Saturday, May 22, 2010

Homily for Pentecost

The Holy Spirit will teach you everything.

When people talk about the Holy Spirit, especially in modern times, the image we are given is of something exciting, something unpredictable. It is is true that the Spirit may well have been neglected in the past, and now those who call themselves charismatics, remind of the miracles and wonders which the Spirit can perform: speaking in tongues, the power of inspiration, the intensity of prayer and meditation. The image we have - one which comes from St Paul - is of the Spirit blowing where it wills - unpredictably surprising and challenging us.

And nothing at all wrong with that. At times we surely need imagination and a challenge.

But the unpredictable wind is not the only image which Scripture gives us. In todays Gospel we are reminded that the Spirit is also breath - the breath of God - and breath is at the same time a life force - so, very powerful - but also a regular, predictable, necessity for life. As breath it has structure and regularity. And while the wind is exciting and unpredictable, it is also abstract power. But breath - well, there no breath without a breather. Breath requires personality, more than a force, a living person.

And this is why the Spirit is a teacher. Because to learn is to grow. The word education comes from a word ‘to grow’. And teaching requires structure and content and form and knowledge. And teaching requires a school and a standard, material to teach.

Because of the Gift of Spirit, we have not only the opportunity to pray but we also have the Church and its ministers, the Sacraments and their saving graces, the faith and its teachers.

The Spirit can pass through and over every boundary, every limit, every fence and wall; and he also provides us with every true path, with every framework and all guidance. He teaches us, to protect and to guide us. And to save us.

Location:Eastwood Pl,Stoke-on-Trent,United Kingdom

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