Dear Sisters and Brothers,
This past Sunday was Pentecost, and we proclaimed the good news that the Holy Spirit has been loosed upon the world, bringing about our rebirth into new life as daughters and sons of God, uniting us with the death and resurrection of Jesus in Holy Baptism, interceding for us in our weakness, renewing us as we feast on the Body and Blood of Jesus in Holy Eucharist, and empowering us to give voice to the groaning of creation as we long for our final redemption.
What an incredible list of blessings bestowed upon us by the gift of the Spirit!
We also consented to the Spirit’s work in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. We had the utter joy of baptizing Aiden Crosley, Marlow Crosley, Mabel Crosley, and Kacey Donoho, celebrating their union with Christ in his death and resurrection, birth into God’s family the Church, forgiveness of sins, and new life in the Holy Spirit.
As we work out what new life in the Spirit looks like in our context, I encourage you to reflect deeply on these words on the Holy Spirit from Basil the Great, Bishop of Caesarea (~379 AD):
“The Spirit raises our hearts to heaven, guides the steps of the weak, and brings to perfection those who are making progress. He enlightens those who have been cleansed from every stain of sin an makes them spiritual by communion with himself. As clear, transparent substances become very bright when sunlight falls on them and shine with a new radiance, so also souls in whom the Spirit dwells, and who are enlightened by the Spirit, become spiritual themselves and a source of grace for others… Through the Spirit we become citizens of heaven, we are admitted to the company of the angels, we enter into eternal happiness, and abide in God. Through the Spirit we acquire a likeness to God; indeed, we attain what is beyond our most sublime aspirations–we become God.”
May the Spirit be poured out afresh on us all!
Grace and peace,
P.S. My 2-month “mini-sabbatical” starts June 1, so you won’t see me around on Sundays for a couple months. I’ll miss you very much and look forward to being with you again in August. Thank you for your prayers!
Photo credit: Stained glass from Konstantin Basilika (Trier, Germany). https://pixabay.com/photos/mosaic-picture-art-christians-409427/