Many of us remember the old catechism books we used in school. We spent ages in class and at home learning the answers to the different questions. On the day of our confirmation we hoped that we would remember the answer to the question that the Bishop may ask us. The books also contained some interesting pen and ink illustrations of the different parables or events in Jesus’ ministry. One of them comes to mind on today, Pentecost Sunday. The drawing shows the apostles in the room, all looking upward, while the Holy Spirit descends on them with ‘tongues of fire’. As a child I was fascinated by the picture and I Innocently wondered if this would happen to me during of my own confirmation.
That first Pentecost must have been a very exciting time for the apostles and the infant church. Today we hear Jesus trying to prepare them for the time that he would no longer be with them. He tells the disciples that they will be known by the love they show to others. To help them in their task his Father will send an Advocate, the Holy Spirit which will make a home with them.
That gift of the Holy Spirit is not just something that happened in those early days of the church. It’s alive and active in the church today. When we live a spirit filled life it will be evident to all those we encounter in the ordinary bits and pieces of our daily routine that we are his modern-day disciples.
‘Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love.’