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Send forth Your Spirit

On this Pentecost Sunday, the words of today’s Responsorial Psalm echo the tortured pleas of creation everywhere:

Send forth your Spirit, O Lord,
And renew the face of the earth.

Last week’s declaration of a State of Emergency has brought our plight into sharp focus. COVID-19 case numbers and fatalities from the disease have risen steadily and the pain of suffering and loss fills our national soul.

Restrictions have been increased, a curfew is in force and the country continues to reel under the onslaught of the mental and physical anguish. We wonder aloud, when will it end?

Pentecost reminds us of the power of God over the whole earth. This is a celebration of hope, healing, and renewal.

The Season of Easter reminds us, year after year, that Christ conquered the darkness of evil and the despair that death often brings.

Pentecost reinforces our belief in the promise that was given to us by the Saviour Himself before His death and glorious Resurrection. In His mercy and love, He reassured us that the Holy Spirit of God is with us and will always be with us, whatever the circumstances of our global or individual lives.

This is a promise that we must never forget, one that gives us strength and consolation, especially in these dark times.

The Spirit of God is evident in the tremendous personal sacrifices made on a daily basis by our doctors, nurses, orderlies, and other equally important health personnel in both the public and private sector.

We add to this number, the individuals and groups, Catholic and non-Catholic, who continue to be guided by the Advocate as they serve the local and migrant communities who are among the most vulnerable of our people.

In this vein, we laud other Christian denominations and non-Christian communities who have quietly and selflessly aided Catholic parishes to give tangible and moral support to many of the underprivileged who are without incomes and who deal with feelings of hopelessness and helplessness on a regular basis.

While our non-Catholic brethren may “speak foreign languages” in terms of their specific faith beliefs, they too are “all filled with the Holy Spirit”. They are inspired by that very Spirit who fills them with the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Although we fret about the restrictions that the State of Emergency has imposed on us, we must depend on science-driven wisdom, acquired on the international and local level, if we are to survive the viral onslaught that has brought the world to its knees.

Fear-mongering and wilful sabotage peddled by ‘experts’ and ‘scientists’ on the internet undermine the efforts of health authorities to bring healing and a sense of order to our suffering world.

The gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord have been endowed to humanity by the Spirit. If we fail to recognise and use them, we will continue to contribute to the falsehoods that assail us and that threaten our very existence.

We will also fail to acknowledge the responsibility that we bear for our environment which we disrespect and destroy at our peril.

If we are guided by the spirit of Truth, we become partners with our God in the work of renewal and salvation of our world.

With the psalmist, we praise,

“How many are your works, O Lord!
The earth is full of your riches.”

Photo by Sunguk Kim on Unsplash