(As my Father sent me, so am I sending you.)
On the festival of Pentecost we celebrate the birth of the Church. We commemorate the time when Jesus told the apostles to wait in Jerusalem for the Father’s gift of the Holy Spirit, from whom they would receive power to be his witnesses to the people of the world.
After Jesus’ ascension into heaven, the apostles returned to the Upper Room. The sound of a violent wind filled the house, tongues of fire came to rest on each of them and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. They were given the power to communicate in many languages. After receiving the Holy Spirit, the apostles went out to spread the word of God to the world. This was the beginning of the Church as we know it. As Jesus said, “As my Father sent me, so am I sending you.”
In this way, God calls us to follow the example of the apostles. On 21 April, Lawrence Emm stressed much the same in his interesting article on witnessing God’s love through the vocations that we have been given. Also, just before Christmas, Fr Alex produced a leaflet expressing the importance of each of us having a mission to witness God in our world. Of course, there are many people in our parish already doing this in various groups, such as CAFOD, the Apostleship of the Sea, Growing in Faith, choirs, prison work and many more, praising and witnessing God. However, there are many of us who may not have made up our minds yet. I feel sure Jesus is saying, “Don’t hesitate: I have given each of you talents to go out to the world, reaching out to others in my name.” This is something for which we should seriously hold ourselves accountable. A mission keeps us rooted in God’s love while we minister to others in a world where many have turned away from God.