The feast of Pentecost is quickly approaching (May 19) and it is an annual reminder that the Creed we profess is not for the timid. It’s not a part-time deal, a Sunday morning interlude, something we try to get around to when we’re not so busy. Pentecost also reminds us, with mighty wind and terrifying flame, that as Christian stewards we must be all in to acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives and be open to the Spirit’s direction and power.

Throughout the history of Christianity we can see evidence of how the Holy Spirit continuously breaks out afresh in our Church and world. The Holy Spirit has awakened Christians from their complacency, led them into new frontiers of celebration, sacramentality and evangelization. The working of the Spirit continues to make forgiveness possible and transforms our lives. We believe that God’s Holy Spirit has been poured out as a principle of unity to bring to completion the divine plan of salvation for everyone. Good stewards know that they must cooperate and not resist the work of the Spirit.

Saint Paul tells us that there are characteristics by which we can recognize the Holy Spirit at work within each of us. These characteristics are called the fruits of the Spirit and they are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22). These fruits are made manifest through our attitudes and actions in Church, among our neighbors, in the marketplace, the public square and in our use of social media.

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In his first Letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul also writes that no one can believe in Jesus Christ without the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:3). No one can even live as a disciple of the Lord without the Holy Spirit. No one can pray without him. We are convinced that when someone speaks or thinks well of another, the Holy Spirit is at work. When people do not think first of themselves but treat others as sisters and brothers, when they do not give up hope in God’s promises for humanity and the world, God’s Spirit is at work. Stewards know that the Spirit inspires trust, confidence and the energy not to be satisfied with what one has already accomplished. The Holy Spirit gives us the wisdom to follow the Gospel and put the Eucharist into action every single day.

The working of the Holy Spirit, though, does not restrict or oblige people to do what they do not accept. God has given us the freedom to follow Jesus or not to follow him. Of course, the Holy Spirit will not be denied, but works most effectively through us when we are committed to the Gospel. If we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit we discover, often to our surprise, capabilities in ourselves of which we could hardly imagine. This in turn allows us to inspire others.

In a world where there is so much conflict, divisiveness and polarization, even among Christians, good stewards have confidence that in the end, the Holy Spirit is going to win. The Feast of Pentecost is a feast celebrating stewardship, for it is a reminder for us to be ever vigilant to listen for the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and allow ourselves to be guided by that wisdom as we seek to do the will of the Father whose plan will be fulfilled.



Gracious and Loving God,

When your Spirit descended upon the apostles at Pentecost, they spoke the languages of those who came to hear their testimony.

They proclaimed a new covenant in Christ Jesus, sanctified by his blood, bound by the Holy Spirit, and sealed in the waters of Baptism.

We give you thanks and praise for releasing your Spirit upon us; and in these anxious times pray that it will break through the many barriers that divide people.

Let your Spirit open our eyes as a communion of faith to your ongoing presence among us, so we can recognize you when we serve one another.

Let your Spirit open our minds so that we may gain the wisdom to work together to show love for our neighbors, and unite our talents to build a better, safer world.

And let your Spirit open our hearts so that together we can live more fully in Christ, shine his light of mercy and hope and prepare for the day of his glorious return.

We pray this through your son, Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever.


Reprinted with permission from the International Catholic Stewardship Council.

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