The Feast of Pentecost is upon us! This is a time to celebrate the missionary outburst to share the evangelii gaudium, the joy of the Gospel, with all people. And, it is at this wondrous time that we join Catholics in prayerful action to repair our disjointed immigration system.
Pentecost is an ancient feast marking the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples:
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. (Acts 2:1-4)
“The birthday of the Church,” Pentecost takes place fifty days after Easter and notes the endowment of the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit to Christians: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.
This Pentecost, may we be inspired by the Gifts of the Holy Spirit to practice these virtues for the promotion of human dignity and the protection of the most vulnerable among us. If we are “truly wise” and “understanding” we will relish what is right and just for immigrants in our country and will work with “fortitude” for genuine immigration reform, sustained by the “piety” of love and hope.
May the feast of Pentecost rekindle in our hearts the fire of God’s love for all, and energize us to continue the work of immigration reform in partnership with our immigrant sisters and brothers, who are participating in the mission of the Holy Spirit to “renew the face of the Earth”—and of the United States of America.