The Holy Spirit Choir’s V Patron Feast Day and Foundation Anniversary
“Where The Spirit of The Lord Is, There Is Freedom.”
Dear Friends, Benefactors and Choir Members,
We are celebrating this year’s Pentecost Sunday, the descent of the Holy Spirit on the first Christian community in Jerusalem. Today is also the fifth foundation anniversary of the Holy Spirit Choir who has been serving the Holy Mass in English at Saint Dominic’s Parish Church for the past five years since Pentecost Sunday in 2012.
According to the story of how the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles, there was, all of a sudden, the strong wind that entered the house where they stayed in profoundly meditative prayer. Then tongues as of fire appeared and came to rest on each of them. They started proclaiming in different languages the message of God’s merciful love fully realized in the life, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, His Beloved Son, our Lord and Savior.
Wow! Modern times’ listeners to the story may get interested in its many and different implications.
Those working for international organizations such as the UNICEF, IMF, and the like, would love the Holy Spirit’s gift of multilingual mastery. It was amazing to hear the once illiterate fishermen of Galilee speak foreign languages so fluently that people of different nationalities understood the homily as in their mother tongue.
What has impressed me most, however, is the characteristic suddenness of the wind that comes out as from nowhere and then vanishes without trace. It is in comparison to this free, quick, flexible, and unpredictable nature of the wind that Jesus describes the powerful third Person of the Most Holy Trinity:
The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.
In other words, the wind is the best symbol of what we could understand as freedom and freedom in turn symbolizes the most wonderful character of the Holy Spirit as put by Saint Paul: “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
In fact, the Holy Spirit opens—frees, if you so like—the eye of our human mind, too much limited in physical senses, in order for us to see God’s mighty works, sometimes hidden from human bias, selfishness and ambitions.
The Holy Spirit even encourages and strengthens us—so to say that He liberates us from—often being held hostage or imprisoned by uncertainty, doubt, fear and despair in order for us to act with confidence, prudence and perseverance, totally entrusting our work and ourselves in God’s loving and caring hands.
First and above all, the Holy Spirit teaches us how to worship God the Father in Spirit and truth, so as to free us from all forms of idolatry—the worship of false gods and even the false worship of God.
It is the Holy Spirit Who pours into human hearts so profound and unconditional a love that frees believers from fear of Hell and hope of Heaven:
O my Lord,
if I worship you
from fear of Hell, burn me in Hell.
If I worship you
from hope of Paradise, bar me from its gates.
But if I worship you
for yourself alone, grant me then the beauty of your Face.
Yes, Jesus promises to send in abundance His abovementioned blessing to us who were born of the Spirit.
Fr. Francis Nguyễn Văn Nhứt, O.P.