Today marks the end of the Easter Season. Today we celebrate the feast of Pentecost. After Christmas and Easter, today is the next most important day of the year. Today is the day when the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles, when we first became a Church.. On the day of Pentecost, the Apostles were locked in a room “for fear of the Jews.” The Church, in that moment, was quite literally 12 guys locked in a room. Then, after the Holy Spirit came, they went out to teach the world without fear. They even managed to overcome language barriers. What a transformation that was. Yet, that is very much the power of the Holy Spirit, we can also find that power...if we’re willing to let it in. In the words of the author JRR Tolkein, “It’s a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road and there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” Our God is not a tame God. If we step out, there will be conflict. There will be challenges. It will not be easy. Often we’re afraid and we simply like to climb back into ourselves and hide. We so often feel, scared, afraid, unprepared. Guess what? So did the Apostles! They certainly didn’t feel qualified to step forward, and yet, they did. Encouraged by the Holy Spirit they stepped out into the unknown, and look what happened. They quite literally changed the world.
At some point, when we look out at the world, it can be a scary place. We can look out at the world and say “it’s hard to be a Catholic in this world.” Yet, then I think we need to think back to Pentecost. Can we really say it’s harder now than it was for the Apostles? Or for the early Christians who quite literally faced lions? Yes, it’s hard, but when then Savior of the world has gone before us, and sent the Holy Spirit to inspire us, are we willing to take a chance on God, to show what we really believe, to step out of our locked rooms and share the Gospel?
In that light, I would like to again encourage folks to consider attending one of the healing services for victims with our Bishop this week. I’ll be going to the service on Monday at 7pm at St. Andrews in Johnstown. I know that’s a bit of a drive from here, but some things are important and shouldn’t be swept away. Those who are hurting need our prayers.