Roman Catholic Church, Mississauga, Ontario

St Mary Star of the Sea

Madonna and Child by Marianne Stokes

We know perhaps too well the power of the wind to turn everything upside down.  We also know how fire can destroy, and also how fire can cleanse the earth and illuminate the darkness.  Wind and fire!  These strong images are meant to awaken us to the power of the Holy Spirit to change our lives.  Like the wind, the Spirit blows where it wills. Like fire, the Holy Spirit purifies our hearts, sheds light upon our path.  One cannot control the Spirit.  The more we grow spiritually, the more we learn that life is not about us.  It is about others and it is about God and what God wants to do in us, and will do, if we are open to the Spirit.

The coming of the Holy Spirit is not something that happened once for all, but something ever new, ever fresh.  If our hearts are open, if we are yearning and praying for the Gift that Jesus promised, as the disciples did long ago, the Holy Spirit will fall afresh upon us too.

There is absolutely no doubt, if your hearts are open and you long for life with Jesus, that God will send anew the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Indeed, it is God’s delight and joy to grant the Holy Spirit to whomever he chooses. 

We need to have a profound respect for the name of Jesus and to remember that the first commandment is to love God above all things and to love our neighbour as ourselves.  Knowing this can help all of us to live in a way that will attract others to Christ.

The risen Jesus appeared to his disciples on that first Easter morning wishing them peace.  His very first word to them is Shalom, peace.  Then he wishes them peace again.  This peace is a gift of God.  This is a peace that the world cannot give, nor take away from us.  We can live in this peace even when we are facing struggles and hardships.  How wonderful!  This peace is a priceless gift.  And this peace will grow in our hearts the more we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit and follow his promptings in our daily lives.  So dear friends, let us all pray “Come Holy Spirit, come to us today.”  Peace be with you.

To read the full homily titled Pentecost and the Sacrament of Confirmation, please click on the following link: 

Fr Neil

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