Lift Up Your Hearts
Celebrating Pentecost this Sunday we remind ourselves of the surprising effects of the Holy Spirit’s gifts. The sending of the Promise of the Father, as Jesus called the Spirit, compelled the fishermen of Galilee to begin their work as Apostles of the Lord. They went out from the Upper Room of Jerusalem into the city and the world carrying the Gospel of Jesus’ reconciling Passion, Death and Resurrection.
I am struck by the detail that those who heard the Apostles preach “each heard them speaking in his own language,” even though they came from many different nations. Perhaps this image of the Church at its birth and of the Spirit at work in them will help us to consider our own situation. We are living in a moment when it is clear that the Lord is called us to undertake a ‘New Evangelization.’ We must proclaim the Gospel and speak of “the mighty acts of God” to people of many different backgrounds and experiences. I propose that each disciple is uniquely qualified to speak to others in the ‘language’ of our own life’s experience. Some might not resonate with or understand the way in which one proclaims the Gospel.Surely others will recognize when someone is ‘speaking their language,’ and may be thrilled to realize that God would come to meet them in the midst of their lives.
I firmly believe that the same Spirit which fell on those in the Upper Room at Pentecost remains in our midst, and that He gifts us, transforms us and sends us to continue the work begun in Jerusalem. Taking leave of our gathering in the ‘Upper Room,’ at Mass this Sunday, let’s remind ourselves to remain open to the work and presence of theHoly Spirit, and not to be timid in speaking out of what the Lord has done for us.