May 31, 2020
Pentecost Sunday A
Fr. Ed Smith
Acts 2:1-11; 1Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13; John 20:19-23
One of the activities I found most comforting during the days of ‘social distancing’ and ‘self-quarantine’ has been to listen to some of the many compact disks I have accumulated over the years. Among the symphonies, operas, concertos and jazz [yes, jazz!] compositions, I found one
of my favorite recordings: The “B Minor Mass” of Johan Sebastian Bach. This is an extraordinary musical statement of faith, confidence, hope and joy especially needed at this time. And during the Creed of the Mass, there are explosions of sound that rejoice in the power of God and the resurrection of Jesus, whose kingdom will have no end. Then, suddenly, there is a gentle, quiet introduction that leads to an almost chant-like moment: “I believe in the Holy Spirit.” It is as if the whole of creation is holding its breath, hushed and waiting for this gift of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. Why would all creation do this? First of all, because the Holy Spirit is the reality of God’s Love. God is alive here and now through the Holy Spirit. Second, because this is the gift from Jesus, who says to His disciples, “Receive the Holy Spirit,” and we know that Jesus always gives us exactly what we need. Finally, we join the chorus of all creation proclaiming that we “believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life.” And this ‘giver of life’ is, in fact, the Love that unites the Blessed Trinity, the Love that unites the children of God, and the Love that unites the Church, the Love that unites our hearts to God forever. How then could we not stop, take a breath, and in humility and gratitude, quietly make our profession of faith in God the Holy Spirit, ‘who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified”? The Church understands this, and no matter what the situation in our world is, we know that God “renews the face of the earth” through the working of the Holy Spirit who leads and guides the Children of God.