You want one revolution: to renew the world. You will be able to fulfill this precious and noble mission that God has entrusted to you only “with the power of the Holy Spirit.” Every day, where you live, prepare a new Pentecost. (Cardinal Van Thuan, Five Loaves and Two Fish)
Present in these words are two radical realizations and one responsibility. The first realization is that not only does God seek relationship with us, with me, but also that God has given us his very Spirit of which to partake. We are not alone, even into the very depths of our soul. The second realization is that God has entrusted to each one of us a precious and noble mission, a purpose to our lives. The uniqueness which we realize with God’s Spirit dwelling within us is a uniqueness which we, in turn, are to carry out into the world but only with the power of the Holy Spirit can we carry it out, only with the power of the Holy Spirit can we fulfill the mission God has entrusted to us. True uniqueness is realized and fulfilled not separate from God but in relationship with God.
The responsibility then is not to go forth and conquer the world, “renewing” it according to our terms and conditions and in our image, but every day and in every concrete situation in which we find ourselves to prepare a new Pentecost. Put concretely it means; in this situation in which I find myself today I need to let go of self in order to give God enough room to work. This is how I make of every day and even every situation and encounter of the day the possibility of a new Pentecost.
deacon pat said:
“Prepare a new Pentecost…” To me this is about facilitating various relationships we find ourselves in. It’s about laying the authentic groundwork of the gospel so that like a spider’s web, people stumble into Jesus when they encounter us. This requires a deep and profound kenosis, an honest self-giving of ourselves to God our Father, so that His will might be done rather than our own. We “prepare the way of the Lord” by attempting holiness ourselves. Holiness is attractive because people want to be near the Lord even if they don’t believe in Him. The word “prepare” is also active rather than passive. It means WORK must be done, which takes two forms in order. The first is interior work inside ourselves. How can we prepare Pentecost for others when we don’t have the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our own hearts and minds first? Second, comes the facilitating part where we need to be able to discern in others their desire to draw closer to Jesus. Like good preaching, this requires of us good listening skills and when and if we open our mouths, what we offer those in our ministry should be believable coming from us. By default, this means we need to be real, approachable, and extremely humble. This is where the Paraclete can help and assist us in our mission. Preparing Pentecost for ourselves and others requires a cooperation with the Holy Spirit. Awesome paragraph and reflection… good to keep our minds sharp and thinking about the larger realities of how we can image Jesus as servant, priest, layperson, etc…