Friday, May 9, 2008

Hope for a new beginning!

“I have come to repeat the Apostle's urgent call to conversion and the forgiveness of sins, and to implore from the Lord a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Church in this country."

Those were the words of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI in the first Mass he said during his recent visit to the United States. The prayers for the Mass, held at Nationals Stadium in Washington, DC were those for the Solemnity of Pentecost. It is so appropriate, I think, to reflect again on our Holy Father’s words as we prepare for the Solemnity which will take place this Sunday.

“As we have heard throughout this Easter season, the Church was born of the Spirit's gift of repentance and faith in the risen Lord. In every age she is impelled by the same Spirit to bring to men and women of every race, language and people (cf. Rev 5:9) the good news of our reconciliation with God in Christ. "

Is it the Holy Spirit that instills in our hearts the grace to walk away from anything in us that is not of God and to have faith in the Truth that Jesus is risen – that He is alive! That Truth is the source of our hope! In the midst of our struggles with whatever, it is the Holy Spirit who enables us to believe, to hang in there, to trust, to persevere, to be joyful, to be at peace! He reminds us again and again, that Jesus is real, that He loves us, that He gave His very life for us! Believe in that Good news!

Our Holy Father prayed: “Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth!" (cf. Ps 104:30). The words of today's Responsorial Psalm are a prayer which rises up from the heart of the Church in every time and place. They remind us that the Holy Spirit has been poured out as the first fruits of a new creation, "new heavens and a new earth" (cf. 2 Pet 3:13; Rev 21:1), in which God's peace will reign and the human family will be reconciled in justice and love.” Our Holy Father continues…

“In today's Gospel, (The Gospel for Pentecost) the risen Lord bestows the gift of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and grants them the authority to forgive sins. Through the surpassing power of Christ's grace, entrusted to frail human ministers, the Church is constantly reborn and each of us is given the hope of a new beginning. Let us trust in the Spirit's power to inspire conversion, to heal every wound, to overcome every division, and to inspire new life and freedom. How much we need these gifts!”

As we prepare for Mass this Sunday, Pentecost Sunday, let us take to the Lord all that is in us that needs a new beginning and let us trust in the Holy Spirit’s power to inspire, to heal and to overcome. Come Holy Spirit, come! I surrender to your action in my life. I say yes to all that you want to do in me this day. Have your way with me! Come Holy Spirit, fall afresh on me! Fill my heart with the fire of your love!

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