Our modern age has witnessed powerful and wonderful achievements in technology, industry and weaponry. Advancements in science and medicine continue to increase life expectancy and longevity. Improvements in telecommunication devices now permit us to virtually connect with people in far and distant places. Images on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok provide immediate visualization of first hand breaking news and events. Yet, these modern marvels are nothing in comparison to the Holy Spirit’s power witnessed and experienced at Pentecost. Since then, the love of God continues to pour into human hearts through the Holy Spirit, bringing healing and making us more like Christ. It is the Christ-like Christians who confound the wise and whose lives are miraculous signs of God’s love.
During Christ’s brutal passion and suffering, ten former overconfident disciples betrayed him and then succumbed to fear. As the Holy Spirit filled the disciples at Pentecost, these once fearful and prideful men were immediately transformed into Apostles who burned with the charity of Christ the Good Shepard. Our modern world at times gives the impression that it has outdone God with its ability to create and destroy. People are often inclined to think that God does not exist because of modern inventions and innovations.
However, technology has limits. It may make life easier, help us to live healthier and longer, but technology can’t heal a broken heart or give us authentic human attention and affection. God’s is the source of all love. His goodness and graciousness is limitless, and it’s contagious. We all desire to be loved and to love but confuse love with what is temporary or self-gratifying and self-satisfying. God created us to be loved and to love. He made us to live on His love and to love like He loves. God is often accused of not existing and not loving us when things go wrong or when disaster strikes. We sometimes confuse love as someone giving us what we want, what feels good and what we expect, instead of someone giving us what is really good for us.
People who once enjoyed the comforts of wealth have seen their fortune vanish as a result of world economic crises causing apprehension, oppression and depression. Earthquakes, natural disasters and war have taken away property, prosperity and popularity. Without God these losses mean everything; with God they mean nothing. The Lord gives peace to endure the miseries and tragedies of life, a peace St. Paul calls “the peace that passes all understanding.”
Hate, greed, hunger, anger, envy, violence, abuse, lust, murder and pride still consume the hearts of men. When a person is consumed by such evils, sin is committed and people are affected. God does not cause these evil actions. The pride and selfishness of man causes them. Some ask, “Why does he not prevent these evils or sins from occurring. He does, through the Holy Spirit working in our conscience. The Holy Spirit is the one who calls us back to Christ and who moves towards repentance. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals Jesus to us and who helps us to become like Him.
The same Holy Spirit that enlivened strengthened and guided the men and women of the early Church will do the same for us today. Greater signs and wonders that are more powerful, more beautiful and more wonderful are possible through the Holy Spirit. We’ve seen and experienced the marvels of technology, but are we blinded to the love and power of the Holy Spirit working in the Church and in the lives of Christians. Being a follower of Jesus Christ does not exempt one from suffering and sometimes it only intensifies it. Suffering and weakness only make the Christian stronger in the love and power of God. Followers of Christ do not lose their peace in times of illness and distress. During the difficulties and tragedies of life, Christians who unite themselves with Christ the suffering servant, share in the same love that He had while suffered and died for us.
Christ gives us the Holy Spirit that we may share in His Divine life. It is the Holy Spirit who leads us to Jesus and brings us into fellowship and relationship with Him. The Holy Spirit makes us another Christ. Through the Holy Spirit we radiate Jesus Christ to the world. We come to share in the priestly, prophetic and kingship of Christ. Ultimately the Holy Spirit brings us into communion and union with the Trinity. People living a life in the Holy Spirit are the greatest and most powerful sign and wonder on earth. As sharers in Divine life, Christians love those whom the world calls unlovable, forgive the unforgiveable and experience a love that is unimaginable: the love of Jesus Christ in them and working through them.
Today God is asking us to come back to Him or He is asking us to deepen our relationship with Him. For those who feel hopeless and those are in great distress, the Holy Spirit wants to bring you to the merciful and loving embrace of Jesus Christ. Jesus wants to forgive and heal you. He wants to give you a second change and make you new again. It is the Holy Spirit who led you to listen to this truth, say yes to Christ, open your hearts to Him and allow Him to show you the power, beauty and wonders of His unconditional love.
– Fr. Leonard Mary, MFVA