Today we celebrate Pentecost. It is also commonly known as the birthday of the Church as we are all sent to proclaim the Good News from hereon.
In the Gospel, Jesus appears to his disciples after His death and says ““Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
This is the commissioning of Holy Church, where at first everyone was following Jesus and His teachings. He now tells us to do the same!
Also note how He mentions the ability to forgive sins – this ties in with the sacrament of reconciliation, also known as confession.
So the Holy Spirit is given to each of us at our baptism. And we are called to go and build this Church with the gifts we get from the Holy Spirit.
The disciples started speaking in tongues and they were able to spread the word to all the surrounding countries, even though they were all Galileans.
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are commonly perceived as: Wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.
Let’s pray this Pentecost that we come to be aware of the gifts God has gifted us through the Holy Spirit. And that we are able to use them for God’s glory through living out our lives according to His will.