A Word from Fr. Bob
Dear Family of God,
Excitement!!! You are there in the upper room, imagine and picture that in your mind. All of a sudden you are observing the apostles who are fearful, feeling a strong, driving, noisy wind. It is filling the whole upper room and you are fearful like everyone else who is there. Then, all of a sudden, a spark of fire is upon everyone and you also. The apostles go out into the area where all the Jews are at the temple and they start proclaiming as they are filled with the Holy Spirit and begin to speak in different tongues. Although they are confused because each one hears them speaking in their own language, they are astounded and amazed. They are witnessing this phenomenon and are excited like the apostles. The people are really confused, astounded and amazed as they hear the apostles speaking in their tongues about the mighty acts of God.
Then you go with the apostles back into the upper room. You are shaking and ecstatic. You can hardly believe what you witnessed. God is in you to have you so powerfully present. But, that’s not all as you are in the room with the apostles and so joyful it’s like the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the series over the Boston Celtics. (Of course, that’s who I am rooting for!) You have seen it before where Lebron James and the team won the championship after seven games, just totally taken over by joy and tears, and you are feeling that way. You are in this room and all of a sudden there stands in your midst, Jesus, Himself. Wow! Again, fear but you are rejoicing. Jesus says, “Peace be with you.” To each one of you. They are just as joyful as they can be and you with them.
Then Jesus says, “Peace to you” again. Then He settles them down to listen to His next words. He says, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And then He breathes on them and you, and says, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” After that great imagination somehow, you are more and more aware that God’s spirit is really within you and you make a difference. You are able to say, “Jesus is Lord” because you are filled with the Holy Spirit. Then you say, “What can I do, little old me, with so many people with talents?” St. Paul sort of says to us, “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different wordings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.” To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit and you feel good because your life matters. Everybody’s life matters because we are filled with God’s spirit and we are temples of the Holy Spirit. We claim that over and over again. There is an enthusiasm in you that you are a part of this big community, each doing their own little part. Some might have a larger role than others, but all these things are necessary.
Paul goes on to say, “As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.” So Church, Pentecost is for you. You are filled with God’s Spirit and how do you manifest that this week? Happy Birthday, Church! Alleluia!
Love, Fr. Bob