Next Sunday, Trinity Sunday at 11am the Archbishop Peter Smith will confirm our young people.
He will stretch his hands over them and call down the Holy Spirit upon them. He will anoint them with the oil of Chrism and say,“Be sealed with the Holy Spirit.” They have all received the Holy Spirit in Baptism but now there will be a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon them. They are given the fullness of the Holy Spirit so that they are able to lIve a life of faith in everyday life. The Spirit enables them to fearlessly live the Christian life. They have been called to be missionary disciples. In the gospel today (Pentecost Sunday), we read how the apostles and Mary were empowered with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit transformed their lives so they fearlessly went throughout the world, to communicate the Good News of Jesus’ death and resurrection with words and healings.
If we have been baptised and confirmed then we have all received the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Yet we are not necessarily vibrant, confident, enthusiastic, fearless and eager as a church to share the Gospel. The Second Vatican Council, which began in 1962 in the Catholic Church, began with a prayer for a “New Pentecost.” It was written by Pope John XXIII. As the Holy Spirit was poured out on Pentecost so it continues to be poured out on, in and through the Church, for the sake of her mission in the world. Pentecost was and is the birthday of the Church. The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church and the source of her power for mission. Today, on this wonderful feast, I suggest that as a parish we say this prayer.
We stand before you, Holy Spirit, conscious of our sinfulness, but aware that we gather in your name.
Come to us, remain with us, and enlighten our hearts.
Give us light and strength to know your will, to make it our own, and to live it in our lives.
Guide us by your wisdom, support us by your power, for you are God, sharing the glory of Father and Son.
You desire justice for all: enable us to uphold the rights of others; do not allow us to be misled by ignorance or corrupted by fear or favour.
Unite us to yourself in the bond of love and keep us faithful to all that is true.
As we gather in your name may we temper justice with love, so that all our decisions may be pleasing to you, and earn the reward promised to good and faithful servants.
You live and reign with the Father and the Son, One God, forever and ever. Amen