Written by: Peter Nguyen, UF Student
“We are an Easter people, and Alleluia is our song!” Pope St. John Paul II exclaimed this during a homily in Australia in 1986. Today, on Pentecost Sunday, we conclude the liturgical season of Easter. Today, we celebrate the descent of the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, upon the Apostles. It is through the gift of the Holy Spirit that the Apostles were able to pronounce the mighty acts of God and baptize three thousand people.
However, this gift of willing the will of God was not merely given to the Apostles,. We, as the body of Christ, are called to evangelize and live our faith with great joy. Although the Easter season is coming to an end and we approach Ordinary Time, it is anything but ordinary.
What does Alleluia mean, anyway? It means, “Praise the Lord!” And what better way to praise our God than to live and learn about his life? That’s exactly what happens in Ordinary Time, as the Mass readings revolve around Jesus Christ and his ministry. Quite literally, the Holy Spirit is our Alleluia! To conclude the joyful Easter season, the Holy Spirit comes down in order that we may better understand, discern, and choose the will of the Father. We cannot do anything on our own, for “the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.” But it is through the Holy Spirit that our praise comes. It is through the Holy Spirit that virtues and gifts come; wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. I think this trust in the Holy Spirit, this desire to fully align one’s will to God, is shown best again by Pope St. John Paul II through this prayer to the Holy Spirit that he prayed daily:
“Holy Spirit, I ask you for the gift of Wisdom to better
know You and Your divine perfections, for the gift
of Understanding to clearly discern the spirit of the
mysteries of the holy faith, for the gift of Counsel that
I may live according to the principles of this faith,
for the gift of Knowledge that I may look for counsel
in You and that I may always find it in You, for the
gift of Fortitude that no fear or earthly preoccupations
would ever separate me from You, for the gift of Piety
that I may always serve Your Majesty with a filial love,
for the gift of the Fear of the Lord that I may dread
sin, which offends You, O my God.”
So as we carry on this week, let us remember Him from Whom all things are made. May our words and actions not be our own, but rather, of our everlasting and ever-loving Father, through the immense power of the Holy Spirit. Let us live out the ministry of Christ, the only-begotten Son. And let our Alleluia ring for all those to hear, for although the Easter season has ended, our joy has only begun.