Living the Gospel – May 23, 2021

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“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord…”

As I was reading the Letters and Gospel passages for this Sunday, I felt blessed to belong to our parish family, a community of parishioners who are welcoming, caring people actively serving others. I often wondered “where does this desire to serve come from?” Is it simply how we were raised? Is it an expression of the grace given to us – and affirmed by us – at Confirmation? What of our friends who are generous, loving people who have not as yet heard of the Holy Spirit? Does the Holy Spirit work in their lives? As my thoughts randomly explored these questions, eventually they came to rest on this Day where we celebrate the dramatic public manifestation of the Holy Spirit to Jesus’ followers. Of course, in our ordinary lives, we know that the Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways, giving us insights and a desire to do as God wishes – often quietly and out of our conscious awareness.

And then I asked myself, how does this come about? I decided to reflect upon my own awareness of the Holy Spirit. For most of us, our first contact was at our baptism. Although we were too young to be aware of this initiatory blessing, later in our childhood we learned to invoke our Triune God as we placed our fingers in the holy water when we entered church. The sacrament of Confirmation made our dedication to God personal and initiated a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit. And as adults, over the many years, we continue to sign ourselves in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit when we pray both privately and publicly. As we continue along life’s journey, I wonder – are we even aware of the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit in our ordinary lives? Do we pray to the Spirit of God before we begin our day or go to work? We know that the gifts of the Holy Spirit will transform our ordinary lives into love and service to all our dear neighbors. Even if we’re unable to serve actively, we can offer them a gift of prayer.

And how does our prayer begin?

In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Dorothy Hathway, OCDS