When I think of this Pentecost event I’m reminded of what a friend once told me, “Life isn't about understanding the mystery of God. It’s more about experiencing it.” Jesus taught us that, when he said the Kingdom of God is “within” us (Lk 17). Baptism gives us one of the most tremendous gifts that Jesus promised to and gave to us, the gift of the Holy Spirit (which we celebrate in a special way every Pentecost). It is the Holy Spirit which leads us to truth, by opening our eyes to ourselves, our world and to Jesus. It is intended by God that we experience his presence right now.
Too often we worry about what’s happening now and in the future, sometimes even the past. When we confuse our life with such undue concerns, it is almost impossible to live in the present. Many of us have a favourite way to reduce the stressful demands on us. That usually means waiting for “later,” such as going to the beach, snow or mountains to relax. Or maybe you have an occasional hobby such as gardening or visiting museums. All of these are helpful. But we also need ways to relax and experience the presence of God during the pressing demands and stresses of the day.
Firstly, we need to focus on God, and consciously look for his fingerprints in all of the things he has created in nature. Can I see Jesus in my neighbour, and can he/ she see Jesus in me? After all, if we’re truly living the Christian life to the fullest, then we should be a mirror image of Jesus. But, if that mirror-image isn’t there, what steps could I take to put it there? Do I really act like I believe that the Spirit of God lives within me?
It is most important to remember that on that first Pentecost the believers were all gathered in one place, and as usual, were praying; their focus was on the Lord, who had promised them an outburst of the Holy Spirit. This special mystery of God is experienced with the eyes of faith, a gift that enables us to believe in his presence within us.