The Age of the Holy Spirit

May 28, 2023

Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday  (Year A)

Readings for Pentecost

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And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.  Acts 2:2–4

And with that, the Church was born. Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost which, in many ways, was the culmination of the mission of Christ. The pinnacle of His mission will come at the end of time when He returns in all His glory to judge the living and the dead and to establish His permanent Kingdom. But for now, we live under the rule of the Holy Spirit Who has descended upon us in full form, transforming us and making it possible to prepare for Jesus’ final and glorious coming.

The Trinity is truly a Mystery of Faith. In our limited way, we understand that God is Three in One. He is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each a distinct Person. Each fully sharing in the one divine nature. Though They act in perfect unison, They each fulfill Their unique mission. The Father is the one Who sent the Son into the world and willed that He give His life for the salvation of all. The Son was sent and perfectly fulfilled the will of the Father, uniting humanity with divinity. The Holy Spirit is the Promise of Father and Son Who proceeds from Them and descends upon us, animating us and making it possible for us to share in the life of the Most Holy Trinity.

If that is hard to comprehend, it should be. Our limited intellects can only grasp a shadow of the reality of God. That fact, however, should not discourage us. On the contrary, it should inspire us to anticipate that day when we will see God face to face and enter more deeply into the mystery of His divine life.

Today we especially focus upon the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity: The Holy Spirit. It is an incredible gift we have been given to live in this age of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps you have thought to yourself that it would have been nice to live during the time that Jesus walked the earth. But Jesus Himself said that it was good that He go. Why? Because then He would send His Advocate, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, Who will lead you into all Truth. Thus, the age in which we now live, the age of the Holy Spirit, is the most blessed age the world has ever seen. This is because we are now able to receive the indwelling of the Most Holy Trinity by the power of the Holy Spirit. God is no longer spoken only through the prophets. He is no longer revealed only through the Person of the Son in Jesus Christ. He is now also able to live within us, making our very souls His dwelling place. Heaven and earth unite within our souls. There could be nothing greater than this.

As the Holy Spirit descends upon you, He brings the presence of the Father and the Son. They are inseparable. Therefore, as we prayerfully look within ourselves, we discover the Voice of the Father, leading us into His holy will. We discover the Person of the Son to Whom we are called to be conformed in every way, living as members of His very body on earth. This is made possible because the Holy Spirit descends upon us in a way similar to the way the Holy Spirit overshadowed our Blessed Mother, conceiving within her the Son of God. As the Holy Spirit overshadows us, God is conceived within our souls, and we begin to share in the very life of God here and now.

Reflect, today, upon these holy mysteries of our faith. See the actions of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as a true mystery. The only way we will be able to begin to probe these mysteries is through prayerful pondering. We must look for the workings of God within, see Him at work within our souls, savor His presence, rejoice in it and keep our eyes firmly fixed on Him. We must see the fruit of God’s presence in our lives, such as the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Below is a full list of these Gifts. Ponder them today. As you do, and as you see these Gifts within you, you will be seeing God Himself, the Holy Spirit, alive and living within the depths of your soul.

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I worship You and adore You with all my Heart. Thank You, Father, for sending Your Son into the world. Thank You Father and Son for sending the Holy Spirit into my life. May I open my soul more fully to You today and every day so as to prepare for Your glorious return at the end of the ages. Jesus, I trust in You.

Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Fear of the Lord: With this gift, the Christian becomes keenly aware of anything that may hurt his/her relationship with God.  There is a holy “fear” of hurting this relationship, and grace is given to avoid these things at all cost.

Wisdom: With this gift, the Christian is given a special grace to “ponder divine realities” in his/her speculative reason.  We are able to see the big picture and know how best to be an instrument of peace and harmony in our world.

Understanding: This is the ability to have a supernatural assurance of the matters of faith.  Life makes sense.  We can make sense of the deeper parts of revelation, make sense of suffering and understand those things that tempt us to doubt.  With this gift, we come to see how everything in life can work for good in accordance with God’s plan.

Knowledge:  With this gift, the Christian knows, more in the practical intellect, what God’s will is in this or that situation.  We know how to live, how to discern God’s will and what decision to make in our daily lives.  It also enables us to learn from our past mistakes.

Counsel:  With this gift, the Christian sees him/herself as a link in a chain which makes up the entire Church.  God uses each one of us to help and support one another on our journeys.  We know what to say and how to act so as to do our part to build up one another.

Fortitude: Simply put, it is a firmness of mind and spirit to do good and avoid evil.  It’s a sort of Christian courage.  The Gospel will call all of us to a radical life of love.  Fortitude gives us the strength we need to follow through.

Piety:  This gift enables us to first reverence and love God, but also to see the dignity of one another and reverence each other as children of God.

Prayers for Pentecost

More Gospel Reflections

Divine Mercy Reflections

Further Reading – Pentecost Sunday

Saints/Feasts for Today

Mass Reading Options

Featured image above: Pentecost by Juan Bautista Maíno, via Wikimedia Commons