The apostles at Pentecost, by the power of the Holy Spirit were transformed into fearless proclaimers of the Gospel. Jesus in his farewell address to his disciples promised that the Holy Spirit would be sent to guide them into all truth (John 16). The Spirit would fulfil Jesus’ promise to be with his followers until the end of the world.
In Acts, Peter and the apostles under the direct influence of the Holy Spirit found themselves able to work miracles, to preach powerfully and to convert. As we see in our first reading today, they were so confident that the Spirit was directly at work in them that they considered their decision made on the requirements for gentile converts, had divine authority.
The Spirit continued to sustain the early Church through persecution and the number of believers grew as they saw the powerful witness of martyrdom. The Holy Spirit is always at work in the mission of the Church, guiding the Pope and Bishops, successors of Peter and the apostles. The same Spirit has guided the Councils of the Church down the ages and inspired its great theologians and thinkers from Athanasius and Augustine down to Oscar Romero. The Spirit has inspired holy women and men to bear witness to the Good News by consecrating their lives to works of charity for the poor and vulnerable. The Spirit empowers the Church’s mission to promote peace and social justice, to foster good stewardship of the world’s resources.
Each one of us baptised by water and the Spirit, sealed by the sacrament of confirmation, are charged with the Church’s missionary work.
Come Holy Spirit and like the first apostles, fill our hearts with the fire of your zeal, wisdom and love. Show us what you want us to do and strengthen our commitment to spread the Gospel.