A Reflection by Sister Barbara Baker, MHSH
This weekend we celebrate the major feast of Pentecost. Just 10 days ago we celebrated the feast of the Ascension. Now we all know how nervous the apostles of Jesus were that he was leaving them to do what He had prepared them to do—that is, to go forth and make disciples of all nations. That’s a pretty tall order to fulfill. However, we also know that Jesus was telling them for a long time that when He returned to His Father He would not leave them orphans. He would give them someone to advocate for them—namely, the Holy Spirit. I can only imagine how fearful they must have been when this moment actually arrived.
They gathered one more time in their comfort zone—the same Upper Room where they had shared in the Last Supper with Jesus, gathered after the resurrection to experience Jesus’ presence anew and now to find support and solace once more where so much had taken place. They must have wondered, “What will happen to us next?”
They got their answer very soon when a great wind blew in on them and the Holy Spirit settled upon them and filled them with His energy and new life. It is the birthday of a new entity—the church. Jesus fulfills His promise not to leave them orphaned. They spoke in their native tongues and all at the same time. It must have been a time of great emotion and perhaps confusion. But, I believe that in a very short time they experienced a great peace come over them to reassure them that indeed God was with them.
What was and still is the cost for each of us to go forth to make disciples of all nations? Since Pope Paul VI issued an encyclical about the New Evangelization around 40 years ago, the Church has put before us the need for each and every one of us to do something to initiate and/or deepen one’s connection to Jesus Christ. In recent days everyone is talking about evangelization and our need to go forth and build our Church on relationships to one another and ultimately to Jesus Christ. To carry it one step further, Pope Francis is calling our attention to this responsibility by his own actions and words. Are we listening and watching?
Let’s Think About:
- Do I listen to the Spirit in reaching out to family, friends, co-workers or neighbors to introduce or continue a conversation about Jesus and how He invites all to befriend him?
- Are we ready to have a new fire lit within us with the coming once again of this Holy Spirit who will breathe new life into us?
- What real difference does the coming of the Holy Spirit mean in our own life?