Pentecost is coming too fast. Today’s celebration of the Ascension means there is just one week left in this wonderful season of Easter, which I am enjoying more than usual this year. Seven weeks of meditation and celebration of the resurrection of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and everything that follows from these two events. Day after day, we have read excerpts from the Acts of the Apostles, wherein we see the Holy Spirit causing the Church to emerge, so effortlessly, so unstoppably. We see the Church, such as we know it today, taking shape. Closer to home, after celebrating the baptism and confirmation of some twenty adults at the Easter Vigil, and the first communion of PREP children in grades three to seven some time before, we celebrated a beautiful confirmation of no fewer than 69 children on May 3rd, and by the time you read these lines, we will have celebrated the first communion of as many grade two children, from school and PREP, on May 12th. In all of this, it is always the same Spirit, meting out to us the grace to be Christian, the grace to be a part of the Church, which is simply “the body of Christ, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” (Ephesians 1:23). In one week from now, with the celebration of Pentecost, this season will end, and we will slip back into “ordinary time”.
My consolation is that of course, even though the liturgical season of Easter comes to an end, what we celebrate in this season just goes on and on. The Holy Spirit will remain present to us, the Church of God. We will continue to benefit from the presence of the Holy Spirit in and among us, that makes of us the Church that we are.
There is a time for everything. Ordinary Time is the time to simply be Church, with all that this means. Easter is the time to focus inward a bit, to remember the inner workings of the Church, to focus on that which makes us Church, namely, the Holy Spirit. Because the Spirit is so intimate to our Christian being, we lose sight of her. (This is not a mistake in gender. In Greek, the word for “spirit”, “pneuma”, is feminine!). Easter is a good time to simply remember the reality of the Holy Spirit, and the fact that everything about us that is Christian, including our relationship with Jesus, is the abiding work of the Holy Spirit. So let us take time, in the week that remains between now and the feast of Pentecost, to remember, to reflect upon, to acknowledge, and to pray in thanksgiving for the ever-abiding Holy Spirit of God that is in us and that makes us the blessed Church that we are.