This is indeed a special Sunday: celebrating our fathers on the Feast of Pentecost! This feast, 50 days after the Resurrection, dates back to the Early Church. Together with Jesus, the apostles and their faith community also celebrated Pentecost—50 days after Passover. They too decorated their homes with greenery, in celebration of God’s goodness in the time of harvest. As Christians we recognize this Divine Spirit as one of the Tri-Une God. With the gift of the Holy Spirit, we—human beings—become temples of God. Paul writes that God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, and faithful! (Gal. 5, 22-23) God is with us and in us. Our task is to be open; to accept that God is in us, no matter who or how we are. With our human failings, it can be surprisingly difficult for us to feel loved, to feel lovable in our deepest core. But God’s love is infinite and unconditional. When we have the security of feeling profoundly loved, it is easier to be generous with our own love. The Spirit is the source of all genuine goodness and love we feel, see, and know. It is not earned, but simply accepted.
Christ demonstrates the fruits of the Spirit through the example of a father. In the story of the Prodigal Son, the father embraces his wayward son despite all the wrongs he had done. He demands no payment and celebrates his child’s return to his loving home. This is how our Divine Father loves us. This is how our own fathers mirror Divine Love through the Holy Spirit!
On this day of joy we thank all our Fathers, Grandfathers, and Uncles for their goodness and love. Mnohaja Lita!