Summary: Pentecost 2017 The Spirit helps us in our weakness (Rom. 8:26); brings joy and power for life, and Charismatic gifts, and renews like dewfall.
1.The Spirit helps us in our weakness (Rom. 8:26).
Pentecost is the birthday of the Church. The amazing thing is that the church has survived as long as it has—especially since it depends on people like me and you.
Dr. Donald Strobe tells about a man who woke up with a hangover: “Your eyes look terrible!” a friend said. The suffering fellow said, “Oh, my! You should be looking out from this side!” Strobe adds, “To those who would point out the Church’s imperfections, I can only say” ‘You should try looking out from this side.”
Yet, the Holy Spirit does help us in our weakness by actual grace. Actual grace comes with the act, and departs after the act is over. Actual grace is transient; that is, it is given to us only when we need it, to perform a good act, or to overcome a temptation. There is a new measure of actual grace for each moment that you need it. Some compare that to oxygen. We don’t take a deep breath and say, “Wow, that is really good oxygen!” because breathing it’s so familiar to us. And that is unfortunate in a way because the Holy Spirit is the oxygen of our faith. We get a new gust of air or wind when we need it by actual grace if we pay attention and yield to it.
2. The Spirit brings joy and power for life—
The Spirit filled the house in our First Reading, and it also that all were filled with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit fills the void in our heart. We long for that but can seek it in other things, even wrong things but the Spirit responds to our deepest aspirations.
In “The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the Prince becomes close friends with a fox. On one occasion they are trying to set a time for their next visit. It is very important to the fox to know the time of that meeting. They finally agree to meet at 4:00 o’clock. But the little prince cannot understand why it is so important to the fox to know the exact time. Finally the fox replies, “Oh, if you come at 4:00 then I will be happy at 3:00.”
“Good Morning, Holy Spirit!” When we talk to the Holy Spirit as a "Real Person" we are brought it to a new level.
e.g. There was a young lady who worked in an enormous factory, one of the largest factories of its kind in the world. One day she confided to her pastor that she’d have to quit. What’s the matter? he asked. Doesn’t the factory have enough orders to keep you going? No, it’s not that. They have more orders than they can fill, but they haven’t got enough electricity to keep all the machines going at once, and my machine has to be shut down part of the week. I lose so much time and pay. The trouble is that they have more machinery than power. That can happen to us, more machinery than power. We need power if we’re to deal with our lives so that we’re kept in the way that leads to life. We need power, power to make the changes necessary for us to be all God created us to be.
3. Charismatic gifts—
As Bishop Burbidge recently reminded his priests, no one has all the gifts. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit? What are your top 3 Spirit-given gifts? I went to a Pentecostal meeting once where everyone was jumping, even me. Afterwards, though, the important thing is how you help the needy and the integrity of your life. As one preacher said, “It’s not how high you jump but how straight you can walk when you hit the ground.”