07 Editorial - The Immeasurable Presence of God - Fr Anthony Charanghat

posted May 17, 2018, 8:54 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 18, 2018, 12:13 AM ]
With the coming of His Spirit, the Easter season comes a full circle, embracing us in the mystery of salvation wrought for us by the risen Christ. Luke, in his description of the Pentecostal experience, fires our hearts with images of the unseen, immeasurable presence of God in our lives and in our Church–impelling us to make this good news a daily reality in our own and others' lives.

In Jesus' breathing upon His disciples the new life of the Spirit, the community of the Resurrection – the Church – is called to launch out into the deep. The narrative of the working of the Spirit: in terms of tongues of fire, ignites us to do the work of the Gospel of the Risen One; the Spirit, as a gale, transforms us to align our will to God's will, and the Spirit of God, as life in us, animates us, so that we might bring His life and love to our broken world. The effects of the Spirit sets in motion our mission of preaching, prophecy, healing and worldwide outreach.

The miracle of Pentecost (Acts 2) is the Spirit's overcoming the barriers of language and perception to open not only the minds of the Apostles' hearers, but their hearts as well, to understanding and embracing the Word of God. The Spirit of God enables the Eleven – and us – to do things they could not do on their own: to understand the 'truth' of God's great love for His people that is embodied in the Risen Christ, and then to boldly and fearlessly proclaim the Gospel of Christ. The Spirit empowers us with the grace to do the difficult work of Gospel justice, forgiveness and compassion.

The Advocate comes to testify and to prompt the testimony of the disciples. It is Jesus' testimony to the truth, of course, that got Him in trouble, and the Holy Spirit comes to prompt the disciples to make the same disturbing, disruptive and world-changing testimony that calls into question the values of the world.

It is the Spirit that enables us to love as selflessly and as totally as God loved us—to become one of us, to die for us and to rise for us. Pentecost is a continuing event that dares us to become a community of fire that will keep alive the flame of passion for God and for the world which God loves, burning brightly even through the darkest days and nights of hostility and persecution.

The Day of Pentecost announces God's mighty and transformative presence in the emerging Christian movement and in our lives. God's Spirit can move quietly; it can also be bold and awesome. However God's Spirit comes, it breaks down barriers, welcomes outsiders, reconciles the separated, and energises our own spirits.

There is a mystic within each of us. God addresses all of us in sighs too deep for words. God's Spirit is always beckoning us towards more than we can ask or imagine. The omnipresence of God ensures a God-ward movement in all of our lives, even when we are unaware of it. Psalm 104: 'Send forth your Spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth' should be the cry of our heart.

God offers inspiration and salvation to all. His message is always understandable and relevant to our own lives and the concrete realities of peoples of different backgrounds. The Spirit is global and universal; it is equally intimate and personal. The Spirit motivates us to action. Pentecost is not only what we often refer to as 'the birth of the Church'; it is the celebration of 'being the Church'. We must continue to live what we are born to in the waters of baptism—the new life of the Risen Christ.