. We can fear for our children's children. Such anxieties, while understandable, neglect one very important fact. That God's Spirit is alive and active among us creating and re-creating our universe.

Today's psalm invites us to reflect on God's powerful involvement in our world. Without God's Spirit there would be no life at all. Yet all around us we see rich and vibrant life - in plants, animals and humans - all testimony to God's creative, life-giving presence.

God's Spirit not only creates. It also renews. The Spirit of God can bring new life into situations where once there was only death and destruction. On this feast of Pentecost we are invited to see the many signs of God's Spirit among us and give thanks.

Down through the centuries the Holy Spirit has guided the church, despite the weaknesses of its members, both clerical and lay. We have the witness of many generous and heroic people who have been 'led by the Spirit' and whose lives have given eloquent testimony to the power of God at work in them.

Today, then, let's take heart and invoke the Spirit of God that we may be filled with a joyful appreciation of who we are and what we have to give. This brings with it many challenges. The good news is not about how things were in the past but about the Spirit of God at work now and always.

The greatest sign and expression of God's Spirit is love. When we experience love, and witness love, and give love, we know that God is among us. Filled with God's Spirit we can play our role in creating a better world. The evil that we encounter should not dishearten us but spur us on to pray with confidence, 'Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth'.

Fr. Kevin O'Shea, C.M.