“He breathed on them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:22
I feel horrible. Yesterday was Pentecost Sunday and I failed to write my normal Sunday Scripture blog. I’m so bummed about it that I’m writing it today…never too late for God, right?
Pentecost Sunday is one the Church’s most ancient feasts and recounts the time when the Holy Spirit came to the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Christ had promised He would send His Holy Spirit and on Pentecost nearly 3,000 non-believers were baptized and the Apostles were granted the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. On that day, often called the “birthday of the church,” through the descent of the Holy Spirit, Christ’s mission was completed and His promise to be with us forever was fulfilled.
I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the Holy Spirit. Every day I pray, “Holy Spirit help me today in everything I think and do and say” and I’ve passed that simple prayer onto my daughter and the young man I recently sponsored for the sacrament of confirmation. It’s fitting, as during the Catholic confirmation process, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are studied at length and it is the sacrament during which we receive and are anointed with the same Spirit of Jesus. Not a different Spirit or a lesser Spirit, but the same exact spirit. Hash-tag chills.
The Gifts can be found in scripture and are considered gifts from God. We cannot merit them and we are not entitled to them. With the help of these gifts we are to go out into the world and proclaim the Word and our faith. In a way, they are simple rules on how to live life. They are:
Gifts of the Holy Spirit
(1 Cor. 12)
Prevents us from being mislead
Knowing only God can make us truly happy
Helps us have God’s view of things
Helps see God even in suffering
Helps us understand church doctrines and mysteries
Helps us avoid evil
Fear of the Lord
When we see what we’re afraid to lose, we see what we really love
Fear of offending God
Gives us energy to overcome difficulties and pressure
A “holy patience”
Reverence for God and religious obligations
Saints’ intercessions are acts of piety
Instructs good judgment
Sense of trust