Happy Pentecost!! This is one of my favorite celebrations of the year - I mean who doesn't love a good rush of wind and tongues of fire?!? I try to wear red for Pentecost, but this year it ended up being a fiery colored dress, no red...except on the toes. :)
Dress: Motherhood maternity (yup, still wearing maternity wear from time to time. Meh.)
Shrug: le Meijer
Shoes: So old I don't remember!
What you don't see in the background: Li'l G running around without pants
That's all the fashion in these parts. For more Mass fashions, visit Fine Linen & Purple!
And now, reflections from Pentecost Mass...
Every year we hear the scriptural account of the first "Christian" Pentecost. Yet true to the living nature of the Word, each time something new strikes my heart. This morning I ended up at Mass solo since the Hubbers had to head off to high school graduation and Mass this afternoon. I was lectoring as well, so that worked out to my advantage. What struck me from the Word this morning was the last line of the first reading (Acts 2:11) - "yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God.” It wasn't the gift of tongues that struck me this morning, however. Certainly signs and wonders were (and are) important as they are what awed these witnesses. Yet it is the latter part that really struck me - that they heard them speaking of the mighty acts of God." We can speak in tongues, we can possess all the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Yet, if they are not being used to bring people into a living relationship with Christ, if we are not sharing the mighty acts of God, then do they become counterfeit gifts?
The homily this morning talked about the impetus behind our desire to possess spiritual gifts. God promises us that if we ask, we shall receive. Yet then He tells us we do not receive because we do not ask properly. While in our house that usually means someone forgot to say a "please" or "thank you," that's not really the message here. I think this goes to the heart of my question. Does a gift asked for out of pride, out of frustration, become a counterfeit? Do those who ooze the spiritual gifts ask differently? Act differently? I'm certain that the answer is a resounding yes. We have to unlock our hearts for perfect love to flow through us. It really isn't the spiritual gifts we are asking for, but rather the power of the Holy Spirit to glorify God, however He chooses to use us. What we ask for is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We train our hearts to thirst for souls and we beg for those gifts that will bring souls unto Jesus. It may be tongues, it may be healing, it may be deliverance, it may be numerous other supernatural gifts - they all have one purpose - to build up the body of Christ.
The other part of the homily that spoke directly to me had to do with patterns of sin. Conquering sin lies in the power of the Holy Spirit. On the surface, um...duh. How many of us, though, go back into that confessional time and time again with the same sins plaguing us? If you are raising your hand, you are in good company here. In fact, after going to confession yesterday, I was JUST asking that exact question - why do I come with the same laundry list of things to confess (with some minor variations)? If I am making spiritual progress, shouldn't some of that be permanently erased from my list? Repeat to self: conquering sin lies in tapping into the power of the Holy Spirit. My prayer life isn't stellar, and I have never asked for help from the Holy Spirit to help me conquer those habitual patterns. Palm to forehead now. Father suggested the Litany to the Holy Spirit as "medicine" for sin. You can bet your holy medals I'm adding that to my regimen!
That sums it up for Pentecost 2013. Unlock your hearts, love boldly, ask boldly, glorify God, live in the power of the Holy Spirit. To close, here's a little something from the new Matt Maher CD just for Pentecost. May the Holy Spirit set your heart on fire and create a burning in your soul!