An Unending Pentecost


I have to admit that I am often tempted to feel sad at the closing of Vespers on Pentecost Sunday as we bid farewell to Eastertide. (I for one am living the Pentecost Octave – it doesn’t exist liturgically in the Church, but in my heart I’m living it and I hope you are too).

As we formally ended the season of Alleluias this past Sunday, I am reminded of the fire that ushered us in to Paschal joy. For the Sisters of Life it started on the porch at Villa Maria Guadalupe with the blessing of the Easter fire – blazing flames that reached at least 3 feet tall at times– just moments before processing into the chapel for the Easter Vigil Mass with the newly lit paschal candle. I am always mesmerized by this symbol of God’s mystery. God is light! God is Fire. Just as we began the season, we see it come to its fullness with tongues of fire descending from heaven.

“God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us,” says St. Paul to the Romans. The love of God is the Spirit Himself. And this Spirit, this fire, lives in us.

To live in the Spirit means to live in the reality of our baptism. God dwells in us. His Spirit reigns in us and we can make more space for Him in our hearts by rejecting and expelling anything that is not of Him, by living in a spirit of detachment, so that the Spirit may blow through us as He wills without any resistance on our part.

A young man on the street casually asked one of my sisters for prayers. She replied she would pray for him, but then asked if there was anything specific. He considered the question intentionally and said, “yea, I just want to give Him everything.” Stunned by such a powerful and unexpected response that resonated in her own heart, she encouraged him and prayed with him.

“I just want to give Him everything.” Isn’t this what we all long for? To give Him everything means to hide nothing from Him and allow His penetrating and loving gaze to purify every area of our hearts. It means to live in the uncomfortable unknown of trust not grasping for answers or a blueprint for our future, but with great confidence in the Father’s abiding love for us as our assurance.

In these post Pentecost days, let us ask the Spirit of love to reveal areas of our hearts that keep us from giving Him everything as we so desire.

Jesus sends us the Advocate, the Spirit of the Father, the Spirit of Love, so that we can embrace this freedom and live as instruments of the love that flows from Christ. In this we continue His work of love – the love of One who gave Himself completely as gift holding nothing back.

In this, we are purified, we are redeemed, we share in His Light and we become caught up in His fire, so that for us Pentecost is unending.

Know of our deepest prayers for you that the Spirit awaken new life into you in these days.