A Pentecost Moment

This morning, circumstances required that three of my sons and I attend Mass at our local Novus Ordo parish. We were running a little late and arrived just as Mass was beginning. Seats in the sanctuary were few, but we ended up in the front row of pews just in front of the parish praise band (mental note: this was a mistake).

The priest of this particular parish is young and very passionate about the Faith. This morning, he delivered a very energetic (if long-winded) homily about the importance of the Holy Spirit and how It manifests itself in our lives. One of his chief points was that the Holy Spirit can and will completely transform those who have it. Father then asked the congregation, “Isn’t that just awesome?” Amid the quiet, respectful affirmations of the congregation, there arose a single voice of a not-yet-three year old crying out “YEAH!”

That not-yet-three year old was sitting in my lap…

One of the issues that I struggle with in the Faith is my tendency to want to see God’s power first hand in some breathtaking fashion. I want (or say I want) to be blinded like St. Paul on the road to Damascus, to feel the “violent wind” and the “tongues of fire” like the apostles did on that first Pentecost Sunday (Acts 2:2-3). But I’m slowly coming to understand and to accept that the Holy Spirit acts in little ways far more often than in these dramatic gestures. These little promptings demand that we pay very close attention to the world and the people around us. Perhaps my modern preoccupations have somewhat deafened me to the “still, small voice” that spoke to the prophet Elijah (I Kings 19:12). If so, then I am grateful for my youngest son’s outburst today at Mass. Whether he was truly prompted by the Holy Spirit or not, he has reminded me to keep looking for the Holy Spirit in the less likely places.

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