May 15, 2016: Pentecost
Wind Surfers of the Spirit
Visiting our missionaries serving in Berkeley, I took a walk around the Emeryville Marina. It was a warm but very windy day. The strong winds whipped up white caps on the water as the waves crashed into the shore. It was a perfect day for windsurfing. As I watched the surfers ride the winds at breathtaking speeds, today’s first reading came to mind: “And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind.” This gale-like force of the Spirit sparked a wildfire as “tongues of fire” appeared that became like lasers to unleash a new language of love.
The Holy Spirit surrounds us, is all around us, and abounds in each of us. Like those windsurfers working hard to ride the wind, there will be harsh waves of rejection and indifference that cause us to crash at times. But the Spirit cannot be contained in sanctuaries; she must be lived out in the streets and from shore to shore. She cannot be imprisoned in small rooms, small minds or small hearts, but released in the larger world, expanding minds and hearts, and calling us to a greater and deeper love for one another.
Pentecost invites us to ride the wind of the Spirit that moves out into the world to be ministers of mercy, shapers and makers of peace, as we seek to live with courage and compassion, justice and love.
Fr. Joe Nassal, C.PP.S. (Kansas City)