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When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit… Acts 2:1-4

Today the Church celebrates the close of the Easter season with the Feast of Pentecost. We commemorate Christ sending the Holy Spirit on His Apostles as He promised before His Ascension into heaven (see Acts 1:1-4). The Holy Spirit is difficult to comprehend; we cannot see him or hear him. Our limited language cannot fully explain the meaning of the Spirit. The images of fire, wind or a dove are commonly used to describe the Spirit in Scripture.

Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the Papal household, provides the best description of the Holy Spirit:

The Holy Spirit is the love of God. Within the Trinity, he is the flame of love going from the Father to the Son, and from the Son to the Father.[1]

Holy Spirit Fire

The image of the love of a husband and wife – free, total, faithful and fruitful – mirrors the love shared by the Father and Son through the Holy Spirit in the communion of the Trinity. This love is life-giving, invigorating and motivating. St. Paul states that the husband’s love for his wife is an image of Christ’s love for His bride, the Church (see Eph 5:25-32). Does your marriage give witness to this love?

God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:5

Ask God to reveal more fully the incredible love He has for you. Ask Him to pour this love into your heart and into your marriage through the Holy Spirit. May the love you show each other give witness to the love of God for His beloved children. The world desires this kind of love but seeks it in ways that lead to discouragement and despair. May your marriage shine brightly the love of Christ in a world so in need of His mercy.

We close with the Collect from today’s Mass…

O God, who by the mystery of today’s great feast sanctify your whole Church in every people and nation, pour out, we pray, the gifts of the Holy Spirit across the face of the earth and, with the divine grace that was at work when the Gospel was first proclaimed, fill now once more the hearts of believers. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

[1] Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, “The Love of God Poured Out,” The Word Among Us, May 2016, p. 6.