The vision of Emmaus Journey is to help Catholics grow in their understanding and commitment to sacred Scripture and Church teachings, and to fan into flame people’s commitment to prayer and evangelization. Emmaus Journey contributes to these goals by providing ministry and formation resources, and leadership training for parishes, small-groups, and individuals.

Pentecost

      Yet there is no greater freedom than that of allowing oneself to be guided by the Holy Spirit, renouncing the attempt to plan and control everything to the last detail, and instead letting him enlighten, guide and direct us, leading us wherever he wills. The Holy Spirit knows well what is needed in every time and place. This is what it means to be mysteriously fruitful! (para 280)
Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel
Rich Cleveland's picture

A Gift Unquenched?

Jesus' gift of the Holy Spirit, was the greatest gift he could have sent the Church. Mary and the other disciples waited and prayed patiently for the filling of the Holy Spirit. Through they did not fully understand the significance of the Holy Spirit prior to his indwelling, they knew that it was a gift from the Father and the Son, and powerfully important. So they waited and prayed.

This Pentecost it is important to evaluate our own hunger and longing to be filled by the Holy Spirit. Do we want him to fill our life? Do we want his influence in us enough to regularly pray and ask him to fill our lives? Do we want the effects which his filling will bring; the positive changes in our life? Or are we satisfied to simply have the assurance that we have been made children of God, and beyond that would prefer not to be bothered? These are difficult questions, our responses to them is almost as important as was our initial decision to respond in faith to Jesus. How we welcome the Holy Spirit in our life will make all the difference in how we experience and enjoy the Christian life.

Fr. Frank P. DeSiano, C.S.P., in the book Presenting the Catholic Faith explains why the Holy Spirit is so important to our lives as believers. "The Holy Spirit did not get revealed in the same way as Jesus. God is revealed in Jesus in a human life itself. The Spirit, taking the form of fire or dove used these only as symbolic images to dramatize his presence and power (Acts 2:3; Matthew 3:16). For that is how the Spirit was revealed, ultimately as presence and power in the Christian life. . .

"The Spirit was the force by which they lived, by which they continued to do the deeds of Jesus, by which they were able to bring to birth the ideal that Jesus embodied. The Spirit helped them speak, helped them pray, helped them heal, helped them forgive, helped them serve, helped them be faithful. For on their own, they could do nothing but live as they always had."

It is not an exaggeration to say that the Holy Spirit is the "vital force" that makes the Christian life "Christian," and not simply another nice life. He not only provides the power to overcome that which holds us back from living a holy life, he provides the gifts and power to far surpass that which we could accomplish on our own.

As we contemplate the Holy Spirit's presence in our lives it is important that we recognize that his presence is a unifying presence and not simply an individualistic presence. By that I mean, that though he gives gifts to us individually and does for each of us all of those things Fr. DeSiano wrote about, he does those things for us because we are part of a whole, the Church, his visible body on earth. In the Scripture passages we hear at mass on Pentecost Sunday, the focus is on the unifying presence of the Holy Spirit. They show how he took the diversity of people and melded them into one body. How the Holy Spirit enables the many members to function for the common good of the one body. When we amplify our individual experience of the Holy Spirit to the exclusion of the Body we do him a disservice.

Truly the Holy Spirit is the all surpassing Gift proceeding from the Father and Son, to us. The question is how well will we allow him to live unquenched in our lives?

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