“When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together.” Acts of the Apostles 2:1
Greetings. Soon for our seventh grade students the time for Pentecost will be fulfilled. On Saturday we will gather in one place together and welcome Bishop McIntyre who will administer the Sacrament of Confirmation upon our PREP and our Notre Dame de Lourdes students. Congratulations. We are so happy for you as you are fully initiated into the Catholic Faith. “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.”
The Holy Spirit is a teacher of things yet to be learned and a tutor of what has already been instilled. Confirmation gives us all the opportunity to reflect upon the presence of the Holy Spirit and the advocacy that the Holy Spirit provides for us.
Imagine yourself at the first Pentecost. How would you have reacted when the force of the Spirit became apparent? What would have been the sound of the strong driving wind? What would you have done when the tongues of fire appeared and you heard the followers of Jesus speaking a diversity of languages? How would you react when called to process a great amount of information presented simultaneously?
Last June at the Jubilee events for Queen Elizabeth II, her great-grandson, Louis, when all of the sights and sounds of the pageantry unfolding around him was too much to take, he simply covered his ears. Occasionally, when the Holy Spirit reminds us of what we have learned or challenges us to discover deeper things, we too cover our ears.
That ear covering could be out of fear, inadequacy, unpreparedness, spiritual trepidation, or slothfulness. The Holy Spirit dwells within, flooding us with grace in all of its grandeur and abundance so we too can “renew the face of the earth.” Yet rather than opening our hearts to receive the grace, we hinder the flow of grace, diverting it to a levee for safekeeping.
Our Confirmation class, in imitation of the Apostles, has been preparing for the reception of the Sacrament of the Holy Spirit. Recall the ten days between the Ascension of Jesus and Pentecost. Those essential days afforded the Apostles the opportunity to be together physically, and emotionally, so they would be together spiritually when the first breeze of Pentecost arrived. That decade of days drove out their fear – they stayed in the city of Jerusalem, cast aside their inadequacies – they ministered in the name of Jesus, dissipated their trepidations – allow the Advocate to remind you of all things.
For the Apostles those final days of preparation for the Holy Spirit were a time of hopefulness tinged with joy. It was ten days to celebrate who they were and who God was inviting them to
be. It was ten days for them to open themselves to the beauty of discipleship which was primed to fulminate.
The time for Confirmation will soon be fulfilled. May the Holy Spirit always find us in one place together.