THE DAY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
(Monday, June 5)
This Monday right after Pentecost, called the Day of the Holy Spirit, we celebrate the main Actor of yesterday’s feast, the Holy Spirit. But I am also thinking about the human beings, the “supporting actors,” if you will, the Apostles and the men and women gathered with them in the upper room, who made this feast possible by *receiving* Him on Pentecost.
The iconography of “The Hospitality of Abraham,” (not in its Andrey Rublev rendition, rediscovered and popularized in the twentieth century, but in the original version, which included either Abraham and Sarah or just Abraham), reminds us of the importance of the human, receiving end of the mystery of the Church. Our hearts, minds, and bodies need to be in the “right” state or place, actively to participate in the abundant grace being offered to us by God’s continuous coming to us in the sacramental life of the Church, both within and beyond its walls. This is why we pray in Psalm 50/51: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” A “clean” heart and “right” spirit involves love for one another, also for strangers, as the author of Hebrews says, referring to the hospitality of Abraham and Sarah: “Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.” When we self-isolate, individually or within our family or as a (church-) community, we might unwittingly miss the revelations of God that are being sent to us through “others.”
This Monday I’m reminded that the Mystery of the Church is not an abstract idea, to be contemplated outside of “us.” There is no “Church” outside or without its human manifestation, just as there is no Cross outside of time. The ups and downs of our walk through time only make “sense” in light of the Cross. And the human being only makes “sense” in light of the eternal “sense” or Logos, the God-Man Jesus Christ, Who invites us to His table, at which the Holy Spirit co-celebrates with us. This Monday morning let me embrace my role in this joyous picture, and tend to my responsibilities, my *response-abilities* (or abilities to respond to God’s calls to me) in it. “Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation,” my Lord, “and with Your governing Spirit establish me.”