Sunday, May 24, 2015

We can not effectively serve God without the Holy Spirit.

Come, Holy Spirit. Spirit of truth, you are the reward of the saints, the comforter of souls, light in the darkness, riches to the poor, treasure to lovers, food for the hungry, comfort to those who are wandering; to sum up, you are the one in whom all treasures are contained. Come! As you descended upon Mary that the Word might become flesh, work in us through grace as you worked in her through nature and grace. Come! Food of every chaste thought, fountain of all mercy, sum of all purity. Come! Consume in us whatever prevents us from being consumed in you. - St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi (1566 – 1607 Carmelite nun)

Veni, Sancte Spiritus
Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!

Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine.

You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul’s most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;

In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.

O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
And our inmost being fill!

Where you are not, we have naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:

Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.

On the faithful, who adore
And confess you, evermore
In your sevenfold gift descend;

Give them virtue’s sure reward;
Give them your salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end. Amen.

It is easy to stay within our comfort zones, away from difficulties and contingencies which challenge our accustomed ways. Today's celebration, the day of Pentecost, reminds us that this is not the Christian way of living. We are always called by our empowering God to break free from false insecurities and to receive his Spirit which allows us to face life head-on.

It is the Holy Spirit that has called us to be a missionary Church, a Church able to speak the languages of the world in order to preach the saving word of God to all peoples.  It is the same Spirit who dwells in us, helping us to pray, sustaining us in our labors, encouraging us to forgive and calling us to love.  It is the same Spirit who has empowered Pope Francis to challenge us, "The Church must step outside herself. To go where? To the outskirts of existence, whatever they may be, but she must step out."

We simply cannot just play it safe.

Had Jesus played it safe and hid from his enemies, we would not have been saved.  Jesus embraced God's Spirit and was so absolutely obedient to the Father's will, even if it led to his suffering and death on the cross. It was also the same Spirit that gave him hope in his own resurrection.

It is this same Spirit that he shares with us, as he did on the first Pentecost Sunday and as he does today and always, to remind us that "playing it safe does not save us."  

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