Within just one month, the number of Covid-19 cases in our country has multiplied rapidly, reaching all-time highs and pushing up the death toll. Everyone is worried, especially with the emergence of two new highly mutating Coronavirus strains. These emerging variants are more transmittable and increase the spread of this deadly virus. In light of this, we must all remain vigilant and responsible to fight this deadly virus.
Pentecost marks 50 days after Easter, when Christians celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples. However, due to the pandemic and the MCO, we have not been able to celebrate in-person the Feast of Pentecost these past couple of years. Although our journey from Easter Sunday to Pentecost has been somewhat dampened and saddened by the suspension of in-person Masses in our Churches, let us take courage and heart in acknowledging the promise of the Holy Spirit “and I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever.” (John 14:16)
Recently, when I was at the Vaccination Centre, I observed that people who arrived for either their first or second vaccination doses, appeared anxious, fearful and perhaps a little apprehensive, as they entered the Centre. However, once they were vaccinated, I noticed that they appeared relieved, cheerful and even gallant, as they walked away like they had been given a new lease on life; as though the Spirit had come as a life-giving essence to refresh and renew their weary hearts.
On this Pentecost Day, the Spirit of God has come to us as a life-giving breath to refresh our hearts once again to go forth proclaiming the Good News, and to carry out the mission of the Church in the world – boldly and enthusiastically. Even if we experience hardship, anxiety, and fear, we need to keep our faith alive and cheerful during this new-normal of way of life. The Holy Spirit empowered the Apostles to carry out the great commission, “to go out and preach to all nations, (Luke 24:46-49). We pray that the Holy Spirit empowers us for the mission that Jesus has assigned us “to be His witness … to the ends of the earth,” (Acts 1:8).
Let’s spend some time praying and reflecting on the Pentecost Day readings from the Sunday Missal and from the Bible, especially on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord – Isaiah 11: 1-2 or CCC no.1831) and the Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Modesty, Self-Control and Chastity – Galatians 5:22-23 or CCC no. 1832).
Together with our family, we say:
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and kindle in them the fire of Your love.
- Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created.
- And you shall renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray, O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant us in the same Spirit, to be truly wise and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Rev. Fr. George Packiasamy