Today is Pentecost Sunday, the happiest day for us Christians, the day when we receive the Holy Spirit and the outpouring of His gifts and blessings. This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
In today's Gospel (Jn. 20, 19-23), Jesus the Risen Lord appears to His disciples who are filled with sadness and fear. 'Peace be with you,' He tells them. Their sadness turns to joy, and their fears vanish. It is the presence of God that helps us become strong and confident as we journey on. If you are stressed, feeling empty, sad, or afraid, invite the Lord to come into your life and the Holy Spirit to come into your heart!
As we look back on our journey in life, we realize that when we disregarded God's presence in our lives, we encountered fear, sadness, vanity, emptiness, and hardness of heart. Let us continue to acknowledge and invite the Lord, and make Pentecost happen again in our present day and time.
Pentecost now, in our country! Pentecost was an outpouring of peace, love and unity. Instead of violence, killings, fear, intimidation and manipulation, may we all work for true and lasting peace, which is founded on the most basic principle and truth that all of us are God's precious children-brothers and sisters in Christ.
Take note that the Lord's greeting of peace is followed by His message of forgiveness: 'Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.' In other words, there can be no true peace without forgiveness. It is the road of reconciliation that leads us to true peace. If you are not experiencing peace right now, it could be that you are not at peace with God, with other people, or with your own self. Peace be with you!
'Falsehood flies and truth comes limping after it' (Jonathan Swift). So much lying, accusing, rumor-mongering, bashing and character assassination these days! The evil one knows how to sow discord, hatred and division. Let us not play his game. Remember, Christian is our name and love is our aim.
Humble persons are pleasing to God. Whether rich and powerful or poor and deprived, may we continue to be humble to God and to other people. Our personal Pentecost happens if we remain humble and hidden.
A Pentecost moment. An hour after we took off from Dubai for Manila last May 28, we smelled what seemed like gas in the plane. People were getting dizzy, and some were fainting. What to do at an altitude of 35,000 feet? (Open the windows?) The pilot decided to return to Dubai and we landed safely. Our fear turned to joy; we were so happy to be alive and to breathe fresh air again! Pentecost is about breathing in God again. If you are breathing in toxic stress, conflict, fear and worry, pray 'Come, Holy Spirit!' and experience His presence, life and peace again.
It's June once more. Half of the year is over! Time does fly (and seems to fly faster as we grow older)! But what matters most is that we are not wasting time, and wasting time just for ourselves. Yes, life is short, death is certain. Let us not listen to the voices of modern-day braggarts, so foul and proud, who defy everything and everyone, even God. Let us continue to listen to the voice of God that urges us to take the road of goodness, righteousness, humility and kindness. Let us resolve to live the rest of our lives as the best of our lives.
Think about this: 'Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed; face the light and the shadow is behind you; turn your back to the light, and the shadow is always in front of you.'
Inviting you to join a psychospiritual seminar, 'Healing and Beginning New Relationships in the Light of Psychogenetics/Gestalt and the Gospel,' on June 17-18, 1 p.m., at St. John the Baptist Retreat House, Tagaytay City, with members of Gabay sa Paghilom Foundation as facilitators. For inquiries, please contact Ed at 09171350405 or Angie at 09178092849.
A moment with the Lord:
Lord, help us make Pentecost happen again in our present day and time. Amen.