Pentecost Sunday

Pentecost - El Greco crop 2

Sunday, May 15, is Pentecost Sunday.

“They were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4), Saint Luke tells us, and we think of billowing sails or mothers filled with child. But some of the bystanders were less poetic in their reaction. “They’re drunk” (Acts 2:13), they sneered, and for once, the cynics were right; drunk they were with the Spirit of Christ’s love and their own furious eagerness to proclaim His message.

The Spirit was breathing where He would, and from now on “Jesus is Lord” (1 Cor. 12:3) would be shouted from the housetops. They stayed drunk for life, in this sense.

It is by exercising these gifts that we honor the Spirit. Whenever we are loyal to a demanding partner, whenever we console the bereaved, support the old or encourage the young, we are doing the work of the Holy Spirit. When we curb our evil instincts, we honor Him.

When we respond to the better impulses, we let the Spirit work in us. The Holy Spirit is the rising sap moving all that is best in us. It is through and with our better instincts that the Spirit works. Whether we’re aware of it or not, He is never idle. Our part is to grunt and heave with Him and to push our stalling lives to the top of the hill.

~ Bishop Joseph Cassidy