[__01___] We believe that the Holy Spirit gives us a home, a place, a reunion with God.
When we strive to be patient, to be honest, to be courageous, to be compassionate, we make a house a reunion with God.
When we confess our sins, admit our faults in the confessional to a priest.
This allows the Holy Spirit to reignite, to light the fire within us.
And, we remember that the Holy Spirit is always entering the room, filling the space in which we are right now and calling us to open the door so that this gift can be shared with others.
[__02___] On this PENTECOST SUNDAY, what we read in the Acts of the Apostles is the earth-quaking and wind-blowing presence of the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit appeared to the disciples in a particular place and time, in the room where they had gathered for the Last Supper.
Does a spirit – or spiritual presence – exist in a place after the event has taken place?
I think we would say YES, because we associate certain places with significant and life-changing events in our lives.
Would we not recall certain emotions, simply by returning to certain places? For example, if we were to return to …
· SCHOOL, CLASSROOM, CAMPUS where we studied
· HOME or APARTMENT where lived or visited someone
Moses in the Book of Exodus, when he encountered the Lord in the burning bush was told that the place where he was standing was holy ground.
Father Ronald Knox, in a sermon about Pentecost observes that there are places that will remind us of our history:
In a mid-twentieth century sermon about sacred places and about the sacred place of the upper room at Pentecost, Father Ronald Knox writes:
“The material surroundings [the environment] of the places in which we have [experienced anything significant] possess the power of carrying us back into the past, of impressing on our minds an echo, as it were, of the feelings we experienced long ago.” (Ronald Knox, Pastoral and Occasional Sermons, Book VIII. Feasts & Seasons / “Pentecost” p. 471)
[__03___] The Good News of Pentecost is that the Holy Spirit filled the entire house in which they were. (Acts 2:2)
However, it is also true that the gifts of the Holy Spirit were not confined to this house or place or one moment in time.
Just our sacramental baptism, or matrimony, or confirmation, may remind us of a particular church or altar …and of being filled with emotion and energy …. And this grace filled us and filled the room… this grace was not confined to this moment.
We are called to share what we have been given.
For this reason, the disciples were called, later, to leave the room to go to their families, to their friends, to their neighborhoods, to their schools, with the Good News of the resurrection.
Yes, the room was sacred, made holy …but the fire of the Holy Spirit was not confined to that room or space.
[__07___] In this way, the Holy Spirit filled up a place, a room, at Pentecost so that the early disciples would not and could not remain locked away.
They could not remain locked away in secret.
The Good News of Pentecost is also about the abundance of God’s love for you and for me.
This is possible when we do as the early disciples did, when we bring our fears and anxieties to our prayer, when we gather together as one body,
one spirit, one faith, one Church, one room and we go forward in faith, hope and charity.