It’s your birthday, and the one who knows you best and loves you most wants to get you a present. Whoever it may be knows what you wouldn’t get for yourself, even couldn’t get for yourself; not some token gift to be put on a shelf and occasionally looked at but a lasting gift that brings you joy.

Fifty days after Easter Sunday, the Church celebrates Her birthday: Pentecost [This year, May 31.] Since God is the One Who knows us longest (Jeremiah 1:5) and loves us best (John 3:16), He wants to give us a present, one we would never think to get for ourselves, and truthfully, one we never could get for ourselves. That Gift is the Holy Spirit: God Himself.

God’s Gift of the Holy Spirit is no token gift. Instead God’s Spirit breathes Life into us so that we Christians, faithful to the Gospel and Jesus’ great commission to preach the Good News and make disciples of all nations, can breathe the Gospel truth in the ears and hearts of all by our Christlike words and example.

The indication that we deeply value and are thankful for this Gift is the joy that it brings: to us and especially to others. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, a visible indication of His invisible presence within us that gives us a glimpse here and now of the greatest joy: being in the Presence of God for eternity. This is the Gift God promises on the birthday of the Church...and every day.

Come, Holy Spirit, come! Fill the hearts of Your faithful, and kindle within us the Fire of Your Love.

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