Renewing the Face of the Earth

Descent of the Holy SpiritHappy Birthday Call to Action Next Gens!

How coincidental that we’re celebrating the first anniversary of the blog while the Church celebrates her own birthday! It’s been an honor to contribute, even in this small way, to the genuine reform and renewal that so desperately needs to be enacted within the Church, in the true spirit of the Second Vatican Council. Today’s second reading spoke of how, united in the Holy Spirit, we are all members of Christ’s Mystical Body here on earth, the Church. Every of one us has been given a different gift by this Spirit, but as evidenced by the success of our blog, all contribute to the building up and the manifestation of the Body of Christ. Sometimes, debate, questioning, and even dissent can prove not infidelity but on the contrary just how broad and strong our love for the Church is. Let’s continue to listen to whatever the Holy Spirit prompts us to proclaim and not be afraid to go against what sometimes may be held up as the infallible “Truth.”

The priest who delivered the homily today spoke about how today’s Feast calls us not to become set in our ways. He warned us that when, in whatever capacity within our lives, we become so comfortable that we are hostile to change of any kind we should examine ourselves and see if we are alienting our souls to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

 Isn’t this what we are all calling for? The leaders of the Church obviously have become set in their ways, in so many numerous ways that it’s not useful to list them all here. Unfortunately, for the past two decades or more the Church has seemed inevitably stalled, resisting at all costs any openess to change or revaluation; instead giving in to rigidity and fear.

When the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples (men as well as women) in the Upper Room the tangible form of the Church was born, with its universal mission prefigured by the ability to speak many languages. The Church at that point was a new and concrete creation. If I interpreted the priest at Mass today correctly, I may or may not have, then individuals as well as the Church as a whole must always be open and nonresistant to be created anew.

The scope of what we’re doing may seem small in the big scheme of things, but even if we can’t realize it, we’re contributing to the edification and renewal of the Body of Christ. Even when it seems like our voices are being drowned out by the refrain of “no” we must not lose hope!

This morning’s responsorial Psalm speaks of the Holy Spirit renewing the face of the earth. It’s obvious that now more than ever the earth, in a very real and dire way, truly needs to be conserved, treasured, and renewed as a gift given to us by Almighty God. This should give us all the more impetus to work for renewal within the People of God. When a new understanding or way of action is discovered that is beneficial couldn’t it be considered in itself a gift of the Holy Spirit? Let’s all then take what we do, in whatever capacity or circumstance, not just as a hobby or a job but as a gifted endeavor which has been entrusted to us by the Lord and Giver of Life! Knowing all this we must never cease to pray that the Holy Spirit will bless the Church with a genuine movement of reform and renewal and that someday, as symbolized by the many languages spoken on that first Pentecost, diversity of its individual members would be celebrated and not condemned, and seen as gifts that contribute each in their own unique way to the strengthening of Christ’s Body! “Lord, send out Your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth!” (and our Church!)

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About Phillip Clark

Phillip Clark is a paralegal student in Baltimore, Maryland and contributing author to “Hungering and Thirsting for Justice: Real-Life Stories by Young Adult Catholics.” Interests include politics, theology, civil/human rights, social justice, LGBT rights, international relations, and history.

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