Our first reading from Acts of the Apostles has always been one of my favorites because of how the Holy Spirit arrives on the scene and solves the simple everyday problem of language barrier.
With the Holy Spirit, the apostles’ job of spreading the Gospel becomes 1,000 times easier as everyone begins to hear them in their own language. One minute, they are struggling to tell people this great news they have to share, and the next, all their struggle melts away and people can easily understand them. What a gift to be understood perfectly!
This communication superpower reminds me of when my younger sister moved home for a short time during her adulthood. During that time, she would often act as an “interpreter” for my parents. One of our parents would say something that would be misinterpreted by the other. My sister would step in and help grease the wheels of communication by saying, “What Mom means is . . .” or “What Dad is trying to say is . . .” Our parents recount how helpful she was in mediating their conversations. Not only did her manner and tone bring a note of levity to the situation, she also reminded them to listen with more than their ears to what the other person was saying.
Many of us have found ourselves in similar situations with our children or loved ones. We speak past each other and don’t open our hearts to what the other person is trying to communicate.
Enter the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit, like my sister, smooths the way and helps us get things done more easily. With the Holy Spirit, we can spread the Gospel message with less struggle. Most of the time, this will happen in the mundane moments of life. We will get frustrated when another’s words don’t make sense to us or when things aren’t worded the way we’d like them to be. If we call upon him in these moments, the Holy Spirit can open our hearts to what we need to hear. He can interpret our words for the other and interpret their words for us.
This Pentecost, let us invite the Holy Spirit when communication seems hardest, when we are most frustrated. It was for these very moments that Christ sent the Holy Spirit to us.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray:
O God, who have taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that in the same Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in his consolation.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.