Gospel Reflection for Pentecost Sunday

Spirit of the Living God (from my book ‘A Shepherd’s Voice’, 2007)

On the day of Pentecost, people were amazed when they heard and saw the apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking in different languages and proclaiming the marvels of God. (cf. Acts 2:1-11) Imagine what the Holy Spirit can do to ordinary men called by Jesus to proclaim His Gospel. When Jesus appeared to them after His resurrection, He breathed on them and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.” (John 20:23) Jesus empowered His apostles to forgive sins by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can do anything to those who receive Him.

During a retreat many years ago, a priest shared with me a beautiful song on the Holy Spirit. It is just one stanza and goes like this: “Spirit of the Living God Fall afresh on me Melt me, Mold me Fill me, Use me Spirit of the Living God.”

This song touched me deeply because it made me communicate with the Holy Spirit. I entrusted myself to God‘s Spirit during that retreat. From that beautiful song, I realized many things that the Holy Spirit can do. The Spirit, falling afresh on us, will settle us down physically, emotionally and spiritually when we feel weary. The Spirit will melt our hard hearts when we find it difficult to forgive and reconcile with our enemies. The Spirit will mold our unbendable ways, our bad habits and immature behavior. The Spirit will fill our emptiness when we feel lonely and depressed. The Spirit will use us to be instruments of the Good News wherever we are sent to serve God.

The first Pentecost becomes relevant to us because each new day offers an experience of a new Pentecost, the Holy Spirit falling afresh in our lives always to renew us. Let me end this reflection with a prayer which I got from a card given by a friend. May this prayer to the Holy Spirit be yours, too.

“Spirit of God, I feel too tired to go on, too empty even to want to be filled, too broken to put the pieces together again. Still, I feel a quiet stirring in me. It is the call to come back to life, to be energized and renewed. It is my heart crying out for newness, for a lighter spirit, for a keener sense of hope in the future.

Spirit of God, who draws together bones of the desert and dryness of the heart, come and take away all that has died in me. Dream in me again. Create from my brokenness a new and free heart. Draw together life in me. Let the dancing that’s meant to be, start its movement anew. The grace of freedom, the gesture of rebirth, all of this awaits me. I want to believe it in my depths.”

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