The Holy Spirit Unites Us As One
The Holy Spirit wants to set us on fire and unite us with God. He is the bond of love between the Father and the Son. Not only is the Holy Spirit dwelling within each of us, he is also present and active here at the Mass - uniting us, stirring our hearts with the proclamation of scripture, and changing the bread and wine to the body and blood of Christ.
The Holy Spirit dwells within each of us, but He is also present and active at the Mass - uniting us, stirring our hearts with the proclamation of scripture, and changing the bread and wine to the body and blood of Christ.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are united. He makes us one. One in faith, one in worship, and one in moral life.
If we allow the Holy Spirit to work within us, He creates harmony between God and us - what we say, what we do, how we think, and how we feel. It is then that the divine life begins to take root in us.
Full Audio Transcript
00:02 I can see there's many of us here who are in the Pentecost spirit, having their red on also, they're a native native, a vesture that we had. We had a beautiful celebration last night and the parish center with our ethnic food and, and dance and entertainment, everything from, uh, uh, Bollywood dancing to American tap dancing. But it was, it was, it was a great time had by all.
00:26 Well, there was a, there's a moment of my life where the, where I believe the Holy Spirit acted very powerfully. It was, the year was 1977 and I was in second grade. I don't know there's any second graders here in the congregation. Well, I was one of those weird students that always did my homework, always. I, uh, I just had always had this real thirst for learning and also also a desire for achievement. And so I always, I always turned in my homework.
01:00 Well, there was one day where I arrived at school and teacher began class and began class as usual saying, take out your homework, pass it to the aisle. I'll pick it up. And those children who did not do their homework, have to stay in during recess and do it, which is like a fate worse than death. Right. The humiliation of it all. So I constantly go to my bag like I do every day to turn in my homework and it's not there and I, start to panic. And then this wave of dread comes over me and I can see my homework on the kitchen counter at home.
01:44 Yeah. I mean it was really the end of the world for me. Uh, and so I just kind of sat there, everybody passed their homework in. And then when recess came, the teacher took the pages that she had in front of her and began to read off the names of the students who could go out and play. Well, she's reading down through the names and all of the sudden she says, John Cihak. It was a miracle. It really was. I had prayed to the Holy Spirit for some sort of miracle and it happened. And so I just kind of quietly slipped away out and played recess and uh, and then I go, went home. That homework was still on the kitchen counter. Yeah. Well at that moment for that second grader realized that through his prayer to the Holy Spirit, he had been saved. And for him, the Holy Spirit was someone real, alive, present.
02:51 Today the Holy Spirit is real and alive. And here. The Holy Spirit acts powerfully in the world in mighty deeds like in the creation of the world, creating the entire universe out of nothing and in the work of our redemption, how the Holy Spirit is orchestrating salvation history and is there directing and guiding in the mission, the mission of Jesus in the Pascal mystery of his death and resurrection. And in not so mighty deeds like saving that second grader from humiliation of having to do homework during recess. The Holy Spirit is not some thing that the Father sends us. He's not some impersonal force or feeling, as the new age thinkers would have us believe. The Holy Spirit is someone. Here's a divine person. In fact, the third person of the blessed trinity, the bond of love between the father and the son.
03:56 And He manifests himself in two primary images in, in our readings. He comes upon the church in a mighty wind showing his power and sovereignty and utter freedom. As our Lord said to Nicodemus in the gospel of John, the spirit blows where he wills. You hear the sound he makes, but you do not know where he comes from or where he goes.
04:27 The Holy Spirit also arrives with tongues of fire that rest on everyone and he does so in order to set the tongues of his witnesses on fire spiritually as they begin immediately to speak and in turn ignite faith in the hearts of their listeners, no matter what language they spoke.
04:50 That mighty wind of the Holy Spirit reminds us when man was first created, when God made men out of clay and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. The fire reminds us of the experience of Moses with the Lord in the burning bush on Mount Sinai and the transformation that this fire brought to him.
05:15 And the Holy Spirit wants to do something in us. He wants to set us on fire by dwelling within us and uniting us to the life of God, to the divine nature. He wants to place us in the raging furnace of Trinitarian love, that giving and receiving that exists between the father and the son and the Holy Spirit. And as we know, the Holy Spirit first comes to dwell in us in baptism. That's one of the reasons why baptism is so important and in confirmation also so important. We are united. We are anointed by the Holy Spirit and impelled by him to live our faith in the world.
06:05 And the Holy Spirit dwelling within us makes us sharers in the son ship of Jesus Christ with the divine son has by his nature because he is God the son. The amazing thing is that he grants us his son ship by adoption so that we can truly cry out Abba father. Not in a metaphorical way, not simply in a figurative way, but in a true way because he has by the power of the Holy Spirit. We have been adopted as his sons and daughters sharing in the sunshine that Jesus has by his nature.
06:55 He restores the divine image in us that was damaged by original sin when we were slaves and under the dominion of Satan and through the Holy Spirit that slavery is ended and we can live in the freedom of the Holy Spirit. How we become true children of the father. And the Holy Spirit transforms us from within making us a new creation. Think about it. If the Holy Spirit, the third person of the blessed trinity dwells in us, it means that we are already beginning to share in the divine life. And so a question we can ask ourselves is, do we have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit as you do with Jesus and the father? Because the Holy Spirit is alive and he is here.
08:01 And when we allow the Holy Spirit to unleash his divine power within us, seemingly impossible things can happen. Because he scrutinizes the depths of God, He can reach deep within our hearts and heal painful memories, hurts that have been inflicted upon us or that we have inflicted upon ourselves. He helps us to realize our sin and drives us to confess them in the sacrament of penance. He could move a hardened sinner to tears of repentance and bring Jesus' mercy upon him.
08:42 And the Holy Spirit is active right now in the Mass. I want to point out three ways he's active in the Mass right now. The first just think about he has convoked us as members of the church to come and to worship at this altar, right? The reason we are united is not simply because we're all friends and we all think the same way, and we're all have the same personalities. I mean, hopefully we do have great fellowship in this church but the reason that we are united is faith and that the Holy Spirit draws all those who are in Christ together - convokes them to come and worship and to be drawn into the Eucharistic sacrifice and to be transformed. So what no nation, no civilization, no empire has ever been able to accomplish even by force comes about through the power of the Holy Spirit in the church. This is the true unity of the human race, the unity of the human race that was fractured in original sin, and we've seen a in a, in a, in a special way in the Bible, through the Tower of Babel, of, of the, of the division and the disbursement and the confusion that sin brought upon the human race. Now the Holy Spirit is here to create the true unity of the human race that cannot happen through our efforts alone. No amount of human effort as a tower of Babel showed us can bring about this unity. It is the unity that comes from the Lord and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, making us one, one in faith, one in worship, one in moral life.
10:41 The second way he is at his present in the Mass right now is what's going on here during the proclamation of the scriptures that he is at work not only in that proclamation, but in the hearts of those hearing. So that that divine word doesn't simply just go out there and just dissipate. But as the letter to the Hebrews says accomplishes that for which he was sent, making our hearts fertile and fruitful, that the divine word that is spoken finds, finds a home in our hearts and transforms us where that word can reside and echo and grow and have effect.
11:28 And the third way he is here we'll see, we'll see in a moment is on the altar. And that is the calling of the Holy Spirit down upon the gifts. In Greek, it's called the epiclesis. And the, the gesture that the priest makes is this. As the priest calls down the Holy Spirit upon the gifts, if we have the eyes of faith to see, it's like this column of fire from heaven descending upon the altar. Why? So that bread and wine can change into the body and blood of Christ. That's what the Holy Spirit does. And then through the word, the words of Christ spoken through the priest and in the power of the Holy Spirit happens if we have the eyes of faith to see. And so he is real and he is here.
12:24 You know a very powerful way to know that the Holy Spirit is abiding with us, is seeing his fruits come forth from our lives. If you think about it with the Holy Spirit, dwell is dwelling within us. It means he wants to produce something in us of transforming us into the divine life so that these fruits begin to appear in our hearts, in our actions, in our attitudes, in our words. Those are the fruits of the Holy Spirit. And what are those fruits? Well, the catechism says the fruits are of the spirit, our perfections, that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. So what does it mean then that the, that the fruits of the Holy Spirit, if we see that happening in our lives, it means that the divine life is taking root in us. It's happening now. And what are those fruits? Charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self control and chastity.
13:56 Those are the fruits that we want to look for. We want to encourage in one another. We want to pray for that the Holy Spirit's power will have an effect within us and and bring those fruits forward from our lives, so that we live the integrated life of the spirit and not the disordered life of the flesh, but the Holy Spirit integrates us so that there's harmony between who God is and what we say and what we do and how we think and feel within us. That it all becomes something very harmonious. Symphonic even. And the more the Holy Spirit dwells within us and the more we allow him to direct our lives, evil loses its hold on us and we become holy. He will console us, protect us against the world's attacks in hostilities. He is dwelling within us and at our side in every difficulty, every temptation, especially when we're lonely or suffering and the Holy Spirit impels us.
15:10 As you know, being a Christian is not about just sitting around thinking the Lord doesn't need me to do something. The Holy Spirit ignites us from within to seek to bring everyone we know into the saving relationship with Jesus in his church.
15:27 Because as we know, there is only one savior of the world and the world hungers for him and we see the miracle of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The Saving Gospel of Jesus Christ begins to reach all peoples through the apostles. And you know when I hear that that from from the acts of the apostles, I can't help but think of our parish of Christ the King. If we look around, I have to say this is the most ethnically diverse parish I've ever served in. I mean we have of course many from of European descent, a various European ethnicities, Africa, the Middle East, the Philippines, Vietnam, India, which you just heard in the second reading the Pacific islands. I know, I know, I'm forgetting some but, but that's, that's, and we saw it last night too at our Pentecost dinner and, and talent show is that this, this is what the Holy Spirit creates the unity of the human race and bringing forth the peoples of all languages and cultures, all language barriers or cultural barriers are overcome in the church because of the Holy Spirit. Now all can know and love and serve Jesus and become members of his body and be saved.
16:52 The Holy Spirit is alive. He was so real to that second grader, and he is here. Veni sancte spiritus. Come Holy Spirit.