Think about those times in your life when you have felt inspired to something really great. Where does that inspiration come from?
The Holy Spirit. God inspires us to do great things with our lives.
----Matthew Kelly

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Graduates and the Fire of the Holy Spirit

There was a lot going on at Mass today. Not only was it Pentecost but my parish had a Mass honoring graduates today. It is always so nice to see the young ones in their graduation gowns sitting in the front pews. What a perfect day to have this Mass! Just as the Holy Spirit breathed on the disciples calling them to go out into the world, so these graduates are being called to do something similar. These young adults are getting ready to go their separate ways and either go into the workforce or go to college. Some will be out of their parents' house for the first time. I wish I could tell each of them to hold onto their faith; that this time in their life is the time to hold onto it and not let it go. One of the few things I regret in my life is that I didn't do that. Brandon Vogt's article on young adults leaving the church (PEW survey) indicates that 79% of adults who left the Church did so before the age of 23. I was a statistic. I left during college, just not thinking it was that important or being too busy with partying other things. Boy, if I had it to do over again! Thankfully I came back to the Church before I had my first child, but it was sporadic. How differently would things have been for me if I had continued to be a Practicing Catholic? I'll never know, but my parents gave me good moral compass so I didn't get into any trouble.

Using your gifts for His glory

Chances are these young people won't have the dramatic experience that the apostles had during Pentecost, but I pray that they will feel the Holy Spirit coming into them and breathing the fire to get out there and use their gifts for His glory. I pray that they will discover their individual gifts to do His work, just as the apostles each had different gifts to offer.

We will be shown our gifts in His time

The 2nd Reading (Corinthians 12:3b-7,12-13) expands the gifts which we are given through the Holy Spirit. Each of us has different gifts that when we all come together melds the Church as one. Any organization requires the different talents of people to be successful. No one person has all of the talents (substitute "gifts" for talents) to successfully run a company or organization. God didn't plan it that way. He wants us to be dependent on each other in order to achieve great things for Him. He shows us these gifts in His time. How many young adults end up in a career that they thought they wanted when they graduated from high school? I changed my major 3 times before I found my niche. My parents breathed a huge sigh of relief when I stumbled upon Communicative Disorders and fell in love with it. I knew I needed to find something or else my 4 years in college were going to be up and I would be floundering without any financial support. God will show us our talents in His time.

Perfect timing

During Mass, the phrase "how does each of us hear them in his native language"  (Acts 2:9) grabbed hold of me. All of a sudden the people were able to understand what was being said in their own language. Just think: if this hadn't happened the Word would have been so slow to get out. It would take 1 person knowing a language, then another one knowing that language, and then another one, and so on. In order to grow the Church, it was necessary for people of different languages to be able to hear and understand what was being said. How incredible that must have been to be there and all of a sudden understand! I've had those "aha moments" when all of a sudden I'll understand something in Scripture. I know that it wasn't my time to understand until that exact moment when it all comes together. All of those people having their "aha moment" at the same exact time! Just unfathomable.  
In a world where younger people aren't given much credit, at a time when there is so much entitlement, it is with hope that I looked at the members of my parish who are going out to make their mark on the world. I pray that they take God with them and not forget it is He who gave them the gifts and tools to be successful. 

2 comments:

  1. "...how does each of us hear them in his native language" (Acts 2:9) grabbed hold of me. All of a sudden the people were able to understand what was being said in their own language."

    I absolutely love this!

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