The Feast of Pentecost 2018
We are fifty days on from Easter, the feast of the Risen Lord. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead guarantees the blessing of salvation. In other words, the resurrection endorses the life and mission of Jesus. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
The Risen Lord promised that he would send the Holy Spirit, who would gift and guide us in the living out of our discipleship – all of us baptised people are disciples of Jesus.
From the second reading at to-day’s Mass: There is a variety of gifts, but always the same Spirit; there are all sorts of service to be done, but always the same Lord; working in all sorts of different ways in different people, it is the same God who is working in all of them. The particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose (1stletter of St Paul to the Corinthians 12,4-7).
Each of us needs to discern the gifts we have received from the Spirit. This is best done in a community setting where we help one another to discover how we have been gifted by the Spirit of God. A very striking phrase in the above quotation from St. Paul is – the particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose. This good purpose is the missionary activity of the community, the proclamation and the sharing of the Good News. It is through our active Christian lives that our gifts are nurtured and mature.
The work of discernment is probably more urgent now than it has been for a very long time. Vocations to the priesthood and religious life are greatly diminished. Are those who are not ordained or who are not members of a religious community required to take responsibility for the activities of priests and religious?
No, they are not. What they must do is discern and nurture the gifts which they have received from the Spirit and serve the community accordingly. It may well be the case that this will include some of the work/service currently undertaken by priests and religious.
The ongoing process of discernment may result in a different range of services being provided for the community. It will certainly mean that priests and religious will be obliged to rethink the services which they provide and discern what more precisely pertains to their specific vocations.
The Fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
(Letter of St. Paul to the Galatians 5,22).
May the fruits of the Spirit flow abundantly in our community.