May 28, 2023


This great solemnity of Pentecost is really the birthday of the Church. When Jesus fulfilled his promise to his disciples at his Ascension to send the Holy Spirit. “…You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” [Acts1: 1-11] The Birthday of the Church should always be an occasion for us to reflect on our mission as Christians. And our mission is the same as that of the disciples; we are to bring people to God.

We can only accomplish this mission by allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us, to guide our every action. It is this same Spirit, which we received at baptism and confirmation. In essence, the mission of every Christian begins and draws its meaning from Baptism, where we were indeed washed and made a new creation in Christ Jesus. 

We must never be afraid of the Holy Spirit who guides us to all truth. Basil the Great (329-379 AD), an early church father, explains the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives: "The Spirit restores paradise to us and the way to heaven and adoption as children of God; he instills confidence that we may call God truly Father and grants us the grace of Christ to be children of the light and to enjoy eternal glory. In a word, he bestows the fullness of blessings in this world and the next; for we may contemplate now in the mirror of faith the promised things we shall someday enjoy.  If this is the foretaste, what must the reality be? If these are the first fruits, what must be the harvest?" (From the treatise by Basil on The Holy Spirit)

St. Paul reminds us that, “those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you…” [Romans 8: 8-17] And so in carrying out our mission as Christians we must rely on the power of the Spirit to guide us to all truth. 

We the people of God are the ones delegated to be that vital link between those who know Christ and those who do not. Empowered by the Spirit we are to be leaven for the world showing forth God’s love manifested by us through the good works we do by faith. To prophesy, to speak in tongues, to have great wisdom, to do mighty deeds, to discern spirits, to interpret tongues, these are all gifts of the Holy Spirit, to those who have been given them and to those who seek them these gifts can only bear fruit if our love for God is manifested through our love for each other day after day. God is love; we are to strive to be like God. To be love for a world that has given up on love.  

Pope Francis encourages us that our mission is all about mercy. To live mercy, we must rediscover both the spiritual works of mercy (counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the afflicted, forgive offences, bear patiently those who do us ill, and pray for the living and the dead), and the corporal works of mercy (feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, heal the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead). Let the Holy Spirit guide you as you strive to fulfill your mission in the world to bring people to God by showing mercy. 

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth.


For comments and suggestions: Sacred Heart Catholic Church Web Team
Updated: May 28, 2023

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