Potential! That’s what that frightened band of men – the apostles – that’s what they had until that Pentecost so long ago. The Spirit descended upon them and suddenly this cowardly, frightened group became enabled and emboldened by the Spirit to do all that they were called to do. Their potential was unlocked and unleashed. Their fears were overcome! He gifted the apostles with the Holy Spirit to guide and protect them, and so too He gifts us. We are reminded on this Pentecost weekend that the presence of the Spirit of God is a fact. We are encouraged to trust in the presence of that Spirit that formed the followers of Jesus – that made it possible for them to jump into the whole experience of being church – to realize their full potential. We pray, “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love!” He calls each of us out of the darkness and into the light. He fills our hearts with the fire of His love and calls us to be the renewal of the earth. We need to embrace and realize our potential!
It is the potential we first receive at our Baptism. We are infused with the gifts of the Holy Spirit through sanctifying grace. That Spirit provides us with the immediacy of God in our lives. He is always with us! At Pentecost, we are called to trust in that same Spirit allowing it to move us and form us and make us what we are supposed to be? God is here in our midst regardless of what we do or who we are or how we act. He calls us now to trust in Him going out with confidence that the Spirit is with us. God’s presence in our lives is manifested in a particular way through the three theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Love which he graces us with infusing them onto our souls. The Catechism tells us “They are the foundation of Christian moral activity; they animate it and give it its special character. They inform and give life to all the moral virtues. They are the pledge of the presence and action of the Holy Spirit in the faculties of the human being.” Faith, hope, and love work together. Love and compassion bring hope and hope delivers faith. Hope and faith go hand in hand – one feeds the other. The Spirit of God emboldens us and makes all of these come alive.
As Vincentians, we renew our commitment to take Christ out into the world, confident that the Spirit is with us and in us. We are a sent community whom the breath of God has touched, a community of Vincentians called church, sent to bring hope into the midst of despair. It is a hope that we awaken in them through the love we share. In new and creative ways, we bring hope to so many in need – a hope inspired by love that gives them faith. It may be someone who is hurting financially, emotionally or spiritually – someone who is in need of the presence of Christ in their lives. We may be the lifeline God is extending to them. We may make the difference in their lives by how we react. The Spirit – and our spirituality – must become a part of the very fabric of who we are. For God has sent His Spirit into our hearts. Will I submit to God’s will in my life and in the lives of others? Will I let the Spirit work through me to bring hope to others? Will I allow my potential – the potential given me by God – to be fully realized during this time of need?
God our Father, thank you for the gift of your presence in our lives through the Holy Spirit who walks with us and the Eucharist – the very Body and Blood of your Son – which nourishes us for the journey each day. Help me to find ways to be your light shining through darkness to bring hope to those who are hurting. Allow me to open myself up that you might use me fully and completely as I minister to others – helping them to see your Love and compassion through me, that they may recognize the Hope present in their lives and find Faith once again. Let me always recognize your presence in my life that I might share that very presence out with others. I pray all of this in your Son’s name. Amen