Human beings need help. We need community, and we need to rely on one another. At Pentecost, we reflect on Jesus sending to the Church a helper, the Holy Spirit. Today, the Church needs help in a profound way. We need to lean on the Holy Spirit to blow through the Church with a profound renewal.
The truth is that it should feel like Easter all year-round in the Church. Every Sunday, we celebrate a mini-Easter. Our Lord is ALIVE! He is risen and alive, and we need to celebrate. We are an Easter people who bear witness to his resurrection through our stewardship.
This journey of faith is not always easy. Sometimes the greatest wounds are those we suffer when family members and friends wander away from God and leave us behind. What are we to do in such a situation? We must realize that God is more powerful than us.
The clearer the voice calling you, the easier it is to recognize who it is on the other end of the line. In John’s Gospel, Jesus speaks of the gatekeeper who opens the gate and calls for his sheep. They respond because they know his voice.
If we claim to be Christians, disciples of the risen Jesus, then those around us should be able to tell by our actions. When we come together to break bread at Mass, Jesus shows us his love by becoming truly present to us. What are we in turn willing to show him?
Today, we find the Church in a new turmoil. Increasing secularism, abuse scandals, and a lack of true fidelity place us once again in a time that is not easy. We create our burdens by not using our gifts wisely and by turning inward selfishly.
Life is perhaps God’s greatest gift to each of us. Without life, we would be unable to experience all the wonder of this world, the love of family and friends, and the joy that comes from using our talents and skills. Life itself is more profound a gift than we can even truly contemplate.
If we are accountable to no one, then the community is simply an option on a Sunday morning, much like golf or household chores. If we are not accountable to God, then our faith is simply something we look to periodically when we are sad or frightened.
When working toward a life of greater generosity and surrender of all to God, we are prone to fall flat on our face many times. We are not called to this life only when we are strong. It is how we respond when times are the most difficult that truly defines us.
When disciples of Jesus Christ act in a gracious manner to all those they meet, they provide a glimpse of home. This home is not in a house in a particular location, but it is a home prepared for all of us for eternity. There is no hate, only love.
There is one joy that remains throughout: the joy we find in Jesus. What he gives us does not fade. The amazing thing about what he offers us is that it also provides a lens through which we see all things. Now we can see the smallest reasons to be grateful.