As I read today’s readings and started to read the reflection from Blessed is She, I remembered (because Mary Catherine Craig reminded me in her post!) that Pentecost is the Church’s birthday. Then I started asking myself “Why today? Why not Christmas, Good Friday, or Easter, or even the Ascension? Why Pentecost? “ This was my very simple take on the answer prior to reading reflections or attending Mass: The disciples were sent out to proclaim the Good News in different languages. This was the day when the disciples had the Holy Spirit descend upon them, allowed them to spread the news to people of all languages (and have them understand), and truly get out there and do something. But, didn’t we already celebrate the birthday of priesthood on Holy Thursday? On Holy Thursday, we celebrated the beginning of priesthood, but today we celebrate the birth of the Church. This made more sense to me after I attended Mass and heard the Deacon’s Homily.
He started his Homily like this (please know that I am paraphrasing!) : After singing ‘Happy Birthday’, he asked why Pentecost is the Church’s Birthday. (Wow, great minds think alike!) The Church’s mission started on Pentecost. The disciples were locked away in a room, scared of what was going to happen, not understanding what was supposed to happen. Then, the Holy Spirit comes down, and gives them the courage to go out and spread the Gospel. In giving them the ability to speak languages, he gave them the ability to speak the Gospel clearly and effectively, simply and truthfully. They understood that they are to go out and proclaim the Gospel.
In very much the same way, the Holy Spirit asks us to do the exact same thing. Earlier today, I was thinking that I’m not a theologian; I feel like I’m a toddler in my faith and in talking about my faith. The Deacon had that covered, too. He said that we all aren’t theologians, nor are we meant to be. But, the Holy Spirit can come into us and give us courage, and the ability to speak about our faith clearly and effectively, simply and truthfully.
We just have to allow the Holy Spirit to enter us and help us be who God wants/expects us to be.