By Fr. Ron Will, CPPS
All the reflections in this series can be found here: Living in the Season of the Holy Spirit.
The Feast of Pentecost propels us into the season of the Holy Spirit. When we live under the influence of the Holy Spirit we participate in a new creation. In this series, I am sharing seven words that describe that new creation.
The second key word for this season that we will explore today is: Unity.
I’m standing at the Reconciliation Labyrinth at Precious Blood Renewal Center. The labyrinth is a form of prayer going back centuries. Normally an individual walks the circular path and prays alone on a labyrinth. But you can see that in our labyrinth, there are two entrances: two individuals can enter separately, follow the designated path, along the way pass each other, and at the end stand together in the center.
Our labyrinth is modeled after a labyrinth in South Africa developed during the reconciliation process following years of apartheid.
When two people in need of reconciliation choose to walk the labyrinth together, and spend time together in the center, they can walk out with a very real sense of unity.
Amid the recent demonstrations and ongoing calls for racial justice and dialogue in our country, this seems like an appropriate setting for our second reflection, unity.
The Gospel of John Chapter 17 records Jesus’ prayer for unity during the Last Supper. It says, “Lifting up his eyes to Heaven, Jesus prayed, saying ‘Holy Father keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one.’ ”
On June 1, we officially entered the hurricane season. The strength and power that we see in hurricanes is beyond our comprehension in the destruction they cause. But the destructive force of a hurricane does not compare to the strength of the divisions that we can allow to come between us, should we fail to share with each other the peace and forgiveness that Jesus gave us in his gentle breath of the Holy Spirit.
Ask yourself: What can I do to be about building bridges rather than burning them?
In those last hours of his life on Earth, what was at the forefront of Jesus’ mind and heart? Unity.
Disunity seems to be part of our human nature. In Jesus’ time, it was division between Gentiles and Jews. Then there was division between the church in the East and the West. Then came division between Protestants and Catholics. On top of all that there is even division between brothers and sisters in one family, or one parish. How can we possibly become one?
The second key word the Holy Spirit wants to share with you and wants you to share with others is: Unity.
Let us pray together: “Come, Holy Spirit, Come.” Repeat 10 times.
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