Come Holy Spirit!

The prayer: “Come Holy Spirit” is familiar to many of us Catholics. I pray this prayer throughout my day. I call upon the Spirit before I start my prayer, before a meeting, when asking for patience with my kids or even when composing an email. A simple yet powerful prayer that invokes God’s Spirit into our thoughts, words, and actions as we go about our daily lives. This prayer, this plea, however would not have been familiar to the Apostles or the Jewish people prior to the feast which we celebrate this weekend: Pentecost.

In the Hebrew Testament, the Holy Spirit was not given to everyone. The Spirit of God was reserved for prophets, judges, kings and those chosen by God as His anointed. These people, rare as they were, were the ones who received God’s Spirit. They were the ones to whom God spoke and were asked to deliver messages to the rest of God’s people. It was on the Feast of Pentecost that this changed forever.

Fifty days after Jesus’ Resurrection, the Apostles were celebrating the Resurrection when God sent His Spirit down upon them all. For Christians, Pentecost celebrates God’s new law, which is life in the Spirit. No longer is the Spirit reserved for only a select few. Now the Holy Spirit is given to all who have been Baptized in Christ. When God imparted His Spirit upon Mary and the Apostles, they were equipped to go out and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ and salvation. They were so enlivened by the Spirit that even their fear of death was no longer an obstacle.

“The Holy Spirit changes nothing and changes everything.” “Come Holy Spirit”- pray this now, pray this often. When we open ourselves to God’s Spirit there is no limit to what God will do through us.