Wind and tongues of fire ...

05-28-2023Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

Today the earthquake that shook the entire universe and turned humanity upside down is happening once again. The coming of the Holy Spirit. It's true that Easter Sunday will continue being the center of history; but if there had never been a Pentecost, Easter would only be an event of the past. The Holy Spirit makes Christ actual and contemporary in every age.

The Holy Spirit began moving within the consciences of the first Christian community and has accompanied the Church across the turbulent sea of time. This is how the Church was born: the Apostles were together in prayer, when a violent wind came, and tongues of fire settled on their heads. Wind signifies movement; this makes us understand that God's presence is active, stirring up the paralyzed, waking the lazy from their drowsiness, removing the dry branches from the lives of men. And fire means heat, enthusiasm, love.

It is beautiful to see the work of the Holy Spirit in our Church persisting after 2000 years. It is an engine that doesn't stop, a sign that perdures. In some parts of the world, the Spirit seems stymied, but in many others, he shows surprising vitality. The Holy Spirit is the artist that continues to shape the soul of every Christian into Christ's image. He acts silently through the Sacraments and gives us the strength to live the Commandments faithfully.

Pope St. John Paul II once told some young people who were about to be confirmed: “The love of the Holy Spirit that you are about to receive is stronger than yourselves, than your indifference, than your passivity, than your apathy, than your lack of fruits, than your discouragement, than your sin. Love can do anything. You have not received a traitor's spirit, but rather a spirit of courage in the fight, a spirit that is stronger than yourself. Love is stronger than you are.”

Faced with the temptation of cowardice and comfort seeking, love is stronger than the enemies of the soul because it knows how to cover its eyes and distance itself from evil. It knows how to forgive and walk with eager feet, because it is stronger than the luring song of our fallen world. Pentecost is like the opposite of Babel. In Babel, men became separated, incapable of finding a way to communicate on their own. At Pentecost, on the other hand, everyone is united in the same faith and the same Lord.

Every day the Church begins anew. Every time a group of men and women, young people and old, children and adults gather together to hear the words of the Risen One, the powerful action of the Holy Spirit is present. In a certain sense we are always in a new springtime of the Church. May that reality give all of us encouragement, strength and a renewed sense of purpose.

All the best…in Christ,

Father Wilson