In the great feast of Pentecost the Holy Spirit is sent on the waiting apostles to empower them for the task Jesus had given them of proclaiming the Good News to all creation.
This feast marks the end of the Easter season, and also the beginning of what we sometimes call in the Church “Ordinary Time,” except that it is anything but ordinary. For we too are given the Holy Spirit to send us out joyfully sharing with others the Good News of Christ’s saving death and resurrection which we have been celebrating over the last few weeks.
A great saint once summed up what the Holy Spirit does for us in this simple phrase: he brings us light and power. He sheds light on the difficult situations of our lives and of the world. Sometimes we just do not understand why God allows certain things to happen to us or to others, but with the help of the Spirit we begin to understand and see things in a different way – God’s way which is very different to our way.
The Holy Spirit gives us power to rise above our weaknesses and love others in the supremely generous way Jesus loved – and still loves – us all, and so, like the apostles, we become credible witnesses to the Good News.
The world needs this Good News more than ever, but by ourselves we would soon lose heart at the difficulty of the task. But as our picture shows, Mary is with the apostles when they receive the Spirit, and she is with us too, reminding us of the words she herself was given by the angel Gabriel: “for God, nothing is impossible.”