“…the plan was much deeper than a one-time help. God’s plan for His Church is long-term, and His plan for each one of us is eternal. Understanding this, His Spirit inspired the Apostles to select their successors who lead the Church today”
“Can you imagine waiting a full week after the Ascension, praying for Jesus to send what he had promised? It was a feeling of ‘What are we to do?'” said Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States at Pentecost Sunday Mass this morning.
Today concludes the Easter Season and it truly is an ‘Easter’ celebration because it brings the Paschal mystery to a full circle. Reiterating two previous posts, the Apostles were paralyzed with fear until they realized the truth of the Resurrection; however, fully understanding that this new-found courage was not sustainable, Jesus promised us an Advocate.
Pentecost is rightfully considered the birthday of the Catholic Church, for without the constant guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Church never would have sustained or come to fruition.
In John 14:26, we hear, “But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you.”
Among the gifts that the Holy Spirit showered upon the Apostles were wisdom, counsel, and fortitude. These preserved the Apostles from falling into dogmatic error and gave them the Divine help they needed to go on with their mission of bringing the Good News to the world as Jesus instructed immediately before His Ascension.
But as we know realize, the plan was much deeper than a one-time help. God’s plan for His Church is long-term, and His plan for us is eternal. Knowing this, He inspired the Apostles to select their successors and gave them and His Church access to the gifts of the Holy Spirit as well. At Confirmation, we too receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Like the Apostles, we too play a role in the conversion of the world. First, we must pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to prepare our hearts. Only then can we act with the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we were first given access to at our Confirmation.