The Vigil of Pentecost
Genesis 11:1-9 (The Tower of Babel, which prefigured the Apostles' speaking in tongues)
or Exodus 19:3-20 (Moses and the Israelites reach Mount Sinai)
or Ezekiel 37:1-14 ("I will put my Spirit in you, that you may live")
or Joel 3:1-5 ("I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh")
Psalm 104:1-2, 24-30 (When you send forth your Spirit...you renew the face of the earth)
Romans 8:22-27 (The Spirit intercedes for us in inexpressible groanings, for we do not know how to pray as we ought)
John 7:37-39 -
On the final and climactic day of the Feast, Jesus cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says." (He said this in regard to the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were about to receive. The Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.)
("The Message" paraphrase by Eugene H. Peterson)
Since Easter Sunday, seven weeks ago, both my wife and I have been led in a new direction in discovering the root of my son's affliction with autism. I should clarify that by saying that my wife has uncovered a series of information that connects many dots and provides an opportunity to help effectively manage, if not eliminate someday, that which can take an innocent, intelligent child and turn him into an apparent lunatic or worse.
Sharing this information with me has been both a joy and a painful pill to swallow. Painful, because what causes things like this are largely preventable in hindsight but can't always be determined at the time - and, when discussing concerns with a pedigreed professional, the diagnosis often casts either or both parents as unknowing, untrusting, and way too concerned to rationally deal with the situation. There's often a acute level of guilt felt, because God gave you the ability in love to bring this new life into the world; and yet, only hours after birth, actions are taken that can alter permanently the development of that life.
Yet there is still joy, and great hope.
Unlocking the prison gates is possible; tearing down the walls can happen. This has been proven time and time again on so many different levels. It may not happen with the force of a destructive explosion. It may be likened more to a child's learning to walk; one step at a time, and not without some pain. Often it requires time, patience, perseverance - the qualities found as a life formed and cultivated in faith.
God promised that he would instill His Spirit on His people. In doing so, those who recognized this presence, this Spirit, in their lives would be able to withstand trials, and overcome serious obstacles that all of us face in some way or other. Jesus promised the sending of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, who would work in our lives to continue to offer hope and strength in times of trial.
Researchers have (perhaps begrudgingly) acknowledged that a strong sense of faith, a belief that sustaining help is present, plays a very important part in the healing process, regardless of the affliction. It is in this hope that God is present in the Holy Spirit that 'renews the face of the earth.'
Come, Holy Spirit! Fill our hearts! Engulf us in the fire of Divine Love and hope! Renew us in strength and perseverance! Enlighten the path before us!!
Ultimately, may this help allow us to rebuild and renew life in others, and move another step closer to making the world a better place than we found it.
I rejoice in the progress we are making, and have a better understanding of how to continue. And continue we shall. That is ultimately what we're called to do; as individuals; as families; as community: to move one step closer each day on the road that we're on, the road that leads to a place where one day will be no more sorrow or suffering.