"All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers."
In this time between Ascension Day and Pentecost, we join in spirit with those first Christians and pray that God may renew us in the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit isn't some kind of magic power. Far too much modern Christianity is obsessed with ideas around strange abilities and miracles attributed to the Spirit. In actual fact, if we look at the New Testament, these aspects of the Spirit's work are downplayed. Instead the Holy Spirit is the life of God himself, given to us as a gift, to enable us to live out our mission as the Church. That is both deeper, and more amazing, than the alternatives.
The gift of the Holy Spirit enables the Church to be the Church. In these days leading up to Pentecost, let's pray that the Church may be more clearly the things we believe it to be:
- One - that Christians may be united, and so be a better sign to the world of the work of the Spirit of Pentecost, who made one voice out of many languages.
- Holy - that the fullness of our lives may be attractive.
- Catholic - that we may be loyal to the faith, formed under the guidance of the Spirit, that we share with Christians throughout the world and throughout the ages.
- Apostolic - that we may be committed to mission in word and deed, in communion with our bishops, the successors of the apostles.