Pentecost marks the end of the liturgical observance of Easter. It reminds us that the crucified and risen Lord has fulfilled His promise to send His Holy Spirit to be with His Church to the end of time. It is a time of joy for the Spirit of Jesus fills the very ends of the earth with His power and the strength of His loving and guiding presence.
In real terms, Pentecost renews the people of God with a fervour that enables them to witness to their faith and to the transformational power of God working in them. The spirit of fear and of apathy, the dulling of the senses to the presence and majesty of the Father who sent His Son are replaced by a new awareness of the love, peace and joy which reflect the Saviour Himself.
As people of God in Trinidad and Tobago, we need to examine what this means for us. Overwhelmed at times by the problems of escalating and more and more brutal crime, we cringe every time an incident of this nature gets closer and closer home. The loss of employment and of a steady income haunts every economic sector and we witness on a daily basis the influx of more and more of our desperate neighbours from Venezuela.
We face decreased attendance at Mass and falling numbers at the reception of the Sacraments, the replacing of old values with an easier acceptance of new norms which are directed at instant gratification but which point to long-term moral decay.
Pentecost opens us to a confidence that if we allow ourselves to be filled with the hope that the disciples felt when the Spirit descended on them, if we allow ourselves as individuals and as Church to be opened to the power and wonder of the love of God, no problem is insurmountable.
The problems will not disappear overnight but we cooperate with God working in and through us so that solutions become clearer. The will to conquer the darkness is fuelled by the sure knowledge that God’s love for us is life-changing and immutable.
As universal Church, we are called to search for truth and justice and to stand fearlessly on matters that affect every human being and the environment to which we are heirs.
It is not easy to face the brunt of mockery and ridicule, the cyber bullying and the threat of physical violence that accompany the call to ban abortion and to reaffirm sacramental marriage.
We cry out against the more powerful nations that seek to impose their desire for dominance over others and ultimately over our fate, regardless of the life-threatening consequences that will ensue. We do not see ourselves as having the power to stop the destruction of the environment which reminds us that we continue to do so at our peril.
The confidence that the Holy Spirit endows tells all God’s people that he has given us the ability and the power to “renew the face of the earth”. We do not wait in despair and in fear in the upper room. The doors are open. We are the transformational agents of the love of God in His world.