The readings for this week are beautiful, exciting and very challenging. The Acts of the Apostles is a dramatic retelling of the first Christian Pentecost. Imagine the sound of the wind, the confusion and the amazement of the disciples and the crowds gathered in Jerusalem for the Jewish Feast of Pentecost. It sounds like a gathering of the United Nations today.
“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me so I send you. Receive the Holy Spirit.” Jesus is speaking to the disciples and to each of us today. We also have the Holy Spirit with us, urging us to speak of the mighty acts of God. We are commissioned to spread the Good News through our lives.
St. Paul reminds us that there are many different gifts of the Spirit. The challenge is to discern what gift(s) of the Spirit have I been given and how I am being called to use that gift to build up the body of Christ today. Scripture and tradition name many gifts of the Spirit: Wisdom, Understanding, Fortitude, Counsel, Peace, Patience, Compassion, Kindness to name but a few. Every gift of the Spirit is given to be shared, to enrich others, to build up the ‘Kindom’ of God today.
This week I’ll try to be aware of the gifts of the Spirit in each member of my family, my coworkers, the stranger I encounter. I will try to share the gift that I have received. Imagine how wonderful the world would be if we all shared our gifts. Pope Francis has exhorted us to share the Joy of the Gospel. Every day is meant to be our Pentecost.
Jan Ginzkey, OSB