In my homily last week, I addressed the question, “Who is the Holy Spirit?” As we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost this weekend, I want to further develop our reflection on the Holy Spirit. Last Sunday we heard Jesus tell the Apostles that they were to return to Jerusalem and wait and they would receive power from on high when the Holy Spirit came to them. Pentecost is about that coming of the Holy Spirit and the demonstration of power that flows from that event.
The Greek word that is translated as “power” is “dynamis,” which is the root of the words dynamite, dynamic, and dynamism. This is an explosive power that changes and alters reality. Think of the Big Bang, the explosion that set the entire universe in motion. The Big Bang continues to expand the universe and to create new suns and galaxies and worlds even now. It was not just a singular event but is an ongoing reality. Pentecost is the Big Bang that brought about the birth of the Church, recreating the face of the earth, and it, too, is an ongoing reality.
At the very beginning of the Second Vatican Council, Pope John XXIII prayed for a new Pentecost, a new outpouring upon the Church that would set each of us on fire with the love and power of the Holy Spirit. You and I have received the gift of the Holy Spirit in our baptisms and our confirmations and possess this spiritual dynamite. Unfortunately, most of us are unaware of this “dynamis” living within us and do not really know how to access it or use it. It is important that we discover the Holy Spirit as a dynamic and powerful reality in our lives.
Ask for the renewal of the Holy Spirit that already dwells within you. As Saint Paul said to Saint Timothy, “Remember to stir into flame the gift that you received when I laid hands on you.” We must do the same. Make the “Come, Holy Spirit” prayer part of your daily life. Reflect on the Holy Spirit and speak to him directly. Remember, he is every bit as much a person as is the Father or Jesus. And as Jesus told the Apostles, wait. This is an expectant waiting, knowing that God will give you the Spirit. As Jesus said, “If you who are sinful know how to give good things to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”
–Fr. Mike Comer