Longing for Pentecost

30 May 2023
Sr. Cheryl Rose

I’m not sure I ever felt LONGING for Pentecost.  But who of us has not felt the Pentecost scene—hiding in an upper room, in fear, or dread, or confusion or loss, much as the first followers of Jesus did.  The One we trusted on and counted on to lead us in troubled times, the One who showed us how to live more fully and peacefully, the One who guided us each step of the way is gone.  Yes, we are delirious that He is risen--that death has not snuffed him out, erased Him from our lives.  But He is no longer here with us every day, in the way we had come to know and count on.  We are alone to face the mystery and challenges and darkness that may come--ON OUR OWN!

We each have had Upper Room times in our lives, when we felt not our power but our human weakness and wanted to hide from life with its too many questions, burdens, and seemingly unsolvable issues.  Sometimes there may have been others “hiding out” with us… but sometimes we have withdrawn alone with our own mysteries.  We, too, may have felt God’s absence, God’s seeming silence as we worried or suffered or questioned the events of life, baffled or despairing of how to respond to the challenges before us. Just this week I have listened to people—newly diagnosed with cancer, weary from cancer treatments, brought to the ground by a sudden tragic death of a partner, and the pain of unhealed, broken relationships.  These are Pentecost rooms, where someone FEELS they are alone, outside of God’s caring tender presence, and wonders “how can this be?” But friends, wait!  It’s not over!  There’s the miracle of Pentecost, when Christ’s Spirit breaks through the darkness and overwhelms us with a new peace, a new understanding, and a power far beyond our own!  We may not see with our human eyes the wounds of His hands, convincing us He is here.  But we will know with certitude that He has not left us alone.  We will know within us the presence—if we are quiet and use the eyes of our Soul.  We will see Him whom we know, and His Spirit will bring to mind everything He has taught us and wishes to pass on to us.  We receive a new life that is rock solid on TRUST, that what we need—the guidance, the strength, the wisdom, the peace---will come upon us.  And we will access that grace that St. Paul finally experienced, that prompted him to realize he was not alone, that led him to proclaim, “It is now no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me!”

Remember your own Upper Room moments—or perhaps you are in one now.  Let’s together wait for the promise of Pentecost—when Jesus said He would send the Spirit to help us.  Let us anticipate the great glorious mystery when that Spirit enflames us and transforms us from fear to courage, from darkness to light.