I wish I had the text to our priest’s homily this weekend. First of all because with the little kids I always manage to miss a little bit of it, but also because what I did hear clearly, I would love to share it word for word with you.
So I will share what I think was the most important part, or at least the part that struck me as the most important part. We celebrate Christmas and Easter as the coming and the returning of the second person in the three persons in God, but we don’t normally remember that Pentecost is the celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit, who is after all the third person in God. And yet there is no huge celebration with a tree, or baskets full of chocolate eggs to find.
Part of it I am sure is that the Holy spirit, unlike Christ, has no physical manifestation that we can understand. Yes, I realize the irony in what I just said. The Holy Spirit has not physical manifestation. But, the truth is, that we as humans have a hard time getting our minds around something that we can’t see or touch. Think about St. Thomas, who did not believe that Christ had risen until he could see Him. A slightly different thing but the same point. He could not see Him, therefore he could not believe.
The other part of it, I think, is that the Holy Spirit, unlike Christ, is still with us in a very real sense. When Christ ascended to Heaven, or really before he did, the Holy Spirit came to the apostles, and the Holy Spirit remains with us today. Like other things in our life, when they are there every day, we marginalize them or even forget about them being there. We forget to celebrate the wonder that they are.
If you will allow me to get off on a bit of a tangent here, I think this is what happens a lot of times with marriages. We get so used to our spouses being there, that we forget to celebrate them. We forget to remind them how special they are, and how much they mean to us. This leads to feeling of alienation and people drifting apart. (By the way this is really a thank you to my wife who is very good at letting me know how much she appreciates the things that I do, and never lets me feel like I am not important to her.)
The same thing can happen with us and the Holy Spirit. We forget It is there. We forget to ask It for help, and we stop being able to feel like It is part of our lives. We don’t celebrate It the way that we should. I know at least, I have forgotten to do this. This is something I hope to be able to fix now that I had a chance to think about it. Thank you Father M. N. for point it out to me, and giving me this to think about.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.