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Pentecost Sunday: Happy Birthday to Us, the Church! May 17, 2024

Pentecost Sunday
Fr Gerard Photo
Fr Gerard Photo

Happy Birthday to Us, the Church!

There are currently 64 young people on the Sacramental Program preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation to be celebrated at OLR Church on 7th June. The Sacrament of Confirmation confirms a child’s personal commitment to the promises of faith that their parents made on their behalf at baptism and stirs up within them the awareness of the gifts of the Holy Spirit received at Baptism. This inner awareness and stirring of the gifts falls fittingly within the period of Pentecost, where the Holy Spirit rested upon their disciples empowering them with extraordinary abilities, which we celebrate today (Acts 2:1-11).

 

The Holy Spirit is the invisible version of God. The Holy Spirit is a divine force, much like wind. You can experience the effects of the Holy Spirit, but you cannot see it. Scriptures tells us that there are both fruits of the Spirit (Isa 11:2-3) and gifts of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). The gifts of the Spirit focus on the outward expression of spiritual abilities for the benefit of the Church and its mission whereas the fruits of the Spirit emphasise the inward transformation of character. Both are essential (1 Cor 12:27-13:3). As with any gift you would normally receive, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are given freely by God, we must ask for them in prayer. The fruits of the Spirit are like the fruit of a tree, we must nourish our body and minds with these qualities in order for them to grow, in order for them to bear fruit!

The Gifts of the Spirit are:

 

The fruits of the Spirit are: love, peace, patience, joy, gentleness, kindness, goodness, generosity, faithfulness, modesty, self-control and chastity (Gal 5:22-23). Pentecost commemorates the birthday of the Church, because that is when the Apostles were empowered by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-11) and then fearlessly proceeded to preach the Good News of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection to the all people, thus birthing the early Church. Perhaps Pentecost might inspire you to pray for a particular gift of the Holy Spirit. Maybe you’d like to water your spiritual tree to bear fruit, or perhaps you might like to read the Acts of the Apostles in the bible to learn more about how the Holy Spirit worked within the apostles and the early Church. However you choose to celebrate, may the Holy Spirit help you to bear fruit and bestow you with priceless gifts.

 

Birthday Blessings,

Fr Gerard

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