Reflection for Pentecost Sunday 2011 by Fr Pat Kelly SMA
Locked Up Holy Spirit
When great people die we often say their “spirit” lives after them. It’s not really their “spirit” – this accompanies them to await the final judgement. It’s really their “memory” that lives on and continues for a time to inspire their followers.
Jesus was different. After his Spirit ascended with him to heaven an amazing thing happened. On Pentecost he sent his Spirit back again into his disciples! He still sends his Spirit upon his followers today. Nobody else ever did that. The same Spirit that filled Jesus on earth – that empowered him to heal the sick and raise the dead – now lives in all who are open to receive him. On Pentecost we ponder this amazing truth!
“If this power abides in us” you ask, “why don’t I experience it? Why am I full of fears and anxieties? Why can’t I do the things that Jesus did?” (Read Mt.17:20) Lack of faith and trust can block this power being manifested in our lives.
The Holy Spirit is often represented as a dove. Imagine this dove locked up in a bird-cage. “I have the Holy Spirit” you say. “I received the Holy Spirit at Baptism and Confirmation.” Yes, he dwells in you – but perhaps you don’t give him any freedom. Perhaps you don’t take time to encounter his presence within you or don’t trust him to guide your life. The result – you don’t experience his power. The Holy Spirit locked in a cage. (Read Rom.8:11). This Pentecost – open the cage door!
– Fr Pat Kelly SMA