Acts 2:1-11; 1Cor 12:3-7, 12-13; John 20:19-23
A priest was once asked by a doctor why he preached the existence of the Holy Spirit as the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity.
The doctor asked: “Do you ever see the Holy Spirit? Do you ever hear the Holy Spirit?” The priest answered, “No”.
The doctor continued: “Do you ever taste the Holy Spirit? Do you ever smell the Holy Spirit? To all of these questions, the doctors received a ‘No” answer. But when the doctor asked: “Do you ever feel the Holy Spirit?” The priest replied: “Yes, indeed.”
“Well,” said the doctor, “There are four of the five senses against you, Father. So I doubt that there is a Holy Spirit.”
Then it was the turn of the priest to ask. “You are a doctor of medicine,” the priest said. “It is your business to treat pains. Did you ever see, hear, taste or smell a pain?” asked the priest. “No,” answered the doctor. “Did you feel the pain,” followed the priest. “Yes, I did,” said the doctor.
“There are four senses against you. Yet you know and I know that there is pain. By the same proof, I know that the Holy Spirit exists,” continued the priest.
For each one of us who are here we do believe that the Holy Spirit exists because we feel His presence in us. Even if we do see, hear, taste or smell the Holy Spirit, we do believe His existence. it is because “for those who believe in God, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not believe in God, no explanation is possible,” (From 1943 the movie The Song of Bernadette).
Today we are celebrating the Feast of the Pentecost. Pentecost is the day where we commemorate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Spirit that Christ promised them before His ascension, back to His Father in heaven. Pentecost comes from the word pente, the Greek word for fifty. So Pentecost is fifty days after Jesus was resurrected from the dead during Easter.
Since today is the feast of the coming of the Holy Spirit to apostles and to us too, let us talk about the Holy Spirit in order to have a better understanding of this Third Person of the Blessed Trinity.
First, the Holy, of course, is God like the Father and the Son. The Third Divine Person of the Blessed Trinity sent to the world by the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit now guides the church and continues the works and teachings of Jesus without changing them. He is the Sanctifier of the church.
Second, the Holy Spirit comes to us first at the moment of our baptism, more fully at our confirmation, infusing in us together with sanctifying grace and the three theological virtues of faith, hope and love. He gave to us His seven gifts of: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord. Also, this Holy Spirit gave to us the twelve fruits of these seven gifts, namely: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, forbearance, meekness, fidelity, modesty, continence and chastity (cf. Gal 5:16-25). Without the Holy Spirit, nobody can believe or hope and/or repent his/her sins.
Third, the Holy Spirit is Love made Person. We know that all love comes from God, but how? We can understand it better this difficult question by discussing the three characteristics of love. The first characteristic is that love is sacrificial. It demands that we make sacrifices for the one we love. It must be never selfish. Just like me, I came to a point that I gave God seven choices to tell me what path of life I must take. These seven choices were: does he want me to be a doctor? Does he want me to get married early and have a family of my own? Does He want me to remain single forever? Does He want to be become a businessman? Does He want me to do nothing? Does He want me to become a New People’s Army rebel? Does He want me to become an activist or to become a social worker? But God did not choose any of the above that I mentioned before Him. I became a priest.
The second characteristic of this love is, it must be purifying. Any love which drags a person down or ruins him is a false love. A love which makes a person worse instead of making him better is not love at all. But if through this love the person becomes a better person and better Christian, then this is true and purifying love.
The third characteristic is that love must always be caring. It does not demand service from the other to ensure our own comfort and to fulfill our own needs. Love always says: “Not what I want but what you want.”
To end this sharing, let us ask ourselves: Does the Spirit of joy, love, unity and peace always dwell in us? Does the Holy Spirit encourage me to proclaim Christ to other people?
See Today’s Readings: Cycle A