The Holy Spirit is throwing a birthday party and we — all of Christ’s followers — are invited. It’s Pentecost, the Church’s birthday. Pentecost can be for us a time of renewal, of recreation, as we open up the birthday presents the Spirit gives. There are gifts of teaching and preaching, so that all may hear “about God’s deeds of power.” There is the gift of faith — to be able to say “Jesus is Lord.” There are the gifts Jesus speaks about today: peace and forgiveness.
Gifts are given to everyone, including the gift of mission, of ministry. Every gift we receive from the Spirit, Paul reminds us, is for “the common good.” Every gift enables us to be of service — to the Church and to the world. We show our appreciation for the gifts we have received by using them.
God’s Spirit, the Church’s greatest birthday gift, is given to each of us. This happens in different ways, as we see when we look both at today’s First Reading and the Gospel. Always, though, the presence of the Spirit brings to life the individual gifts we have received. While the gifts are many and varied, all the members of the Body of Christ have gifts to share.
And when we do so, God sends forth his Spirit to renew the face of the earth.
— Dinah Simmons
Psalm 104:1, 24, 29–30, 31, 34
1 Corinthians 12:3B–7, 12–13 or Galatians 5:16–25
John 20:19–23 or John 15:26–27; 16:12–15