May 7-8, 2016

Friends, 

The feast of Pentecost, which we celebrate next weekend, is about the power of God's Spirit in our world. We can describe that Spirit as the third person of the Trinity and speak about the Spirit only in academic terms or we can experience the presence of that Spirit in our lives. For generations, the Holy Spirit seemed to be the forgotten person of the Trinity. I believe that was because we didn't understand or know how to verbalize the Spirit's presence. 

Today I would say we welcome God's spirit into our lives at our Baptism. We believe we are sacred in God's eyes because we are created in God's image and that God's Spirit dwells within each of us. The dwelling of God's presence in every creature must affect our attitude toward all creation. The way I speak about myself or others, the respect I have toward the environment and the planet, the way I treat other cultures and nationalities: it is all indicative of whether I truly grasp the essence of God's Spirit. 

If we welcome God's Spirit at our baptism, then we recognize the presence of that Spirit when we make our Confirmation. As we now no longer depend on others telling us what to believe, we need to figure out the meaning of our faith and how it impacts our lives. To do this, we begin to realize just how that Spirit works in the world. We begin to recognize that we have responsibilities in this world and those responsibilities do not center on my needs only, but on the needs of all of God's people. By recognizing the gifts of the Spirit at Confirmation I am made more aware and more capable of living out my faith. Those gifts are; wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, reverence and being in awe of God. Once I realize how gifted I am, I can no longer plead ignorance of my call to make a positive difference in the world. Sometimes that awareness doesn't happen just because I "made my Confirmation." It is a process. 

At Pentecost every year we get the opportunity to celebrate the presence of God's Spirit everywhere. At Church we attempt to enhance our liturgies with music and preaching centered in the Spirit. It is that Spirit that invites us to enjoy our faith and our relationship with God. It is that Spirit that challenges us to grow and evolve in our faith. It is that Spirit that invites us to Church each week. It is that Spirit that forces us to look beyond our own little world and begin to see how others live. It is that Spirit that brought us together this weekend to welcome all the different languages and cultures that comprise our community and our world. 

So the Catholic Church realizes that it is not enough to just welcome the Spirit or recognize the Spirit. If the Spirit is truly going to be Holy, we must celebrate it. Amen 

Enjoy Life! 
Fr Coyne

 

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