Dear St. Aloysius parishioners,
Peace of Christ. As we celebrate Pentecost, we renew our awareness of the loving presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In the Exodus account in scripture, we read of God’s presence with Israel marked by a fierce or strong wind. In their central moment of salvation, a seemingly impossible situation lacking any hope, with the Egyptian army at their backs and the sea in front of them “the Lord drove back the sea with a strong east wind.” It is a moment Israel returns to again and again as they remind themselves of the Covenant. In Acts, Luke describes the Holy Spirit on Pentecost as “a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were.” Sometimes we need this image of the Holy Spirit to remember we are not alone, maybe now we need it more than ever.
In 1 Kings 19 Elijah is told to wait for God in the place where he is staying. He expects God in the usual ways, strong wind, fierce wind, column of fire, cloud of smoke, and as he is waiting for the LORD all the usual natural phenomena occur, but God is not in them. Then the whisper of a gentle breeze comes to Elijah and God is in it. It is a new way for God to be present, and maybe that is what we need now. The Holy Spirit comes to us as we are and meets us where we are.
The effect of Pentecost on the early Christian community can be seen when Peter and John heal a beggar at the Temple. Whether we need a strong wind or a gentle breeze the Holy Spirit continues to breathe life into our souls. As we look at the Pentecost window in our church let our hearts be strengthened.