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Plug into the Power of the Holy Spirit

I love the Pentecost images of “a noise like a strong driving wind” and “tongues as of fire.” (Acts 2:2-3) These images are reminiscent of the Great Theophany – the manifestation of God’s Presence – on Mount Sinai when God spoke to Moses (Exodus 19:16-19): God comes down on the mountain with “peals of thunder and lightning…Mount Sinai was completely enveloped in smoke, because the Lord had come down upon it in fire.” Maybe this is why I love the sound of the wind, a good thunderstorm, and gazing into a fire in my fireplace or backyard fire pit. There is great power in the sound of the wind, a thunderstorm, and fire; yet they also bring me a sense of deep soul-peace.

In the Great Theophany, God spoke to Moses and asked him to share God’s message with the Israelites. Moses communicated all that God commanded, inviting the Israelites into relationship with God. At Pentecost the Spirit moves in the disciples, and they are able to speak in all the languages of the people for them to understand the preaching of the Good News of Christ Jesus. Through the Presence of God and the movement of the Holy Spirit within them, Moses and the disciples are able to communicate God’s love and desire for relationship with the people around them.

We have received that same Holy Spirit through the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. We have been filled with that same power of the Holy Spirit that compelled Moses and the disciples to speak. When we tap into the power of the Holy Spirit already present within us, we, like Moses and those disciples, are able to speak God’s Word of love and invitation to everyone we encounter. We just need to open our hearts to that powerful Presence.

An image that came to me a few years ago is that prayer is like a plug inserted in a power socket. Through prayer – attending Mass, reflecting on Scripture, devotions, silence – we connect ourselves into the power socket of the Holy Spirit. Then the “juice” of the Spirit moves through us to light up our hearts to shine into the darkness of the world. The juice of the Spirit empowers and animates us to speak and act in the love of Christ.

As we celebrate Pentecost, I invite you to reflect on how you are plugged into the power of the Holy Spirit already present within you. What kinds of prayer experiences help you to connect to that Power? How does that Power move you to proclaim the Good News of God’s love through your speech and actions?

And the next time you listen to the wind, experience a thunderstorm, or gaze into a fire, contemplate and feel the presence of the Holy Spirit within you and around you.

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