This great feast of Pentecost is truly one of my favorite feast days of the year. Today we are reminded that we are never alone, that although Christ no longer walks among us, he left with us a great advocate, the grand Paraclete – the manifestation of his great love. And we can rest in the truth of his goodness.
Today’s readings are full of hope and full of reminders of the great care Our Lord takes in assuring us of his presence. In the Old Testament reading (Vigil Mass), we see the incredible story of God breathing life into dry, dead bones. How often do you feel like nothing but a pile of dry bones, dear mother? Listen to the words of the Lord to Ezekiel: Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: See! I will bring spirit into you, that you may come to life. I will put sinews upon you, make flesh grow over you, cover you with skin, and put spirit in you, so that you may come to life and know that I am the Lord.
The Lord sees us! He longs to breathe into the dry and dying places of our hearts, and he longs to remind us of his mighty, transformative love.
In Paul’s exhortation to the Romans, he literally references labor pains. All of creation cries out, he tells us. As we look around at the culture and the world that has been entrusted to us, and then at our children, it is easy to feel overwhelmed – to long for “simpler” times and to feel overcome by the labor of it all. We feel overwhelmed while we Groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption. But Paul reminds us that The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness…and intercedes with inexpressible groanings on our behalf.
Motherhood is full of an array of seasons—seasons when we are overwhelmed by need, seasons when we wish they would tell us what they need, seasons when they cannot live without us, and seasons when they leave us behind for new adventures. Each season produces unique groanings within us, each requires a special kind of trust and relinquishment of will. But through each season, the precious Holy Spirit is with us and longs to comfort, to speak, to embolden and console. And this is the greatest gift we can give our children – the knowledge of the gift proclaimed on this day. The Holy Spirit is a gift given to each of them. They never walk alone. He unites us as they travel the many seasons of life, as our hearts tear open in need. This great gift is what brings our dead bones to life, filling us with inexhaustible hope and peace as we wait for the day when we are all united in perfect joy with the three-person God in whom we live and move and have our being!