My daughter and her husband are buying a house, and the closing is in the beginning of June. In the process, they went to a few “open houses” for which there were no appointments needed. Some of the “open houses” were for sale “as is,” but more of the homes were fixed up and shown in their “Sunday best,” with all their fine features on display.
With celebrating the feast of Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit, my thoughts turn to how we should be like “open houses,” ready and open to receiving the Spirit’s gifts and fruits and ready to manifest them. Our just being “as is” may not be good enough. Some examination of our consciences and careful reconciliation may be necessary. The Holy Spirit offers comfort, refreshment, solace, healing, life, peace, and forgiveness, and we need to consciously accept and share these benefits.
The reading from the Acts of the Apostles (2:1-11) tells us that everyone in the mixed-nationality crowd that had gathered near that house in Jerusalem heard his or her own language being spoken by men who seemingly would not know them. If we think about ways of human communication, people speak in many ways…even with body language, their compassion, and by their actions or hesitancy to act. There are many means of communication, but when love is what we are communicating, the Holy Spirit is a powerful force of inspiration and strength.
In John’s Gospel (20:21), Jesus tells the apostles that just as the Father has sent Him, so he sends them. He sends us, too, armed with the Holy Spirit. It is like the deposit my daughter had to put down on their house. That was just the beginning. We have to stay open, aware, and invested. We have to be the agents as well as the recipients of comfort, compassion, consolation, healing, peace, and forgiveness. Unlike the house-buying process, there is no “closing.” God’s love does not end. We are blessed with it over and over again.
St. Paul reminded us,
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. (1 Corinthians 12:7)
We should be rejoicing! “In the Spirit” is a great place to set up housekeeping! The Spirit is a unifier. We are in this Pentecostal afterglow together! Taking the time and giving our attention to this mission of love is worth it! Our open hearts are full of hope! In today’s world so laden with grief and sadness, the Holy Spirit will counsel us. We must stay close to that Spirit in our daily lives. It is refreshing to pray often the Pentecost Sequence, Veni, Sancte Spiritus, from the Mass on Pentecost. Thank you for coming, Holy Spirit!
Image: Fresco of a dove, representing the Holy Spirit, at the Karlskirche in Vienna, Austria, by Johann Michael Rottmayr (1656-1730). Public domain.
Scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, Connecticut. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.