“Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” John 20:19
We think of the apostles as great men—and they were. But like us they had their fears, which is one of the reasons they were behind locked doors on that first Pentecost Sunday.
As it happened, the Holy Spirit had other plans for these men of faith, and ultimately for us as well. Today, on Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate the courage the apostles showed by accepting their call to mission, and in the process, enriching our lives. We are the inheritors of their courage—their passionate desire—to proclaim salvation in Christ. All of which begs the question: How fearless are we in witnessing our own gift of faith?
With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can be the missioners who build God’s kingdom on earth with as steady a hand as the apostles did. Our Church is born anew each day that we release our fears and give ourselves over to living the Gospel. Our mission is not to focus on our own happiness or personal concerns, but in spreading the Word of God beginning with the here and now.
On that first Pentecost, you could say the apostles were baptized with the fire of the Holy Spirit, a gift they shared with the disciples we have come to know as Paul, Timothy, Titus and all those who followed. Imbued with the Holy Spirit, these early missioners overcame their fears. They moved beyond their culture and comfort zone to proclaim the Good News of our faith.
Friend, you may not think of yourself as a Peter or Thomas, much less a Paul or Timothy. But you are. You have all the gifts you need to witness Christ’s compassion and God’s love. Your calling comes directly from the Holy Spirit and Pentecost itself, the birthday of our Church. So, on Pentecost Sunday, be brave and proclaim the Good News with the greatest joy… in ways that only you can.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Come, Holy Spirit, and unlock the door
of my heart which fear and hurt
have sealed shut and held tightly closed.
Open my soul to the peace of Christ
and empower me to forgive and ask forgiveness.
Transform my physical and emotional wounds
into a wellspring of health and healing.
Cast from my heart all hurtful thoughts
that my mind and soul may become
a fitting tabernacle of Your presence.
Fill me with the spiritual gifts of
wisdom, understanding, counsel,
fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.
Above all grant me the light of Christ
to lead me through the heat of day
and the silence of night with the
blessed assurance You are ever
by my side.
Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso