Pentecost—God’s Love Ablaze

"La Pentecôte" (The Pentecost) by Jean II Restout
“La Pentecôte” (The Pentecost) by Jean II Restout

“Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says ‘Jesus be cursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3).

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7).

Today we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit onto the Holy Apostles on that first Christian Pentecost nearly two thousand years ago.  He is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, the love shared between Father and Son. He is a Divine Person, distinct from God the Father and God the Son.

He is the Divine distributor of gifts by Whom we are infused with Sanctifying Grace and the Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity. Without the Holy Spirit, we would not come to new life in Christ. The Holy Spirit sets us apart for holiness, protects us, teaches us, forms us in wisdom and understanding, corrects and comforts us.

St. Paul speaks of the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives to each of the Faithful as He wills. We can read about them in 1 Corinthians 12. We also traditionally speak of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit that we receive in the Sacrament of Confirmation. These are described in Isaiah 11 as:

  • wisdom,
  • understanding,
  • counsel,
  • fortitude,
  • knowledge,
  • piety,
  • and fear of the Lord.

The Church also teaches that in addition to the gifts the Holy Spirit gives to us, we are also formed by the Spirit, “The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory” (CCC ¶1832). Derived from Galatians 5, the traditional list of these fruits includes:

  • charity,
  • joy,
  • peace,
  • patience,
  • kindness,
  • goodness,
  • generosity,
  • gentleness,
  • faithfulness,
  • modesty,
  • self-control, and
  • chastity.

Set the World on Fire!

If you have found that your Christian Faith is weak and not growing, you need to call upon the Holy Spirit. Whether it is a life-changing moment, or simply an ordinary moment when you need assistance, the Holy Spirit is there for you.

At that first Christian Pentecost, The Holy Spirit transformed uncertain, frightened, weak apostles and reconstituted the Twelve Tribes of the New Israel in the New Covenant. The flames that were unleashed that day continue to burn throughout the world in our day. The Holy Spirit can transform you too.

Jesus said, “I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!” (Luke 12:49).

Do you want to show God you love Him, not just tell Him?

Are you ready to be on fire for Christ?

Have you surrendered to Christ so that the Holy Spirit can transform your life to set the world ablaze?

Pray each day…

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.

(V) Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created.
(R) And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray. O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise, and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord.


Into the deep…

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Solemnity of Pentecost (Year ABC) — Acts 2:1-11; Psalms 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34; First Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13; John 20:19-23.

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About the Author

Deacon Mike Bickerstaff Editor-In-Chief, ICL

Deacon Michael Bickerstaff is the Editor in chief and co-founder of the The Integrated Catholic Life.™ A Catholic Deacon of the Roman Rite for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Deacon Bickerstaff is assigned to St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church where he is the Director of Adult Education and Evangelization.

He is also the Founder and President of Virtue@Work, where he provides Executive and Personal Coaching, Mentoring and Organizational Consulting. Deacon Mike has 30+ years management consulting experience in senior executive leadership positions providing organizational planning and implementation services with a focus on human resource strategy and tax qualified retirement plan design, administration and compliance.

He is a co-founder of the successful annual Atlanta Catholic Business Conference; the Chaplain of the Atlanta Chapter of the Woodstock Theological Center’s Business Conference; and Chaplain of the St. Peter Chanel Faith at Work Business Association and co-founder and Chaplain of the Marriages Are Covenants Ministry, both of which serve as models for similar parish-based ministries.

He and his wife have two married children and three grandchildren.

NB: The views I express on this site are my own. I am not an official spokesman for either my parish or diocese.

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