Article: Prisoners no more

Newry Cathedral News

Last Sunday we celebrated Pentecost when the disciples locked themselves in an upper room for fear of the Jews. We know exactly how they felt as we often make prisons for ourselves when we feel inadequate. Though fear, apathy, guilt or pride, we lock ourselves into debilitating patterns of behaviour where fear stops us from doing the right thing or taking action.

The disciples behaved exactly how we behave when we face difficulties. However when Jesus came amongst them and breathed the Holy Spirit into them, they started doing amazing things. They were no longer a group of inactive disciples and suddenly they had the ability to reach out to people regardless of language, culture or race. 

This Pentecost saw the birth of our church, an international church which now has 1.5 billion people from all cultures and across all parts of the world. But Pentecost isn’t just a story about something that happened a long time ago, it’s a promise. We each play a part in fitting into God’s greater picture, we each have a talent that lends itself to God’s purpose. Unlocking that talent is a daily challenge. 

How do we use our skills to best advantage? How do we knock down the barriers that prevent us reaching our true potential? Where do we look for direction, focus and discernment? How do we find courage, faith energy and foresight? The answer to all these questions is the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirt that enables the early disciples, liberates and empowers us. The Holy Spirit is God’s presence in our lives whenever we ask. We all have the extraordinary within us just waiting to be released. ‘Let us invoke the Holy Spirit each day, so that He can remind us to make God’s gaze upon us our starting point, to make decisions by listening to His voice, and to journey together as Church, docile to Him and open to the world’. Pope Francis.