“Look what the wind blew in!”
This was a very popular saying while I was growing up. For whatever reason, someone whom we hadn’t seen in a while would stop by the house unexpectedly and my father or any other grown up in the house would say, “Look what the wind blew in!”
While they were hugging and kissing, greeting each other with laughter and slaps on the back I would look at them in awe. Their faces would have almost a special glow. They would make remarks as if they had a secret joke from the last time they saw each other. And no matter how long it had been since they last saw each other, they were always happy to see them and remarked how they had stayed away too long.
That’s what I thought about this past Sunday. Every year we celebrate Pentecost Sunday as if we almost forget that the Holy Spirit is always with us. We great Him almost like a long lost friend. Where have you been? My son asked me about the three gods and once again I tried my best to not confuse him and explained the Trinity. How the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three persons in one God. It’s a hard concept for adults let alone a child.
God is always with us because, His Spirit is always present. Because Jesus’ message does not get locked up in the upper room with the apostles and yes all those women of the early church. It’s because Jesus breathes on them saying receive the Holy Spirit and just like that, a wind blows and the Holy Spirit descends on them. Could you imagine the look on their faces. The absolute joy and wonder as they spoke and others understood no matter the language.
Father Ralph has made a great tradition of having the entire congregation invoking the Holy Spirit. As we repeat the words Veni, Sancte Spiritus a feeling of calmness seems to wash over us. You can feel the church changing as we pray over and over again, Come Holy Spirit Come! You can feel His Spirit. DO you see what, what I see? DO you hear what I hear? Look what the wind blew in!
Saint Brigid says, “Cerrone submitted this beautiful reflection BEFORE the tornados hit Oklahoma yesterday and she had second thoughts about publishing it because of the destructive winds. Yet one commentator on the Pentecost story wrote this:
‘Luke tells us in our first reading that the Spirit’s arrival in the community isn’t always a peaceful event. He deliberately chooses the violent images of wind, noise and fire to accompany his/her coming. The early church presumed one reason it was gifted with the Spirit was because it daily had to face environments, situations, and questions which the historical Jesus hadn’t encountered. These other Christs had to go beyond, “What would Jesus do?” They were forced to ask, “What’s the risen Jesus doing?” The Spirit was the one element providing the answer. And almost always, that answer led to disturbing insights.’
So once again the Scriptures have deep layers of meaning which do not cancel each other out. We pray for the people in Oklahoma who lost loved ones and whose homes were destroyed. And as the Holy Spirit hymn says, ’O comforter, to you we cry…’ May the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, aid those who live in the midst of destruction.”