Pentecost Sunday June 8-9, 2019
From Fr. Anthony Ligato
The Gift that keeps on Giving!
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Over the years an advertising slogan which we are all familiar with developed and was used and reused and is still used till this day. Advertising campaigns from Coca Cola to sports Illustrated have used the slogan, “the gift that keeps on giving.” Often the slogan suggests that you will continually benefit from a product that will renew over and over. But some products, that continually renew themselves, are not always a benefit, such as magazine subscriptions. A few years ago, I received a promotion through one of my credit cards where I received four free magazines for three what I did not realize was that the subscriptions would automatically renew themselves without my approval. It took me several months to cancel the subscriptions for a couple reasons. I always forgot until I received one of the magazines in the mail and then could not find the number that I was supposed to call. The gift that keeps on giving can sometimes be a burden.
That was true of the original meaning of the Feast Pentecost or as it was also known as the Feast of Weeks. The Old Testament the Feast of Pentecost referred to the giving of the Law to Moses at Mount Sinai. When the Law was given it was meant to be a help to p eople, but it eventually became a burden too heavy to bear. The giving the Law became the gift that keeps on giving the people God a burden too heavy for anyone to carry. The law was never going to be able to free people from sin and death. A new Pentecost was needed to be given. This new Pentecost was made possible by the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and before he ascended to heaven, he promised the advocate the Holy Spirit.
It is the Holy Spirit which is the true gift that keeps on giving. The Holy Spirit gives us a new Pentecost which is given to us by the Father and the Son to communicate to us that God is always present to us. The Holy Spirit gives us the gift of the Church, the Sacrament of Jesus Christ. TheHoly Spirit gives us the presence of Jesus Christ in the Sacraments. The Holy Spirit gives us rebirth through the waters of baptism. The Holy Spirit gives us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. The Holy Spirit gives the manifestation of the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament Confirmation. The Holy Spirit gives us the forgiveness Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Holy Spirit gives us healing in the anointing of the sick. The Holy Spirit gives the grace to bring together man and woman in mutual selfgiving in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. The Holy Spirit gives God’s call to men who are called to serve in the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
The gift that keeps on giving is the Holy Spirit and theHoly Spirit gives us the ability to keep on giving of ourselves so that new life may come through the waters of baptism. Those approaching the Eucharist for the first time as children are filled with excitement at receiving the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ and those receiving the Eucharist for the four thousandth time should be filled with the same excitement as they were when they were fed with the Body and Blood of Our Lord the first time. The Holy Spirit makes that possible. The Holy Spirit pours out the gifts and fruits of Spirit so that the gospel can be proclaimed to all the nations. Those who are burdened by sin know God’s merciful forgiveness and healing through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Those who need God’s healing, whether physically, spiritually or emotionally will receive it in the anointing of the sick. The family of God will be perpetuated in the Sacrament go Holy receiving Holy Orders make Jesus Christ present in the life of the Church through the power of the Holy Spirit and the grace of the Sacraments.
The Holy Spirit is the Gift that keeps on giving for all eternity and we are the means by which the gift that giving makes Jesus Christ present in the Church. Are you a gift of the Holy Spirit that keeps on?
Yours in Christ,