There are two great images given to us in the scriptures to help us discern the presence of the Holy Spirit – wind and fire. The wind is of course invisible, but powerful. Although hidden we can surely see the effects of the wind. Indeed most dramatically, for those who are able to administer first aid, it can be the invisible breath of another which can revive a person who has stopped breathing and is close to death. So too with us, it’s the breath of the Holy Spirit who can revive our flagging faith. Yes, we can feel the wind, we can see its work, but it remains invisible.
Fire of course brings us light and warmth – but crucially the image of fire in the incident between Moses and the burning bush displays a fire which does not burn up the bush, but instead transforms the bush a source of light and warmth. Docility to the Holy Spirit will also inculcate in us this same miraculous charism. Yes, if we are willing, the Holy Spirit will, despite our human frailty, make us a source of tenderness and luminosity.
I encourage you then to step out in faith this Pentecost Sunday and invite, without reserve, the Holy Spirit into your life. There is nothing to fear here, for the Holy Spirit will simply begin to transform you into the person God intended you to be, and what joy will await us when this project is complete. At Masses this weekend there will be the chance to come forward and have some extra prayer in order that we might become, all of us, more open to the Holy Spirit.
“Come Holy Spirit enkindle in us the fire of your love.”