There are many miraculous moments which mark the Resurrection, Ascension, and Descent of the Holy Spirit accounts brought to us by the Bible. Perhaps the most profound miracle (sometimes overlooked) is this: that of a bunch of cowardly, frightened people hiding out in a locked room suddenly had the courage to come out. They had the courage to come out and not just peek out, but to burst out, on fire, with the Good News that God has raised up a crucified man and made Him Lord and Messiah.
What ought to leave us stunned is what happens when the Holy Spirit enters into cautious, timid, and not-too-courageous people whose faith gets shaken and whose expectations get challenged. What ought to leave us stunned, too, is what happens when that risen Messiah suddenly stands in that locked-up room, and (with a “breath”) drives out fear and sadness – restoring all creation to His peace.
Are we willing to unleash that creative “breath” in our world today? The power of God’s Word can still fill us with joy and open up minds and hearts that are locked up by narrow and privileged ways of thinking. In this day and age, when no part of the world is unreachable and every language can be translated in an instant, it is time to appreciate the unavoidable and blessed awareness that we are all part of one another and can no longer think in terms of “them and us.” It’s only “us.”
We have been made new in Christ’s Resurrection, we have been brought to life, and we have nothing to fear. Our mission has not changed over 2,000 years: to take this Good News to the ends of the earth. Be sure to ponder this “mission” before coming to Mass this weekend, ready to pray for God’s help in responding to His call.