Send Forth Your Spirit, O Lord
Before the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the Apostles were timid and ignorant men who were hoping for their own personal glory in an earthly kingdom rather than the spread of God’s Kingdom. Then after Our Lord had been put to death they went into hiding for fear of the Jews thinking everything was over. And even after they had seen the risen Christ and their faith in Him had been restored they were still afraid.
But Our Lord had promised He would send the Paraclete, the Advocate, the Counsellor, and this was fulfilled at Pentecost, when fifty days after the Resurrection the Holy Spirit came in the form of a rushing wind and tongues of fire, and settled on the head of each of the Apostles breathing spiritual life into them. They were immediately transformed and their minds infused with the truth, just as Our Lord had said: “But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26). Thus transformed they left the Upper Room and went out fearlessly proclaiming the Gospel of salvation. Each listener heard them preaching in their own language so that the message was given to all. Even the fury of the Synagogue and the Jewish people didn’t deter them. On fire and with zeal for the truth, they went out to the farthest ends of the earth baptising and preaching the Gospel to all without any fear for their lives. It was the Holy Spirit that helped them to accomplish this seemingly impossible task. God used these weak human vessels to show His power and glory and also the truth of the message they were preaching.
How we are in need of the Holy Spirit today! The Scriptures refer to God as a Holy Fire, and the only thing that can endure fire is fire itself. Therefore we have to become on fire with love of God. In our world today, too many Christians are silent, perhaps out of fear of being unpopular, ridiculed or persecuted. But we cannot be secret Christians! Our Lord said, “I have come to cast a fire on the earth and how I wish the blaze were already ignited” (Luke 12:49). He wants to do that through you. The world today needs to hear the Gospel more than ever. So let us pray that the Lord will stir up His Spirit in us which was given at Baptism and Confirmation. Every one of us has to work for the spread of God’s Kingdom. He wants you to become fire on the earth. We can’t just sit back and hope someone else will do it. So let the evangelisation of the whole world begin today with YOU!
Fr Paul Gillham, IC