By Fr. Dennis Chriszt, C.PP.S.


The apostles in Jerusalem were so convinced that the Holy Spirit was with them

that they said so in their message to the Church in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia.

They knew that the Sprit was at work in their midst,

and they had heard the testimony of Paul and Barnabas

of how the same Spirit was at work in Gentile communities of Antioch, Syria and Cilicia.


The visionary, in the book of Revelations, was overcome by the same Spirit,

who enabled him to see the holy city coming down from heaven,

to witness every detail,

to number its gates and the courses of stone that made up its foundation.

He was able to see the glory of God

lighting up the new Jerusalem so brightly

that there was no need for sun during the day or moon at night.

The Spirit inspired more than his vision,

it inspired his hope

and the hope he proclaimed

of a world transformed by the grace of God.


Jesus promised the disciples that same Advocate,

that same Holy Spirit,

while gathered at the Last Supper.

He promised them the Father’s love,

the Spirit’s insight and memory,

and his own peace.


All of these stories are not just about the past.

They are about the whole history of the Church.

They are about our lives as well.

They are the promise that the same Spirit at work in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia,

the same Spirit at work in the Jerusalem Church,

is still at work in our midst.

They are the reminder that the new Jerusalem coming down from heaven

is still coming our way

with a light so glorious that the sun, the moon,

and all that lights up our days and nights

will not be necessary.

They remind us that the Spirit promised so long ago by Jesus

is still at work in our midst,

bringing us a peace that the world cannot give


In this year of preparation for the Synod on Synodality,

Pope Francis has been sharing his faith in the work of the Spirit,

his faith that the Spirit is at work throughout the world,

not only in his life,

not only in the lives of those ordained or consecrated to God,

but in the lives of all people.


In the early Church,

the first disciples were astounded by how the Spirit was at work

in people they did not expect.

Then they remembered,

by the grace of the Holy Spirit,

how Jesus had reached out to sinners,

had worked wonders for a Syrophoenician woman and her daughter,

for a Roman centurion and his dying child

and even for the soldiers who crucified him.



we need to remember,

by the grace of the Holy Spirit,

how God has been at work in our lives,

how God is at work in our lives,

and how God has a vision for us all

of a new Jerusalem coming down from heaven

and making this place the Kingdom of God,

where peace and justice reign,

and where the Glory of God give light to all.


In a world torn by violence and division,

we need to see the Spirit at work on our midst,

with the people of Ukraine

who somehow remain strong and hopeful

while war rages around them,

with the people of Bufalo,

who stand up with love for one another,

even when hatred visits their neighborhood.

We need to see that Spirit,

to recognize that Spirit,

to hope in that Spirit,

to see visions of a better world inspired by that Spirit,

and to love as Jesus loved,

and all of this is only possible

by the grace of the Holy Spirit,

already at work in our midst,

if only we open our eyes and see!




Fr. Dennis Chriszt, C.PP.S., is the director of advanced formation for the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. He also directs Precious Blood Parish Missions (


Missionaries of the Precious Blood