Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pentecost: "they were all in one place together." The Holy Spirit and the Church cooperate to manifest the Savior through the liturgy

Individualism is a modern threat for individuals.

We were made for community, to be with others, because we were made for the love that only others can give us. The trend to cut oneself off from others through PDAs, phones, MP3 players and the assortment of electronic gadgets has become widespread. Also, the risky behavior of sending explicit images over the internet because of a lack of pespective which is a symptom of overdependence on these items for emotional needs has destroyed careers and threatened marriages. Thoughtless use of these devices during conversations hampers communication and sometimes offends those we love.

So what are we to do?

The Holy Spirit is the giver of love and communion. Pentecost was the moment the Holy Spirit was first given to the Church. And it happened in the midst of the people gathered together to pray as we are here and now. The Holy Spirit was goven to the community first, and then only after that to individuals as part of the community.

"They were all together in one place ... And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit."

The Scriptures tell us that the Church is the bride of Christ. As a matter of fact, this image is given in the book of Revelation through a prayer which calls out to the Lord: "The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come"! But before the Church could call upon the name of the Lord Jesus, the gift of the Spirit was necessary, to give her the power of prayer which is a grace, a gift from God. The primary moment of prayer is the liturgy, the work of God's people who worship together, particularly at holy Mass.

"The Spirit and the Church cooperate to manifest Christ and his work of salvation in the liturgy. Primarily in the Eucharist, and by analogy in the other sacraments, the liturgy is the memorial of the mystery of salvation. The Holy Spirit is the Church's living memory. (CCC 1099)

The Holy Spirit works in us to make us sons and daughters of the Church.

"Thus a true filial spirit toward the Church can develop among Christians. It is the normal flowering of the baptismal grace which has begotten us in the womb of the Church and made us members of the Body of Christ. In her motherly care, the Church grants us the mercy of God which prevails over all our sins and is especially at work in the sacrament of reconciliation. With a mother's foresight, she also lavishes on us day after day in her liturgy the nourishment of the Word and Eucharist of the Lord." (CCC 2040)

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