Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Today is Pentecost Sunday, the day on which we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus’ followers and mark the end of the Easter Season.

It would, however, be a mistake to think of the day in purely historical terms – as a day on which we look back at something that happened a very long time ago. I’ve sometimes suggested to people that I think of Pentecost as giving us an annual “booster shot” of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that were magnified in us when we received Confirmation.

The reality, of course, is that we are always blessed by the Spirit, every day of our lives. So perhaps it is better to say that Pentecost helps us to be more open to receipt of the gifts of the Spirit.

If, like me, you went to Catholic school, those gifts of the Spirit probably roll pretty easily off of your tongue: Wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord. 

Whether we think of Pentecost as giving us an annual booster shot of the gifts of the Spirit, or making us more open to receive the gifts of the Spirit or maybe just reminding us of the gifts that are always at our disposal, this day is a good reminder that we are blessed with the gifts we need to allow us to live the fullness of our lives as Christ would have us live.

Is there a particular gift you need to be more aware of? That you need to be more open to? Today is a good day to reflect on such questions.