Pentecost will be celebrated on May 23rd. The Holy Spirit came to empower the church in carrying out its great mission. The third person of the Holy Trinity is God, so it’s impossible to describe him fully or to tabulate all he does for the church.
Like most Catholics I was confirmed as a. young boy. I remember that Bishop Charles Helmsing confirmed me in Sacred Heart parish in Dexter, Mo. in the early 1950’s. I received the traditional “slap in the face”, signaling that I was now a soldier for Christ and needed to toughen up. While I don’t remember the heavens “exploding” at that moment, I believe I received the Holy Spirit. It was many years later that the grace of that sacrament was released in a much greater way in my life. I was in my mid 20’s when I was “Baptized in the Holy Spirit”.
While I have spoken of this experience before and hope to again, today I just want to mention one particular fruit of that moment. I began to “experience” Christ’s presence in the daily events of my life. It became normal to ask him to help me with my many challenges…and he did. I had gone back to school working on my M.B.A. degree with the pressures of tests and presentations and job interviews. The Lord gave me great peace in the midst of all that and more. This was very different from a few years earlier in college when the Lord was not the center of my life…. it seemed that everything was a challenge, filled with pressure and anxiety. What a difference walking into an exam with the Lord at my side, knowing that he would help me to do my best.
It reminds me of how in the book of Tobit, the archangel Raphael walked with Tobiah through his many trials…always there as a friend, a guide, a defender who had great wisdom and power. The Holy Spirit has been there with me over the years… my advocate, defender, guide, source of wisdom…..
Next April it will be 50 years since I received the “Baptism in The Holy Spirit”. I can’t imagine where I would be today if that moment hadn’t happened to me ….. but it did happen and my life has been so rich. And I look toward the future with hope and expectation and confidence that the good Lord will complete the good work he has begun in me. (Phil. 1:6)
And the good news is that the Lord Jesus will give the Holy Spirit to anyone who comes to him. So, don’t delay, but ask the Lord to send you the Holy Spirit…and if you need any help, let me know. Come Holy Spirit.