Are you a Holy Spirit Christian, newly born of water and the Holy Spirit? Is there a fire burning inside of you that makes you want to shout out “Praise Jesus!”? I hope so. We Catholics cannot let the Pentecostals have all the fun. The Holy Spirit is not something that some other Christians do; every prayer is “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Let us not be like those whom St. Paul asked “‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you came to believe?’ and they said, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’”
Throughout history, God has spoken to humans in many and varied ways, but in our times, the last days, he sent his Son. When his Son was going to ascend to heaven he promised to send us an advocate: the Holy Spirit, who is God with the Father and the Son. And the Holy Spirit came. He came as fire and wind, a mighty rushing wind that filled the house, and tongues of fire that appeared and rested on each disciple.
Why do we need the Holy Spirit? The Spirit helps us in our weakness. The Holy Spirit bears witness to us about the forgiveness of sins. God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. We do not know how to pray correctly, but the Spirit intercedes for us with sighs that cannot be reduced to words. No one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. By the power of the Holy Spirit we will have abundant hope. The Spirit of God has made you, and the breath of the Almighty gives you life. No one understands the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God, for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.
How does the Holy Spirit change us? It is by the Holy Spirit that we are adopted by God, for all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons and daughters of God, and you have received this Spirit of adoption as sons and daughters, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Holy Spirit takes possession of us by dwelling within us. Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God; you are not your own.
Everyone is invited to come this Sunday for the Confirmation Mass. Sixty-six young Catholics will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation and be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. Come celebrate this exciting moment for our community, an increase of the Holy Spirit, and whether or not you are able to be there, be aware of this same gift who dwells in you and has the power to change you for the better, who can give you greater joy than anything this world has to offer.
Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! Alleluia! Alleluia!