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Pentecost Sunday

I realized the Solemn Feast of the Holy Spirit was coming and we needed to prepare. I asked someone to execute a fine illustration of the Holy Spirit. Before that, I showed this artist some depictions of the Holy Spirit. The first was fire coming down on people. Then a picture of the apostles praying with Mother Mary in their midst. Lastly, I offered the image of a dove. When the artist saw the dove he excitedly said: This is the one! This is the image most people will understand.

One of the evocative symbols of the Holy Spirit is the white dove. We like this image because a dove is meaningful to us. Why do newlyweds release doves? Why do public holidays feature the releasing of doves? Why do meetings of leaders, church and government, end or begin with doves thrown up into the air?

It is because the dove symbolizes peace. One look at this peaceful creature and you are filled with serenity and calm, an assurance of God’s presence and love.

The gospel relates how Jesus first showed himself to his disciples after the Resurrection. His opening words were: Peace be with you. Then he repeated the greeting. What joy, what consolation it must have been for the disciples who were so afraid of the Jewish leaders who must be looking for the followers of the Man they crucified. But now, Jesus gives them a gift – peace!

There is more – Jesus soon proclaims the source of the gift, the real gift – receive the Holy Spirit! Yes, there will be peace, but only if the Holy Spirit enters your hearts. The peace of God comes to us through this Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, Who completes the triad of Father – Son – Holy Spirit.

How different it is when a person is filled with the Spirit, when a person receives the gift of the Father and of the Son.

Peace is what we need today because it is what we often lack today. How can there be peace at night when the heavy rains raise our alarms of incoming floodwaters? Is peace possible when you just broke up with your boyfriend? Can you enjoy peace when there is anger and hatred at home or when you cannot forgive someone? As long as there is this secret sin you do not confess, will there be peace of mind and heart?

Today is Pentecost and Jesus is seriously offering the Gift, the Holy Spirit of peace. Ask Jesus to send Him to you, to open your heart and to bless you with the Spirit. Pray and reflect and be full of the Spirit.

“Come Holy Spirit I need you. Come Holy Spirit I pray. Come with your strength and your power. Come in our own special way. Come like a spring in the desert. Come to the weary of souls. Lord, let your sweet healing power touch us and make us whole.”

Come Spirit of peace… fill my life with your power!