The Disciples were filled with fear.
They were afraid of the Jewish and Roman Authorities .
They didn’t know what the future would hold for them or their families.
And some of them even feared that somehow they had been duped or tricked.
They doubted all of the incredible things that they had experiences with Jesus who they had thought was the Messiah.
And so they locked themselves in a room together and allowed their fears to paralyze them.
Sometimes it seems that we have a lot to be afraid of too.
While the economy seems to be recovering so slowly many people have been left out and others are afraid to trust again.
Our society seems stuck in fast forward or fast backward depending on how you look at it.
So many things are changing.
We seem almost cavalier when we throw away things we have believed for centuries, like our traditional understanding of Marriage.
Bishop Mansell warned the priests at a recent Presbyteral Council Meeting that there are legislators who are advocating for assisted suicide in Connecticut. It was just approved in Vermont this week.
God forbid if assisted suicide is ever approved in Connecticut. Where it is the law of the land our poor and our sick and our elderly will be encouraged to end their lives because it is too expensive or burdensome to care for them.
And even if no one encourages them to commit suicide some will feel guilty for even being sick and needing care.
Many especially in the Northeast of our Country only have the experience of what appears to be a diminishing Church. That’s easy to understand .
Since 1966 the Church going population here in the Archdiocese of Hartford has diminished by 1/2
Racked by scandals and empty churches there are those who are afraid that we really are becoming a post Christian / post religion culture.
And many of us face significant challenges in our own personal lives or in the lives of their loved ones.
I could probably keep on talking about our fears but you get the point.
What happened ?
What allowed the Disciples so consumed with fear to boldly step out into the world with the power of the Gospel?
What allowed the Church (that little community of frightened believers) to almost literally explode onto the world scene.
We find our answer...in today’s celebration of Pentecost
Somehow through God’s grace and mercy the Apostles were able to allow God’s spirit in their lives.
They opened their hearts to the Holy Spirit and they were never the same.
They realize that they were not alone.
They understood that their fears were not and could not be stronger than God’s love
With this realization they were finally able to accept the gifts of the Holy Spirit
and the fear of the lord
These gifts created them anew.
The feast of Pentacost challenges us to accept the gifts of the sprit and recognize the presence of God in our live.
Yesterday 90 of our teenagers were confirmed by
When I spoke to them some of them understood what was happening and some of them didn’t
That’s OK God never takes back a gift which he has given.
I am convinced that when they seek the Holy Spirit will be there for them even if they didn’t understand on the day of their confirmation.
So good people
What are we going to do ?
Stay locked in the room our fears and insecurities of our past failings and doubts,
or are we going to let go of all of that stuff and welcome the Holy Spirit into our lives like the Apostles finally did.
As Jesus said in the Gospel Do not be afraid .
Come Holy Spirit fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in us the fire of your love.