We pay little attention to the Holy Spirit in most we do, think or say. Catholics have a weak sense of the Holy Spirit such that we think of him as just the Divine Person who completes the triad of Father, Son… (surprise!) and Holy Spirit. Without him, the Sign of the Cross would not be complete.

But the Bible clearly tells us that the Holy Spirit is as much important as the Father and the Son in the history of our faith. His work is no less significant for our salvation and sanctification. In fact, while the order of mention today is usually Father – Son – Holy Spirit, in the Bible sometimes the formula followed is Son – Father – Holy Spirit (Son mentioned first) or as in the second reading 1 Cor. 3-13, it is Holy Spirit – Son – Father (Father mentioned last without diminishing his fatherhood).

 “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone” (12: 4-6).

In the consideration of gifts we receive from God, the Holy Spirit comes first because he is the dispenser of the gifts and he is in fact the greatest Gift of the Father and the Son to us today.

St. Paul speaks of gifts that make the Christian community alive and faithful. Reading through the passage we discover how knowledge, wisdom, tongues, interpretation, discernment of spirits, and other “charismatic” phenomena are gifts. Of course some of us will say that we do not have these gifts. Naturally gifts are given according to the will of the giver. Some will receive one, some will receive another. No one will have all!

But the reading also tells us that the Holy Spirit gives us the most special gift, that is, being a member of the church. “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit” (v. 13). Our baptism when we were young mostly, was God’s Spirit giving himself to us and drawing us to the heart of God by being members of the church. This is a gift given to all Christians, a gift offered also to all humanity.

Becoming a member of the Body of Christ, we receive so great a love from God and from people. And as a Christian, we can also respond with the gift of love. Great souls receive the great spiritual gifts but all of us receive the most important gift of all – love. (read on in 1 Cor 13).

Has it ever occurred to you that Pentecost is the feast of Love? Let us celebrate this day by loving God and loving the people who need us most. Let us also pause and recognize the love we receive from God and from many people each day. Spirit of Love, I praise and worship you! Amen!