This month we celebrate three important feasts: Pentecost, Blessed Trinity, and the Body and Blood of Christ. During this time we will also have the ordination of priests and deacons. As God Father, Son and Holy Spirit was present at the creation of the world doing everything for the good of human beings and the rest of creation, God is also present in my world and the world of each one of you. God wants the best for each one of us and so he bestows upon us what we need not only to individually survive but for the community to thrive.
The disciples of Jesus Christ received the Holy Spirit when they felt weak and dispirited after Jesus’ death, and with the strength of the Holy Spirit they were able to accomplish their call to make known what Jesus had shared with them by word and action. Ah, the greeting of peace and the breath of Jesus had given them the Holy Spirit, thus giving them the power to forgive — the power to forgive those who had killed their leader. By the Holy Spirit we have also received the power to forgive, but so many times we don’t make use of that gift. What a joy when we use it! But think about some of the other gifts we have received from the Holy Spirit: peace: feeling calm and in good relationship with ourselves, others, and God; joy: a state of mind shown by word and deed and produced by a favorable event — the knowledge that God is with us, loves us and that we are important. Think about it: we are important to God! Other gifts are knowledge and understanding: When they received the Holy Spirit, the disciples understood how to initiate their mission. They left their comfortable room and fearless came out publicly to share the teachings of Jesus with strangers. And, what about us? Do we share Jesus’ message? Jesus also, by his own life, showed the disciples how to serve by showing compassion to the widow as he returned her son to life, feeding the crowd with the loafs and fishes, feeding his disciples spiritually and his body and blood to us, and forgiving the ill reputed woman her sins, saying: "Go, your faith has saved you." Is our faith so strong that we can humbly express our love of Jesus as that woman did? Our actions should say that we are not concerned about what others say about us; the important thing is what Jesus Christ sees in us.
What do we do? Do we give life to others by talking to them, listening to them, visiting them, sharing with those in need, encouraging those who are depressed, showing compassion to those who have had a loss in their life? Jesus met with his disciples at the Last Supper and instructed them saying, "Do this in memory of me," and he was also talking to us asking that we become Eucharist for others by giving of ourselves in action, time, and word. Do you share your life with others so that they have more life? We are called to serve. The priests, deacons and religious are called to serve more directly in the church, but children, youth and adults, the single and the married also receive the call to give themselves to others.
Each one of us has been called by God to carry on a mission in life. Paul in his letter to the Galatians wrote that God by his grace had chosen him from his mother’s womb so that Paul could get to know and proclaim Jesus to the pagans. Wow! That is like starting from nothing. Well, we do not call others pagans, but many people really do not know Jesus Christ although they have been baptized.
We can share our knowledge of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit by the way we live and how we relate and talk to others. Paul wrote that "I am not the one who lives; it is Christ who lives in me." That is our call.
Sister Schwenzer, RSM, is pastoral minister for Hispanics in Wayne, Ontario, Yates and Seneca counties.