This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost and so call to mind the gift of the Holy Spirit upon the Church. We recall that after the Risen Lord ascended to heaven, He did not abandon us but sent us the Holy Spirit to be with us always.
This feast day that the Church celebrates today calls to mind the event whereby the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles gathered in prayer in the upper room. The Acts of the Apostles details what happened on this occasion: “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” (Acts 2:1-4).
We receive the promised gift of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Baptism and in the Sacrament of Confirmation we receive an intensification of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit encourages us in our weakness and strengthens us to witness to Christ in our day to day lives. While there is indeed suffering and uncertainty at the present time, we take consolation in the fact that the Spirit of God remains with us to comfort us in our need.
As we make our way into the month of June, let us pray that the Holy Spirit will give us His grace, so that we can experience in an ever more profound way the fruits of the Holy Spirit which Saint Paul the Apostle describes as “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).