…On Pentecost Sunday, the Holy Spirit worked a miracle in each of the apostles, and through them, in the whole Church. As the apostles were huddled together around Mary in the Upper Room fifty days after Jesus rose from the dead, suddenly from heaven there was the sound like the rush of a driving wind that filled the entire upper room. Tongues of fire came down and rested upon each of them and all were filled with the Holy Spirit... They received the Holy Spirit's help boldly to proclaim Jesus...as tongues of fire — tongues because they were to speak, fire because they were to speak with the passion of burning love... Jesus had promised that the Holy Spirit he would send would teach them all things, lead them to all truth, remind them of everything he had taught them, and prove the world wrong about sin, holiness and judgment. Then, moved by the Holy Spirit, they began to fulfill this mission. The Acts of the Apostles had begun.
Well, the Acts of the Apostles continues down to our own day. God wants to write new chapters, with each of us — and that includes you — playing an important role. The wind is still blowing. The fire of the Holy Spirit still burns. Each of us, however, needs to let the Holy Spirit in to do his work. Each of us has to allow the Holy Spirit to bring about a similar miracle in us.
We know what our mission is — to give witness to the whole world that Jesus is the Savior, that he is the truth worth living for and worth dying for — but how many times have we failed in that mission, and how many times have we failed even to TRY to fulfill it? If the Holy Spirit could work such wonders with those coarse fishermen and tax collectors, then surely he can do similarly great things through us if we allow him. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we, too, can turn from cowards to heroes, from apostates to apostles, from sinners to saints. The key is allowing the Holy Spirit to act. …
Let us beg the Holy Spirit to fill us with tongues of fire, so that with passion, love and great courage, we might bring the Gospel out to our world which so desperately needs to embrace it.
Come, Holy Spirit, Fill the Hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love!
[Excerpt from Homily of Fr. Roger J. Landry: “The Difference the Holy Spirit Makes”, CatholicCulture.org]
FAREWELL TO FR. MATTHIAS