The Easter Season, which begins with Easter Sunday and ends with Pentecost, is a time of great joy. These 50 days celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the restoration of creation.
Wind! Fire! Fear! Awe! Chaos! These are signs of that first Pentecost, signs that produced “new life” for ages to come. We are products of this birth of new life and infusion of God’s Spirit into our lives and into our world.
When the day of Pentecost came, it found Jesus’ apostles gathered in one place. Suddenly from up in the sky there came a noise like a strong driving wind that was heard all through the house where they were seated. Tongues as of fire appeared which parted and came to rest on each of the apostles. — Acts 2:1- 4
Pentecost is a time to remember when we have experienced the movement of God’s Spirit as the apostles did. It is a difficult concept — a mystery. The apostles’ lives were changed after they received the Holy Spirit symbolized by tongues of fire. They were transformed from people of fear to people of courage. They were changed from apostles of timidity to apostles of certitude and conviction.
We too can make a difference in our world by the spirit of ‘new Pentecost.’ For example, every summer we see the effects of excessive wind, fire and water in some parts of the world. The news networks capture the fear in the people as they watch homes and lives destroyed. Out of this, from other parts of the world, come compassion, love, friendship, hope, new life — all works and gifts of the Spirit. Out of chaos comes a reversal of events to bring new life and change. The Spirit cannot be seen. We look for the influences of those movements that can only be the result of that indwelling “spark” of fire.
What Spirit moves in me most often — the Spirit of hope, of compassion, of prayer, of consolation? Another? How does this work of the Spirit change my life?
Spirit Wind, Breath of God, breathe new life into the world.
By Sisters Loretta Rollheiser and Kathleen Conway