Reflections: June 2018

By Father Chris Thomas

Pentecost is for living

Just recently I was reading a book by an author called Rob Bell. In it he said, 'I'm convinced being generous is a better way to live. I'm convinced forgiving people and not carrying around bitterness is a better way to live. I'm convinced having compassion is a better way to live. I'm convinced pursuing peace in every situation is a better way to live. I'm convinced listening to the wisdom of others is a better way to live. I'm convinced being honest with people is a better way to live.'

I think the gift of the spirit is all about the quality of life that we are invited to live here and now. The strength to live life as Rob Bell describes it is what the spirit is all about. Without the spirit we human beings can often be small-minded, petty, narrow, bitter and angry, which results in a world of turmoil and violence.

Just a couple of weeks ago we celebrated the great feast of Pentecost. In Chapter 1 of Acts of the Apostles we're told the story of two men in white garments standing next to the disciples. They say to them, 'Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?' It is almost a reminder to them that they don't need to look into the sky for the power to be what the Lord has called them to be. They only have to look within themselves to find the power to live their lives.

We don't have to look outside ourselves for the power to live; rather we should look within for the spirit. I get very sad when I see people chasing from one devotion to another and from one visionary to another because I wonder what they're looking for. The power to live is within. It is not outside ourselves. The spirit has been poured out and anything else can be a hindrance because it deflects us from the reality of that power within.

Pentecost, therefore, is for living. Don't let it be an empty ritual that we celebrate once a year. Open your hearts to the power and presence of God within you and find the source to live life to the full.