Every year I look forward to the celebration of Pentecost Sunday as it is, for me at least, the most exciting celebration in the Church’s calendar year. Pentecost is the celebration of the gift of fire being given to the Church so that she will be empowered to live the life of the Gospel and to proclaim it to the ends of the earth.

The gift of the fire of the Holy Spirit is accompanied by the manifold gifts of the Spirit that animate the life of the Church. Without Pentecost the Church would be left in the position of knowing what it should do, but powerless to carry out its mission. Pentecost makes the Christian life possible in the midst of a world that does not know God. For the Church, Pentecost is like a birthday celebration where there will be many gifts but we do not know which ones will be ours. It is a day when we wait upon the goodness and blessing of the Lord knowing that He will definitely come with His gifts.

As we arrive at Pentecost this year, let us not allow ourselves to take the whole feast and its meaning for granted, but let us open our hearts in anticipation of all the gifts that God will shower upon His people. God is never stingy or miserly with the gifts of the Spirit. The major problem is not that we do not have the gifts within, but that we do not choose to exercise them with faith. Let us make this year different to the others that have gone before us and do our best to embrace the gifts that God gives us and to use them on a regular basis in our personal lives and our communities.

The Holy Spirit was given to us at baptism. When He comes into our lives He always brings with Him a full array of His gifts. Let us take hold of each of them and use them to grow in holiness and to build up the Kingdom of God.

Do I live my life under the power of the Holy Spirit or is He the forgotten person of the Holy Trinity for me? What are the gifts of the Spirit that I most need in order to grow in faith and holiness?

Holy Spirit, this is your day, the day when we celebrate your being given to the Church as the power and gifting that animates her life. Pour forth your gifts in abundance upon the People of God so that we can live to the full the freedom and life that Jesus has won for us through His cross and resurrection.