PENTECOST SUNDAY - May l4, l967
When we pray in the Apostles Creed: "I believe in the Holy Spirit", and when we pray the Nicene Creed: I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life," we mean that the Holy Spirit is God. He is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. He has the same nature as God the Father and God the Son, although He is a different person. He is not the Father, and He is not the Son. He is the Spirit of both.
The Trinity is the great mystery of the Christian Religion - it is the most Christian of all Christian truths. One can say that Christianity stands or falls on the belief in or rejection of the Trinity.
This mystery was foreshadowed in the Old Testament - "Let us make man to our own image and likeness." It is Our Lord, of course, who taught us what we know about the Holy Spirit. He told us that the Holy Spirit is God like the Father and Himself, but He is a different Person from the Father and the Son. At Our Lord's baptism, the Holy Spirit came down upon Him in the form of a dove. The Holy Spirit was different from the Son who was baptized, and from the Father whose voice was heard from Heaven. When Our Lord sent His apostles to preach to the whole world, He commanded them to baptize all nations, "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
The Holy Spirit has the powers of God. He knows all things: "For the Spirit knows all things, even the deep things of God." 1Co..2:l0. The Holy Spirit is everywhere: "The Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world." Wisdom, l:7. In the words of the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin of Nazareth the Holy Spirit is all-powerful: "The Holy Spirit shall come upon you and the power of the Most High shall overshadow you." St. Luke l:35. The Holy Spirit has the power of prophecy: "Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." He works miracles: "I cast out devils by the Spirit of God. Matt, 12:28. Through the Holy Spirit comes the power of forgiving sins: "Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them." In a word, the Holy Spirit has the same powers as the Father and the Son.
We simply must have devotion to the Holy Spirit. IT IS THE AGE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT - It has been the age of the Holy Spirit since that first Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles, fifty days after the Resurrection of Christ, and it will be His age until time is no more.
Each one of us needs the gentle and powerful guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives. IF THERE IS ANY GOODNESS IN OUR SOULS, IT IS THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT! Let me ask you a candid question: "Did you ever in a spirit of faith and with great sincerity ask the Holy Spirit to help you with any problem?" Try it. When you make the sign of the cross at the end of this sermon think especially of the Third Person of the Trinity. Bring the Holy Spirit into your thinking, into your problems, into your decisions. Say with the entire Church: COME HOLY SPIRIT. Pray with the entire Church: "O God, Who by the light of the Holy Spirit dost enlighten the hearts of the Faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit to be truly wise and ever to rejoice in His consolations."