Breathe in the Holy Spirit

Breathe in the Holy Spirit

There are seven weeks of Easter readings between Easter and Pentecost. Sunday May 15 is Pentecost. Saturday May 14 is Confirmation here at St. Pius X. It is only timely then that we, as Easter people, spend some time thinking about Pentecost, Confirmation and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Please feel free to share these thoughts.

He is risen. Now what?

Imagine you are in that upper room. 

You left everything behind to follow him.

You prayed with him, protected him from throngs of people, watched him perform miracles and bring the dark into light.  But now his enemies have killed him.

How do you feel?  What do you do? What next?

Then you remember, he said he would send help. An advocate.

Jesus had created a ‘movement’. To be part of any surging movement is exciting; the energy, the power, the vindication! But now Jesus, the leader has died and yet, the mission needs to continue. In the chaos and confusion and fear in the upper room, Jesus tells his disciples in this week’s gospel “Peace be with you….. and he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

Pentecost is when the disciples received the Holy Spirit.  Confirmation is our Pentecost.

There are 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit. We receive these gifts at Baptism, but they are confirmed in Confirmation. This week I will mention three gifts that appear similar, but on closer look are very different: Wisdom, Understanding and Knowledge.

Knowledge – the facts (Proverbs 9:10Proverbs 18:15Colossians 2:81 Timothy 2:4).

Understanding – ability to translate meaning from the facts (Psalm 119:130Proverbs 3:5-718:2Philippians 1:9-10).

Wisdom – knowing what to do next, given an understanding of the facts and circumstances (Ecclesiastes 8:1James 3:17).

The distinction is very clear.

Knowledge is the facts. It is memorizing the data when cramming for a test.  After 48 hours or less, you probably don’t remember a thing you studied, but you knew it at the time.

Understanding is when you look deeper into the meaning of the facts and the context or interrelatedness of your life. It is going deeper into scriptural readings to find meaning for your life.

Wisdom is a deeper desire to apply the facts in the most beneficial way, through the eyes of God, as he intended, in order to build the Kingdom. It is doing the right thing. Making the right choice.

Our own lives are blessed with truly wise souls.  The parents who you still depend on for advice. Your children. (When did they get so wise?) The family doctor who uses their knowledge to treat the whole person, and not just the symptoms. The priest who welcomes and invites and not condemns. The spouse or friend who is able to look beyond the tangled mess of emotions and help you to see things in a different light. Here`s to them all!

Our faith is of the mind and the heart, and we need to connect them both.

Lord, surprise us with your peace filled presence, so we may be open to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.