In Italy they call the feast of Pentecost, Easter in Red. This is an appropriate way to describe what happened on that first Pentecost. While Christ rose on Easter Sunday, the apostles rose from their tombs of fear and doubt on Pentecost. Red is the color of the tongues of flame that came upon all who were gathered together in prayer. The color red also reminds us of their willingness to shed their blood for Jesus.
This year the feast of Pentecost might be overshadowed by the annual observance of the burning of the HMS Gaspee, with its fireworks and parade. The two celebrations are actually connected. They are celebrations that reminds us of what happened in the past, and how because of what happened, we have all been changed for the better.
The gift of the Holy Spirit that was given at Pentecost, is the Spirit of memory. This memory was lost when man was expelled from the Garden of Eden. You see, when God made creation he wanted to share it with someone who would appreciate its beauty as he did. So he made us in his image and likeness. That means we had the ability to see what he saw, to hear what he heard, to smell what he smelled, to taste what he tasted and to speak the way he spoke. Through sin we lost that gift.
A rose can never see its own beauty; it has no eyes. A rose can not smell its beautiful scent; it does not have a nose. Only a human being, filled with the Holy Spirit, can see and hear, and smell and taste, and love the way God loves. As a member of Christ’s body, the Church, we are called to appreciate the beauty of creation and the beauty of human life in all its forms.
May God pour out his Spirit upon our parish family, and continue the good work he has begun in us. Happy birthday church, and happy remembrance of the gift and price of freedom, as we celebrate these special days as Christians and Americans.