As I began to prepare this reflection, I was very struck by this thought from Sr. Regina in her reflection for Pentecost. She wrote: “What ever happened to Pentecost? Not the feast – that faithfully returns each year. I mean the real, personal Pentecost, the fire in the core of our being, the sense that the Spirit of God dwells in us. On that first Pentecost, the Apostles fearfully locked themselves behind closed doors, and then something happened that is difficult to comprehend. They saw the Lord, they received the Spirit. And when they unlocked the doors and left that room, they were filled with both peace and passion, describable only as the Spirit of God dwelling within them.”
These words seem to relate to our Gospel today, Jesus’ parable of the “Good Samaritan.” It reminds me of the life changing moments in our lives. There are (or could be) so many of them. God wishes to touch us personally and to transform us; God wishes to create new life and change us in miraculous ways. Many times, when people are confronted with a great need, they can unexpectedly perform great tasks, acting as “good Samaritans.” Afterward those people will say that they didn’t even think, they just acted. This becomes a miraculous moment for them, when they allow God to take over, when they do not think of themselves first: a person is in need, and they act. They act as Jesus would act, as a person of great courage would act. They do not know where the strength or courage came from. A person is in need – and that is all that matters.
Jesus would tell us that all of our actions need to flow just that “naturally” from who we are: the children of God. When the Spirit if God dwells within us, we are changed. We become capable of great deeds, capable of great compassion, of selfless giving, of great caring for others in their need.
We see throughout the gospels how Jesus reaches out to those in need with just that kind of spontaneous giving. The generosity of God has no limits. Jesus acts in this same way. We, however, are often more hesitant. When we truly become like Jesus, that hesitancy goes away. In our prayer we often ask God to take over and give us the strength to face the daily challenges of our lives. When we pray like this, we often have no idea what we are asking. Perhaps we sometimes hope God won’t take us too seriously, and won’t be expecting too much.…
Yet Jesus, in this parable, tells us the opposite – that he fully expects nothing but the best from us – in fact, sometimes even the truly impossible. The Apostles were inspired by the Spirit to go forward from that Upper Room. As Sr. Regina said, “We need to put ourselves in the same locked room with the fearful disciples, and hear the Lord greet us with words of peace, feel his breath and be filled with the inner fire of the Spirit of God, and then unlock the doors and go out to carry on the mission of God.” Then, moving forward with this inner peace, we become capable of doing the Lord’s work. It is not us, but God who acts through us.
-Sr. Corinne Yarborough
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