by Fr F. Onyango IMC
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Psalm 103:1, 24, 29-31, 34
1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12 -13
Theme: Receive the Holy Spirit!
We all love gifts because gifts make us feel special, appreciated and loved; gifts make us realise that someone is thinking about us and actually cares about us and whenever we celebrate birthdays or anniversaries we always look forward to receiving gifts to make the day memorable. In the gifts lie the well wishes from others; they are an expression of love and affection and every time we see them, we remember those who gave them to us. Pentecost marks the birth of the church; the actual beginning of the church’s missionary endeavour and so today we celebrate the birthday of the church. For this birthday God has chosen to send to us the wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit! Every time the Lord makes a promise, he fulfils it and as he promised his apostles that he won’t leave them like orphans, that he will send them another advocate – the spirit of truth, so today he fulfils that promise by sending us the Paraclete! With this, Christ has filled and equipped his church with the power of his Spirit and sent us into the world to bring peace, unity, joy, forgiveness, love and eternal life to all mankind.
The spirit that we receive is a harmonious and a unifying spirit as portrayed in the first reading: though the apostles spoke in tongues, those who listened to them heard them in their own languages. In the spirit there is no chaos! St Paul tells us in the second reading that there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and varieties of services but the same spirit and varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. The presence of the spirit in the church is a sign of richness in God’s church as the spirit gifts us differently with gifts meant for the common good. And so as the body is one with many parts so is the church. With such a unifying gift from the Father, the church should be last place where we experience disunity and fights or where we try to bring each other down or feel like we are the ones meant to do everything and thus lock others out.
Let us nurture the different gifts that the spirit has given to each one of us; every gift, every talent no matter how small is needed in the mission of the church. None of us knows it all but when we complement each other, we can build an amazing community of believers where God’s spirit is forever at work! Jesus says: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit, but the question remains:
‘what are you going to do with the gift of the Holy Spirit that the Lord has bestowed upon you?’ Allow the Spirit of God to be at work in you for God’s spirit is on a mission; a mission he wants to accomplish with our help!