Today we celebrate the Holy Spirit, the giver of life. We owe our lives to the Holy Spirit. You remember that in the beginning, there was noting but a pile of dirt. God breathed into it and gave birth to life. We are products of the spirit and we run on the spirit. An engine runs on gasoline; we run on the Holy Spirit. G-A-S
G – The Holy Spirit guides us. He puts us where we need to be when we need to be there. In the olden days in Ireland, the image for the Holy Spirit was the goose, because following the Spirit is like a wild goose chase. Today we have our graduates with us. They are being launched into their futures. The Holy Spirit will probably put you all in unexpected places. Even the best-planned life never goes according to plan. There are twists and turns, some so great we can’t wipe the smile off our faces, and some that hurt. But the Spirit puts us where we need to be. I went to the gas station a whlie back. I normally pay at the pump; this time I went inside. The lady laughed, and said, “I can’t believe a priest just walked in. I haven’t been to church in ten years and just today thought about going back.” That’s the Spirit. The Spirit sends folks all over; in our Gospel, Jesus sends the apostles out and about. We must be like them and go where we’re sent.
A – Awakens us. The Holy Spirit wakes us up. Last night he reading at Mass was that beautiful reading from Ezekiel, the valley of the bones. God sends Ezekiel to pray life into this pile of dead bones. And boom! Bone to bone, the bones become a vast army. God does this. Sometimes folks go to Mass for 20 years and never open a book to sing. Ridiculous! Sing. Wake up. Sometimes folks never get beyond just going to church; they don’t let Jesus animate their lives, put them to service, serve the church, serve the poor, etc. God says today: WAKE UP. Don’t be part of the frozen chosen. As Msgr pope says, “Pentecost puts to the lie a sleepy, tepid Christian life.” There is not such thing as that. Either you are alive and happy and zealous for Jesus or you don’t love him at all. Wake up. I think about all our parish is doing–Habitat, St Vincent de Paul, festival, school, etc….and I think: God is waking us up, more and more, every day. Thanks to God! But it gotta start with each one of us being awakened….then he awakens the church, the city, the world
S – Strengthens us. Here’s something cool: We say at ever yMass in the Creed that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son. Well we take into our bodies and souls at every Mass the Son. We take in Jesus. And proceeding from Jesus, proceeding from that host inside of us is the HOLY SPIRIT. We have a fountain of strength and pwoer and grace flowing unstoppably in our bodies thanks to the Eucharist. We have strength from that.
God bless you.