1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13
I heard a young girl crying the other night when I was walking the dogs. I couldn’t see where she was or what she was doing. As Hannah, Emmie and I got closer to the crying I saw her Dad walking beside her while she sat on the seat of her small bicycle. I could hear him coaching her on where to put her feet and a little bit about sitting tall on her seat. His voice sounded kind and encouraging. Within a few moments, the crying stopped and I could see her pumping her pedals while her dad walked beside her. As I listened to the new rider it lifted up a long ago story that changed my life.
Like the little girl I know what it is like to be afraid, to try new things and risk success. In the readings from Pentecost, we see the disciples afraid and unsure as well as doing new things not thought possible. We are flooded with a variety of images of the entrance of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the disciples and Jews from every nation. In the second reading we are told about the various gifts which are bestowed upon us from the Spirit. In the gospel Jesus, after wishing peace upon his frightened disciples, invokes the Holy Spirit to fill them and teach them the way of forgiveness.
I forget sometimes how to try again when I feel frustrated or unable to do a task. Like the little girl, having someone beside me can make all the difference. In the readings of Pentecost we hear again how God throughout history has entered our doubts, our fears, and our despair. Through the gift of language the Holy Spirit connected through astonishment and tongue the diverse crowd gathered in Jerusalem. In the second reading, Paul teaches the Corinthians about the diverse ways in which the Spirit is present and works to make community, providing for all the needs of the community.
In the gospel, Jesus breaks through the unknown for his unsure disciples, drawing upon both the simple words of “Peace be with you,” and calling the Holy Spirit upon them.
As we celebrate this season of Pentecost may we dare to have our fears broken through like the little girl on the bike or like the disciples behind the locked doors? May we risk the power of the Holy Spirit to use us to communicate the living power of God at work in our lives.