Today is my grandson’s 1st birthday. Looking back over the last year, I am cognizant of how much joy he has brought to my life. Every time I think of him (and especially when I spend time with him) I am awash with pure, unhindered, unconditional love. I think this must be a glimpse of what God feels for us and what God wants for us here on earth. This past weekend I celebrated 2 birthdays, my grandson’s (a few day early) and Pentecost, the church’s birthday. I find it interesting how these 2 celebrations are so different and yet have so many similarities.
Bewildered by the thought of Pentecost as the church’s birthday? Shouldn’t it be Christmas or Easter? No, the church is the Christian people. Pentecost is the 50th day after Easter, when the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus’ disciples (just as Jesus told them before he ascended).
They saw what seemed to be tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit..Acts 2:3-4
Flames on each of them, much like candles of a birthday cake (or donut, as my grandson had). Only after receiving the Spirit were the disciples courageous enough to go and spread the Good News. Courageous enough to really start and grow the church, the Christian people.
We must remember that light shines in each of us, too. Fr. David reminded us, in his homily, that each of us are a living, breathing Easter Candle. We are temples of God’s Holy Spirit. It’s our job to keep God’s light shine brightly in us and to share it with others through our gifts, talents & resources.
Fr. also reminded us just as oxygen fuels the physical flames, prayer fans our spiritual flames. Just as with each passing year, we add more candles (more flames, more light) to our birthday cake, so too, we strengthen our connection to God, enabling our light shine brighter.
Fueled with Spirit’s love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, self control, goodness and faithfulness, we become beacons of God’s light. Lifting ourselves and others up along to enjoy the journey we call life.