Friar’s Corner: Dear Holy Spirit, fill us to overflowing to spread your kingdom

Acts 2:1-11; Psalms 140:1, 24, 29-31, 34; 1; Corinthians 12:3b-13; Pentecost Sequence; John 20:19-23

Catholics call this great feast the Birthday of our Church. Why? The early community was basically in hiding from Jewish and Roman authorities. At the Ascension Jesus told them to go back into the city to wait and pray for the coming of his Holy Spirit. He told them about the work of the Holy Spirit at the Last Supper. They were sad that Jesus left them. Jesus was the one doing all the wonderful healings and teachings. They were about to get the surprise of their lives after the resurrection

When the Holy Spirit fell on them on Pentecost they were completely transformed from being timid, shy and afraid, to going forth with great boldness and courage. The Holy Spirit set them on fire with the mission Jesus was giving them.

Go instead after the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this announcement: "The reign of God is at hand! Cure the sick, raise the dead, heal the leprous and expel demons. The gift you have received, give as a gift." (Matthew 10:6-8)

We are here today because they left on fire from the Upper Room.

Do we have the fire today? Are our local parishes on fire? Probably not. Why not? Perhaps no one told you that you should be on fire with the love of God and you have a mission to go tell others about how much God loves us and what power and gifts the Holy Spirit is giving us to share with others.

Read, pray and study the Pentecost Sequence below. It is an awesome prayer. And it tells us many of the things that the Holy Spirit can do in our lives. The sacrament of Confirmation should have been our own modern day Pentecost. Yet we probably were not told that we were going to be given great divine power when the Bishop put his hands on us. St. Mark’s gospel tells us in 16:15-17:

Go into the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation…. Signs like these will accompany those who have professed their faith; they will use my name to expel demons, they will speak entirely new languages…. and the sick upon whom they lay their hands will recover.

If you say a little pray to the Holy Spirit and read through the Acts of the Apostles, you get a good understanding of how the Holy Spirit was working through the early community. We don’t expect God to do much in and through us today and so he can’t if we don’t give him permission to melt us, mold us, fill us and use us.

Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on us. Please come with your comfort and power to light us up with excitement and courage that we can really tell others about the wonderful things God can do in our lives.

We call this work of telling others, evangelization. How did most of us come to our current practice of the faith? Someone told us growing up in a Christian home or being lead to Jesus by someone else.

We Catholics were the first Pentecostals and have not split off from any other church. May the Holy Spirit open your ears and eyes to hear and see him clearly. May he help you understand all the great things he has done in your life or is about to do in and through you. Have a great Pentecost.

This Memorial weekend let us all continue to pray for all those men and women who have and still are placing themselves in danger to keep us safe. Not only in the military but all other areas like police, rescue squads, firemen, airport and port security. Amen! Thank You, Jesus.

Peace and all good!
 + Fr. Bob Hilz
(© 2015 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)


Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from Your clear celestial home,
Shed a ray of light divine!

Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
Come, within our being shine!

You, of comforters the best;
You, our soul's most welcome guest
Sweet refreshment
here below.

In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.

O most blessed Light Divine,
Shine within these hearts of Thine,
And our inmost being fill!

Where You are not, we have naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour Your Dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away.

Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.

On the faithful, who adore
And confess You, evermore
In Your many Gifts descend.

Give us virtue's sure reward;
Give us Your Salvation, Lord;
Give us joys that never end.

Amen. Alleluia!

(Stephen Langton, 1150-1228 A.D.

Give us virtue's sure reward;
Give us Your Salvation, Lord;
Give us joys that never end.

Amen. Alleluia!

(Stephen Langton, 1150-1228 A.D.
Archbishop of Canterbury, England.)


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About Nancy Ward

Nancy HC Ward is a journalist, author, and speaker who blogs about Catholicism, her conversion, and Christian community at,
 7 websites and 7 magazines. She loves to share her faith story and help others share theirs through her Sharing Your Faith Stories seminars, also available on DVD. She contributed four chapters to The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion. She facilitates the Dallas/Fort Worth Catholic Writers and a critique group for the Catholic Writers Guild, where she serves as a board member.
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