More than a month has passed since we have the dedication of this Church and I am still overwhelmed by it. During the past weeks when I heard some of your comments and suggestions, I had three conclusions. First, that we are all different. Secondly, that we are all a work in progress. And thirdly, that inherent in us is our desire to move forward as a united faith community.

This reminds me of letters written by children to God. Listen to some of them. Joyce: Dear God, Thank you for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy. Nan: Dear God, I bet it is very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only four people in our family and I can never do it. Denise: Dear God, if we come back as something, please don’t let me be Jennifer Horton because I don’t like her. Mickey: Dear God, if you watch in Church this Sunday, I’ll show you my new shoes. Elliott: Dear God, I think about you sometimes even when I’m not praying.

We are all different. We have different personalities, ideas, backgrounds, heritage, body compositions, moods, temperaments, spirituality. We have different expressions of our faith, different ways of worshipping God, different manners of sharing what we believe, different modes of living what we were commanded.

However, what makes us different unites us. Our differences become the foundation of our unity. There is unity in our diversity.

That is the first reminder of Pentecost. From different languages divided by the tower of Babel, we became one through the same language that begun from the Blessed Mother, the Tower of Ivory. Our unity resides in our faith, our baptism and our Lord.

The Spirit makes us one, just as the Spirit united the first disciples. Through the Holy Spirit that came from the Father and Jesus, His Son, we became a church that is open to all people. Through the one Spirit, our Church no longer have any distinctions of race, gender or nationality, that social status is not a requirement but a challenge, that love is no longer a declaration but a commandment.

All of us are God’s work in progress. That is why Pentecost is a time for us to ask ourselves whether the Spirit is alive and living among us. It is a time to examine ourselves whether the fruits of the Spirit are visible and manifest in us. It is also a time to determine whether we have God’s Spirit here in our parish, in our community, in our homes and in our families.

The answer to this question can be found in what the Church calls the fruits of the Holy Spirit. “By their fruits, you shall know them,” as the good Lord said.

Kindness, patience and self-control. These are some of the fruits of the Spirit. Kindness may be seen in our compassion and generosity, but how about patience? How patient are we when things take longer than we expected? How patient are we with the weaknesses, mistakes and pains of others? Self-control. Now, that’s really something to pray for because the self, our ego, can become our enemy than our friend.

Then, there is love, peace and goodness. Are we at peace? Are we doing and being good? Are we loving? St. Paul said, “Bear with one another in love; do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” When and if we need to be patient, kind and good to each other, it is because of love. When and if we need to remain one and united, it is because of peace.

Because the world is a creation by God and is still on its way to perfection, there is no perfect world. Because the Church is a composition of imperfect human beings and is constantly growing and changing, there is no perfect Church either. And because we are still being molded in this world, there is no perfect human being.

The Holy Spirit is given to us on Pentecost to serve as our Guide, our Advocate, and our Inspiration. The Holy Spirit is our God continually urging us to be in that perfect world in time to come. That is a desire inherent in all of us, moving us forward to a better faith community.

2 June 2009

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