Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle A

Feast of Pentecost

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Acts 2: 1-11

"They were all filled with the Holy Spirit"

In the Creed we profess our faith in the "Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life". On this Feast of Pentecost, we celebrate the life-giving descent of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church. Having been raised up and ascended to the Father, Christ unleashed the mighty power of the Spirit that he had promised. With the forceful sound of a gale and the searing heat of a flame, the Spirit "came to rest on each of them", and "they were all filled with the Holy Spirit."

The Holy Spirit, "best gift of God above", is not reserved for a few special individuals, but is lavished upon all Jesus' followers. Over the newly baptised we declare that God has "given you a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit". In confirmation we ask God "to pour out his Holy Spirit … that you may be strengthened with the fullness of his gifts". This is our own personal sharing in the Easter and Pentecost outpouring of the Holy Spirit and it is for ever, we are sealed with the gift of the Spirit.

On the whole, however, we are not as conscious as we might be of the divine power within us. We are a bit like the farmer managing a meagre living from his land, unaware that beneath the surface lay oceans of oil waiting to be tapped. Today’s feast says that there is a Power within us that can take us beyond our weaknesses, our failures, our timidity; a mighty Spirit that Jesus breathes into us bringing strength, forgiveness, and courage. Pentecost is the "Lord, the giver of life" taking on flesh in each and all of us, binding us together with Christ and in Christ.

How absolutely right that we pray: “Come, Holy Spirit, be evermore active in me”.