Pentecost has always been one of my favorite days of the Church year. The colors, the music, the imagery of the Spirit, and the summer-time energy that surrounds this day in my parish community has always filled my heart with joy, hope, and love. I have fond memories of this day and look forward to it each year.
This year’s Pentecost, for obvious reasons, is quite different. People are still uncertain about what things will look like as COVID-19 continues to affect so many aspects of our life. States are beginning to reopen gradually and with restrictions, and yes, people are returning to public worship once again. But it is an uncertain and confusing time, while at the same time hopeful.
As I look at and reflect on the readings for Pentecost, I am struck with the fact that our communities and our world desire the Holy Spirit here and now. The believers hear the “mighty acts of God” in their own tongue. Paul reiterates that we are all connected in and as the Body of Christ. This echoes the fact that the Spirit has moved, moves, and continues to move in empowering ways within the lives of people throughout Christian history.
And yes, the Spirit still moves in the community today. We may not see it right in front of us, but I think of, especially in this time, the people who are serving and accompanying those most affected by COVID-19. I think of the parents and educators working to make sure that their children and students succeed. I think of the countless ways that we are still staying connected, grounded, and hopeful with and for one another in our communities and our work for justice. That, my friends, is the Spirit working.
As Jesus imparts his peace upon us and the apostles are given the gift of the Spirit, let us not only pray for this same Spirit to come into our own lives, but also look for those moments in which the Spirit is indeed working and moving each and every day.
And then, one day, when we are all able to physically (and safely) come together, maybe that Pentecost liturgy and celebration will be just as, or even more so, Spirit-filled and joyful once again.
Come, Holy Spirit.
Ed Nuñez graduated from Creighton University in 2018 with a BA in justice and society and theology. At Creighton, he was involved with residential life, campus ministry, and service and justice programs. After graduation, Ed did a year of service with Amate House, working as a campus minister and support specialist at Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago. Currently, Ed is back at Creighton as a graduate assistant in the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice and pursuing his MA in ministry.