Today, on this Pentecost Sunday and birthday of the Church, the Lord invites us to take a drink of life-giving water, to drink of the Spirit. If we decide to take the drink, the Spirit will prompt us to express ourselves in foreign tongues and to make bold proclamations (Acts 2:4) "about the marvels God has accomplished" (Acts 2:11). If we do this, a few people will mistakenly think we are drunk on alcohol (see Acts 2:13). However, many of these people will change their minds, give their lives to Jesus, and also take the drink of the Holy Spirit.
Some, however, will refuse the drink, and they will reject and persecute those who have taken the drink. If we decided to take the drink, we will receive both the cross and Pentecost, both persecution and power, and both rejection and joy. The drink of the Holy Spirit is a "mixed drink." We naturally want some but not all of the effects of receiving the Spirit.
To make the right decision, we must not focus on the drink and its multiple effects, but on Jesus, the Person offering us the drink. Jesus proclaimed: "Let him drink who believes in Me" (Jn 7:37-38). When we believe in Jesus, we will gladly accept any drink or anything He gives us. We trust Him and are confident in His love.
On this last day of the ninety days of Lent and Easter, and after the nine days of the novena to the Holy Spirit, take the drink of the Spirit. Alleluia! Happy Pentecost!
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†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 9, 2009.