Reflection for Sunday – May 15, 2016

Readings: Acts 2: 1-11; Romans 8:8-17; John 14:15-16, 23b-26

Preacher: Gaynelle Wethers

Come Holy Spirit, Come!

How do we receive the Holy Spirit? How do we nurture the Holy Spirit that dwells within us? How are we led by the Holy Spirit?

These are the questions that challenge us to give pause during this time of Pentecost. More importantly, they are questions we must ponder in our daily lives.

In today’s Gospel of John, we find the Apostles locked in a room in fear. They are in fear of the Jews. Jesus knowing this appears to them to reassure them he is well. Then, when He stands in their midst he says, “Peace be with you” and he “showed them his hands and his side.” Needless to say, the Apostles became joyful and joy filled.

What Jesus did was to reassure them that God the Father sent him to bring them “a gift.” The gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said to them “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them and whose sins you retain are retained.”

This message should be permanently etched in our thoughts and minds. Too often we hold on to past hurts without realizing the damage it is doing to us. How do we treat gifts given to us? How are we treating the gift Jesus has given to us? The Holy Spirit!

Today, our lives seem to be filled with “rooms of fear” like the room the Apostles were locked in. These rooms are found in a workplace, community organizations, agencies and, yes, even in our homes. These “rooms of fear” are reinforced in the programs we watch, the news, social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. We fear our neighbors next door, across the street and even beyond our borders. What is your room of fear? Is it the fear of addiction? Mental illness? Disease, such as cancer?

How are we responding to the gift Jesus has given to us? The Holy Spirit! How are we nurturing this gift in our daily lives?

Our faith provided us prayer tools to nurture the spirit that dwells within us. Our daily prayers and meditation, our rosary, our novenas, and our daily and Sunday Mass. These prayer tools assist in unlocking the doors of fear!
In our first reading from The Acts of the Apostles, we learn that during the time for Pentecost, all were gathered in one place. It is at this time the crowd “witness from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind.” The Holy Spirit!

The question I pose to us today…How do we witness the sign of the Holy Spirit in our lives today? How do we Hear the Holy Spirit Speak as we “gather with the crowd” at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? And finally, how are we a witness to others that the Holy Spirit dwells in us?

Come Holy Spirit Come!

Gaynelle Wethers

Gaynelle D. Wethers has had an expansive and celebrated career as an executive administrator, educator, diversity/inclusion expert, and community volunteer. She was strategist and campaign manager for Rochester, New York’s new mayor, Lovely Warren. She retired from Nazareth College in May 2013, after serving more than 20 years as its founding director of Multicultural Affairs.

She is president of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and former board chair of Baden Street Settlement.

Her past positions include the pastoral associate of Immaculate Conception Church; principal and teacher at St. Monica School and teacher in the Rush-Henrietta School District.

Gaynelle Wethers is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, received her BS degree from Xavier University, New Orleans, Louisiana, and MS degree in Elementary Education from Nazareth College. She holds a New York State Certification in Public Administration from the University of Rochester and attended St. Bernard’s Institute of Ministry and Theology.
Gaynelle Wethers

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