Reflection by Aidan Troy [Aodhán O Troighthigh] Please note: only the view of the above.
This is the last Sunday in the sequence of Sundays after Easter. Next Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. The gift of the Holy Spirit will come upon us anew. In a special way, that afternoon CCD and Marymount School candidates will receive the Holy Spirit at a Mass celebrated by Bishop Denis Jachiet at 3 p.m.
On the eve of Pentecost, we will share in the joy of the Spirit as First Holy Communions are celebrated. Then later, on the Eve of Pentecost, one of our RCIA candidates will receive the Sacrament Confirmation at Notre Dame Cathedral. What a truly blessed weekend lies ahead.
At Mass today, we learn of the early church calling on the Holy Spirit for guidance. Judas was no longer part of the Twelve and so a vacancy needed to be filled. There was no way of knowing which of two candidates God wished would become an Apostle. Then came the solution.
They prayed, ‘Lord, you can read everyone’s heart; show us therefore which of these two you have chosen to take over this ministry and apostolate.’ God answered their prayer and Matthias was now listed as one of the Twelve.
Notice how their prayer was not that the Lord can read everyone’s mind. He can. But, the prayer addressed God’s power to read our hearts. The mind is essential but without the heart it is incomplete. Nothing has really changed – God still reads hearts to see what is there.
A heart that is set on creating unity and doing away with division is of God. It is part of our world and even of our church that division can gain the upper hand over unity. Unity can never be uniformity. We are all so different, and in our being different we seek unity. Do you know where the unity comes from? It is the Holy Spirit who breathes unity into our hearts and minds.
Being one, as prayed by Jesus before returning to the Father in Heaven, is not easy. Jesus knew that. He knew that we would not be spared challenges and even death. Jesus does a lovely thing, He tells us to stay immersed in our world. The He adds, ‘Father, protect them from the evil one.
The greatest lie of Satan is to imagine that he/she is no longer active. Once that lie is swallowed, the work of Satan is made that much easier.
Then Jesus addresses this issue of lies. ‘Consecrate them in the truth; your word is truth.’ The truth of the Word of God is like a shield that protects us from any attacks of the evil one. These attacks can have many faces or masks. When I tell lies, when I cause division, what I am indifferent to you, when I could not care less about Creation or people, when I turn in on myself and keep you out of my affections, and much else, I am doing the work of Satan.
To be open this week in preparation for receiving the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday, will bring us closer to God and further from Satan.
Come Holy Spirit, fill our hearts!