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Holy Spirit, the frontliner

The story is told about a priest who convinced a little boy to go inside the church, and not to worry that his bike will be stolen, saying: “The Holy Spirit will watch over your bike.” Once inside the church, the boy made the sign of the cross, saying: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son. Amen.” The priest said: “Incomplete! Where is the Holy Spirit?” The boy said: “He is outside, watching over my bike.”

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Today is Pentecost Sunday. While Jesus ascended into heaven, and is already “working from home,” the Holy Spirit is now the frontliner in our midst, working outside and inside each one of us, bringing us together, and forming a community journeying toward the kingdom of God.

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“Peace be with you.” This is the Lord’s greeting for all of us in today’s Gospel (Jn. 20, 19-23). The Holy Spirit is also called the Paraclete, the Comforter who gives us peace and blessed assurance during these difficult and uncertain times. Let us call on the Holy Spirit to give us that peace so secure that we can go through life strong, hopeful, and joyful through it all.

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Is the Holy Spirit with you? Check the life you are living now. Do you have the fruits of the Holy Spirit, namely, joy, peace, patience, charity, kindness, goodness, forbearance, gentleness, faith, modesty, self-control, and chastity? Yes, by their fruits, you shall know them.

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Are you an agent of the Holy Spirit? Do not let the COVID-19 spirit control you. Do not allow sadness, anxiety, impatience, selfishness, meanness, hopelessness, pride, indulgence, and other negativities to imprison you.

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Whenever you feel low, sing the song: “Come, Holy Spirit, I need you; Come, Holy Spirit, I pray; Come with your strength and your power; Come in your own special way.” We can also paraphrase it, and sing: “Go Covid spirit, we don’t need you; Go Covid spirit and flee; Go with your mess and your terror; Go and begone ever more!”

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Pentecost is the birthday of the Church. May the COVID-19 pandemic bring forth a rebirth in the Church, in the clergy, and in the laity. May we all come out of this trial with a stronger sense of God, purified and refined. May we focus less on creed, code, and cult, and focus more on respect, openness, and solidarity. May we not stifle the Holy Spirit. Instead, let us allow the Holy Spirit to empower us.

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As we end the month of May, we honor Mama Mary. She was there, every step along the way, in her Son’s journey. She was there to regroup the broken disciples after her Son’s death. And she was there when the disciples experienced Pentecost in the Upper Room. Yes, she is with us always, our Mother, and our model.

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It was the late Letty Jimenez Magsanoc (former editor in chief of the Philippine Daily Inquirer) who made it possible for me to write this column in the 1990s. I honor her as a journalist-writer, and as a person with a strong sense of family, God, and country. She had a special devotion to Mama Mary, particularly the Flores de Mayo tradition which was started by her grandparents 85 years ago in Bohol, which her clan, about a hundred of them here and abroad, continues till today. May we too live in such a way that when we leave this world, we leave something good and worthwhile.

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Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will lead us out of the darkness of COVID-19, and fill us with a stronger sense of God, and kindness. Amen.

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A moment with the Lord:Lord, let your Holy Spirit lead us out of our comfort zones and fears, to become frontliners in any way, in whatever way. Amen.

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TAGS: Gospel, Jerry M. Orbos, Moments
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