I just returned from the World Street Food Congress tonight and had difficulties getting the words in composing the first lines of these reflections. In times like this, my first (and only) refuge is the Holy Spirit, asking Him to inspire my heart so I can share this with His people. All the time He’d provide the spark that I need to reveal the insights coming out of simple everyday experiences that get us to notice the working of the Spirit in our lives. Today, our Parish did a unique way of celebrating Pentecost Sunday: each reading was done using a different language. The effect was fascinating enough to elicit wows from the faithful; it gave me a peep of what happened during that Pentecost. It touched me such that I felt no longer are we just Tagalog, Cebuano, Waray, Ilonggo, Bicolano, or Pangasinense, among others. No longer are we Filipino, American, British, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Kenyan. Starting on that First Pentecost and up through today, we are simply Christians. After Jesus’ resurrection, the pouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was the start of something new. As the Psalmist tells us, “God sent down His Spirit, and renewed the face of the earth.”
We are One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church!
Yes, today is the birthday of Holy Mother Church, the bride of Christ. Imagine, every Sunday about ~1.2 Billion Catholics hear the same readings and celebrating the same Mass and receiving the same Holy Eucharist that 1.2 Billion other Catholics around the world celebrate. It is truly amazing and an inspiring experience to witness the Holy Spirit at work in all these; at first glance it may seem different, but at the same time it is strikingly similar in that we use the same liturgy. It is and only can be, the work of the Holy Spirit and no other, though which we truly are many parts, One Body.
Let us continue to invoke the power of the Holy Spirit to grant us the strength and discernment as we grapple with trials and difficulties in our daily pilgrimage. It is only the Holy Spirit that can provide the energy and enthusiasm that need to be replenished everyday as we share in His work here on earth.
“Come Holy Spirit, come!”