May 20, 2018 – Pentecost Sunday – At the Vigil Mass

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Today we celebrate the birth of our Church – Pentecost Sunday!

Pentecost comes from the Greek word “pentecoste” – which means 50th. Pentecost comes 50 days after Easter and commemorates the events in the Upper Room. The apostles gathered, along with Mary, in the Upper Room after Jesus’ Ascension. Jesus told them that an advocate would come to help them continue His mission. So they waited for this help to arrive. And on that 50th day after Easter, the Holy Spirit came upon them with a gust of wind and tongues of fire.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. Acts 2:4

Praise God for the gifts of the Holy Spirit!

I think I am an extroverted introvert or maybe an introverted extrovert. (I took a test to see which I am, but it put me in the middle of the spectrum.) I am not the most eloquent speaker. In fact, I get SO nervous when I interact with people. I stumble and mumble trying to say the “right” things. In social situations, I am often quiet and just listen to others speak.

Yet, as a youth ministry leader, I am often called upon to make presentations, speak before large groups, and share my faith openly. In those circumstances, there is a courage and boldness that comes over me. I have been told that my whole being lights up when I am speaking about my faith and youth ministry. THAT is the POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT!

I know that I could not share my faith and do this ministry work if not for the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. AND this faith and work brings me such great joy! When we recognize our calling, God empowers us with what we need to fulfill His will. God calls me to public speaking in my ministries. Often, in disbelief, I ask, “Why me?” Why does God think I am capable of doing this? Doubts start to creep into my head and my nerves get frazzled. I listen for His call and PRAY. I pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to come and HELP! When the time comes to speak, the nervousness is gone and I can’t believe how the words just flow and His message is delivered.

I recently attended a ceremony to honor my sister, Aissa. She was receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award for her work through the American Red Cross and ADRP. She gave an amazing speech that was both humble and inspiring. She shared how she didn’t realize in her early career that the path she would take would lead her to use the gifts of marketing and sales to help save lives through blood donors. She was empowered to share her gifts in order to fulfill His will – saving others.

During this same ceremony, a High School in Quebec was honored as the School Blood Drive of the year. This high school of 900 students was able to recruit over 1000 people in their community to donate blood to help others. Keep in mind that most high school students are under the age of 18 and cannot donate blood themselves. So these students were able to reach out into the community and convince others to donate and save lives. They were empowered to go forth, share the message of how people can help others, and influenced others to give in order to save lives.

Whether we are called to donate blood, dedicate our lives to serving others through our companies or our ministries, maybe we are called to share our faith story with a large group or maybe with just one friend, God will call us in many ways and throughout our lives. Yes, YOU, too!!! So . . .

Listen for His call and Pray for His direction.
Receive the power of the Holy Spirit and Be Not Afraid.
Go forth and share the Good News with the world!

Happy Birthday, Church!!! Thanks be to God for the gifts!

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