Before he ascended to his Father, Jesus promised his disciples that he would send them the Holy Spirit. Today, on the Feast of Pentecost, the fiftieth day after Easter Sunday, that promise is fulfilled. The Holy Spirit sounds like the wind and looks like fire. There are people in Jerusalem from all over the world – ‘every nation under heaven’ – and miraculously, they can all understand the preaching of Jesus’ disciples. The difference of language that separates us from one another is overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Every person is unique. We look different, we speak different languages and we have different customs and beliefs. But we all share the same human nature. Each human person is made in God’s image. The Holy Spirit unites us, without making us all the same; we remain as different as God makes us. The Spirit makes us truly human.
St Paul describes the gifts that the Holy Spirit brings us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control. We can’t achieve these qualities on our own, but, if we open our hearts, the Holy Spirit will transform us into the people that God planned us to be. The Spirit makes us truly human.