Where did the past seven weeks go? It doesn’t seem like almost two months since Easter Sunday.
Pentecost Sunday has two focal points: the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles and the birth of the Church. You could say it’s the Church’s feast day.
Whatever else this day brings, it always reminds me of the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are described in Isaiah 11:2-3a:
The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, A spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is listed in Galatians 5:22-23:
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
The gifts – wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, fear of the Lord and what is sometimes translated as piety – help each of us do what God has given us to do by seeing a situation as God sees, not as man sees, or with strength that goes beyond what normally could be expected.
As for the fruit of the Holy Spirit, there’s an old saying to be careful what you pray for. When you pray for patience, you will suddenly find yourself in all sorts of situation that tries your patience until you find that what used to be frustrating, you can now bear with patience.
Much more could be said about Pentecost Sunday, but I always come back to the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit.