St. Edmund Campion Parish, Maidenhead

C Pentecost (15 May 2016)

C Pentecost

"Come Holy Spirit, dwell in the souls of your faithful". A very old prayer starts like this, invoking, begging the Spirit of Jesus to come into our lives. If we look at the day of Pentecost about 2000 years ago, we can see an irruption of the Spirit in the College of the Apostles. A big surprise and a very visible change in their lives. Everybody could see the presence of the Spirit in the inflamed apostles.

Today the Holy Spirit enters into the lives of people in a perhaps not so spectacular way, though no less efficient, in changing the lives of Christians. God usually uses a very quiet way to enter our lives, to fructify in the life of His Church. God doesn't come through a position of power. God sends His Spirit to us, but in such a quiet way that He can be ignored. He doesn't run over our freedom. What is this way? What is the channel used by God to touch us? There is something interior, but not just that.

"On the one hand, faith is a profoundly personal contact with God, which touches me in my innermost being and places me in front of the living God in absolute immediacy in such a way that I can speak with Him, love Him and enter into communion with Him.

But at the same time this reality which is so fundamentally personal also has inseparably to do with the community. It is an essential part of faith that I be introduced into the “we” of the sons and daughters of God, into the pilgrim community of brothers and sisters. The encounter with God means also, at the same time, that I myself become open, torn from my closed solitude and received into the living community of the Church. That living community is also a mediator of my encounter with God, though that encounter touches my heart in an entirely personal way. Faith comes from hearing (fides ex auditu), St. Paul teaches us. Listening in turn always implies a partner.

Faith is not a product of reflection nor is it even an attempt to penetrate the depths of my own being. Both of these things may be present, but they remain insufficient without the “listening” through which God, from without, from a story He himself created, challenges me. In order for me to believe, I need witnesses who have met God and make Him accessible to me. " (Benedict XVI)

So God's Spirit is poured upon us through human Spirits that have been invaded by the same Spirit before. So we can approach witnesses of faith with this inner prayer whispering within ourselves: "come, Holy Spirit, come through Mary", come through this mothering flesh today called Church.