Pentecost Sunday —أحد العنصرة
Year 113 - Issue No. 22 || May. 28 - June 3 , 2023
How was your Lent? Remember getting your ashes way back on February 20th? The Feast of Pentecost brings Ash Monday and the entire 90-day Lent-Resurrection cycle to its fulfilment today. And what did the Son of God accomplish by going to the cross and conquering death in His Resurrection, and finally sending the Holy Spirit upon us? He accomplished a perfect sigh of love.
As Archbishop Fulton Sheen, mentions in a commentary: from all eternity the Father looks at the Son and the Son looks at the Father. What each sees is utter perfection and beauty. Each sighs his love for the other, and this shared breath is the Holy Spirit, love breathed back and forth between Father and Son. The Holy Spirit is a sigh of love, born of beauty.
We begin life breathing, so to speak, in union with our mothers, enclosed in their wombs, under their hearts, two hearts beating as one. Once born, we take our first breath of this world’s air and begin to cry, seeking to regain closeness to the maternal heart. We grow older, taking deep breaths, learning to receive and give love, but learning also that all human love is limited. Most of us eventually find love in a particular person, a boy or a girl whose beauty captivates us. We long to breathe together, to become one beating heart again. But this love, only human, disappoints us.
Pentecost draws us into the perfect love between the Father and the Son. Their sigh of love fills the world: “a driving wind” fills the house in which the apostles were. They begin to speak with this same breath, speaking only one word: “Jesus.” Jesus is my all in all, as Mother Teresa put it. “Only by the Holy Spirit,” St. Paul testifies, “can anyone say that Jesus is Lord.” Only by the Holy Spirit do we even know that we have a Savior, one who can purify our hobbled human love. The Holy Spirit, however, is not only oxygen to people who are suffocating, but also the fire that feeds on that oxygen. Not only a strong driving wind filled the house, but fire filled the air above the apostles. The sigh of love between Father and Son becomes a fire animating the entire world. Human love needs to be purified. The human embrace can only be fruitful—can bring us to “flourishing” to use a popular word—by virtue of the Holy Spirit. A man and a woman in love humbly ask God’s permission to enter a true embrace, begging the Holy Spirit to fill them on their wedding day. Only after they make their vows before God’s altar may they kiss. Recklessly entering a “relationship” without first begging help from the Holy Spirit will disappoint us, and eventually hurt everyone around us. When we pray “Hail Mary, Full of Grace,” we pray to her who is full of the Holy Spirit. Please, Blessed Mother, bring us to the Holy Spirit, that our lives may be spiritual, pure and beautiful, like yours.