Sunday, May 23rd 2021 By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin
The Easter season culminates with the glorious feast of Pentecost. We can imagine how incredible that moment was for the apostles and all who witnessed it 2000 years ago. The Holy Spirit was alive and working and the early church grew rapidly with three thousand being baptized and added to the early church (Acts 3:41). The Holy Spirit is just as alive and continues to work here and now in our day-to-day moments just as at our first Pentecost.
The First Reading on this Pentecost Sunday – from the Acts of the Apostles – bears witness to the first Pentecost. During this encounter with the Holy Spirit, the apostles, some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his relatives (Acts 1:13-14) felt a driving wind, there appeared tongues of fire on the heads of each of them (Acts 2:2) and the Spirit allowed them to speak in different tongues to proclaim the mighty acts of God (Acts 2:11).
We might hear this reading and wish the Holy Spirit worked that obviously in our lives each day. The truth is, the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is obvious — we just might be blind to it, or it might be that we have closed ourselves off to the Holy Spirit’s wonderous works. In a former parish where I was the pastor, I had a parishioner who coined the phrase “Jesus Eyes” describing to see our lives and our world view as Jesus would see it. At Saint Joachim, our staff starts each week with each other by identifying “God Sightings” where we see God at work at the parish. The Holy Spirit is at work; however, do we see from the Holy Spirit’s point of view?
Our own tongues of fire might be a profound conversation with a friend, something that we needed to hear in that exact moment, or even a closed door to an opportunity for something much, much greater. These are movements of the Holy Spirit in our everyday moments.
The more we take time to recognize God sightings – the working of the Holy Spirit – the more we see through the eyes of Jesus, the more aware we are of the Holy Spirit alive and well in our lives and in our encounters.
On this Pentecost Sunday, let us give thanks to God for sending us His Holy Spirit. And let us strive to be in tune with the Holy Spirit by looking for the ways God has been working in our lives and rejoice in our own God sightings.