On this weekend we celebrate the feast of Pentecost, which marks the last weekend in Easter.
We have spent this season meditating upon the life of the early church with the apostles Peter, Paul and John, as well as Mary, the Mother of God. What has characterized their life is that they were given the Holy Spirit, which changed everything. They were given the boldness to proclaim the Good News, to teach, to heal and to admonish those around them that those who would accept their message would be incorporated into the body of Christ.
The power given to them is the same one that has empowered and led our church from the first century up until now. It continues to sustain the church in its essential mission to unite people from the ends of the earth into the body of Christ.
Through the sacraments of the church, the Holy Spirit effects in us that which Paul alludes to in his letter to the Galatians: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. This is the leaven that we are to be to the world, the salt of the earth, because we put on Christ.
Our world, — which is so filled with noise, busyness and distraction — is one in which the Holy Spirit calls us to be people of solitude. Solitude doesn’t imply that we can’t live in this world. But we live in it with a certain disposition.
We need solitude to hear God
It is within this interior solitude that we receive what we so desperately need — that voice that affirms the truth of our identity as sons and daughters of God. It affirms that we are loved for who we are and we are called to share in the work of our creator.
Sometimes, this will call us to make sacrifices, even heroic ones, especially as we witness to the truth through the integrity of our faith lives. It also encourages us to pour out our lives entirely for the other, as Christ does on the cross, for as the Second Vatican Council teaches, Christ reveals man to himself. However, we always need to be mindful that it is God who seeks to lead us and it is upon him that we trust for our wisdom, guidance and strength.
It is with great joy that I announce how the Holy Spirit is at work within the archdiocese, as my seminary classmates are being ordained to the priesthood this weekend. They are men who are filled with the love of our Lord and are willing to follow him wherever he goes. They seek to bring the peace and joy of Christ to all whom they encounter, to set this world on fire for Christ.
This feast of Pentecost calls us to renew our commitment to living a life in the Spirit, one filled with faith, hope and love. We can do this within whatever vocation or state that we find ourselves in. The Lord says to us, “Peace I leave you, my peace I give you.” Today let us live a life in the Spirit.
Deacon Ben Kociemba is in formation for the priesthood at The St. Paul Seminary for the Diocese of St. Cloud. His home parish is St. Mary in Melrose and his teaching parish is St. Hedwig in Holdingford.
Sunday, May 27
• Acts 2:1-11
• 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13: or Galatians 5:16-25
• John 20:19-23
What gifts has the Holy Spirit given you to share with others?