It is a great celebration in our Liturgical year….sometimes it is referred to as the “Birth of the Church”…
It is also, I believe, one of the most challenging and misunderstood aspects of our fundamental belief in God.
As Catholic Christians….we believe that God is and has been manifested to us in three distinct ways.
One in the Creator…often referred to as the Father…but what we know about this God is that it is the fundamental creative force of our world….as Creator, we understand that this face of God is revealed in the natural world and in the myriad worlds that inhabit the vast galaxies of space as we understand it.
Another is Jesus the Christ….the Redeemer…the one who became one with us to show us that God’s love is present and never ending. We often refer to Jesus as the bridge between heaven and earth, or more broadly understood as the one who reunited our understanding that we are intimately united with our Creator God, simply because we are and nothing can destroy that relationship except us deciding it will be otherwise.
And that which we celebrate today….the Holy Spirit….The Pneuma—in Greek….meaning that essence of God that has been given to us….that dwells in us…to remind us always that each and every one of us are a spark of the Divine Fire that will never die.
But herein lays our greatest challenge…..
Often we step into our lives and our world, with our hearts and minds closed to what might me a moment of grace, or an insight of understanding.
Sometimes I think we don’t believe we can see the Holy Spirit alive and active in our world. Maybe that is part of the reason we come and gather with each other every week. To remind ourselves that holiness is possible.
None of us are perfect…none of us live every breathing moment of our lives living the Holy Spirit in our lives or our world. But we gather to remind ourselves, just as Jesus did…that no matter what, we know it is possible…even if only here for a little while.
I once saw a marvelous Church sign that said: All are welcome-Hypocrites included; there is always room for one more!
I don’t know about you, but I don’t come to Mass to get beat up with my own failings….I come to be challenged to new thinking and new engagement with my understanding of God AND to be affirmed in my holiness as well.
I know I can speak for Rev. Corein and Rev. Colleen that when we stand to say thank you for being here this evening, we are not just being Minnesota nice….we are truly meaning it with the depth of this understanding….thank you for being here for and with one another so we can be reminded that holiness is possible, if only we chose to make it so.
Thank you for gathering here to share your holiness with one another, and to remind ourselves that we can change the world by our lives if only we live the Spirit that is within us and has been freely given to each of us.
Every time we see the Holy Spirit, it will look like this: