Pentecost has so many meanings, and so many reasons to celebrate.
Pentecost is the completion of the Easter Season, the seven weeks of celebrating Christ’s resurrection that began with our first Alleluias at the Easter Vigil.
Pentecost is the birthday of the Church, the moment when the Holy Spirit transformed and united the apostles and disciples to go forth and tell the Gospel to all the nations — in their own tongues, on that day.
Pentecost revealed the coming of the Holy Spirit to individuals, giving a variety of gifts to each individual. Over time, the apostles and the Church have discerned and cherished the variety of gifts or charisms, which are always given for the common good. In our day, individuals are encouraged to explore and “stir into flame” the particular mix of gifts they receive. The Called and Gifted workshop held this May in Duluth is one way people can do this.
The outpouring of gifts, of new charisms, continued past Pentecost. Founders of religious orders – St Teresa of Kolkata in our day, and Saints Benedict, Dominic, Ignatius and many others in the past – are inspired with a particular vision for living and sharing the Gospel. Their gift – their charism – is so powerful that it draws others who are formed in it, and are then able to share it with others.
On this Pentecost 2017, pray to receive, recognize, and nurture whichever gifts the Spirit has given to you, and to put them into God’s service.