There they were, behind locked doors, scared to death (understandably enough) that what had happened to Jesus might yet happen to them. And because of their fear, they might have stayed in that upper room for God-knows-how-long, and Christianity would have been stillborn, had it not been for the Spirit – one more proof that fear is the biggest obstacle in the spiritual life. It took a firestorm of Spirit-filled energy to get them out of that room and onto the streets – and the world has never been the same.
What fear is keeping you behind locked doors of your own making? What part of the Gospel is not being lived because of your fear? In Baptism and Confirmation, you received the same Spirit given to the apostles; what will it take for you to unlock that fire and energy, get out of your comfort zone, and let the Spirit truly move you where, alone, you are too afraid to go?
Pentecost teaches that the last place a follower of Jesus should be is in church.
Well alright, we should go there, and often; but it is the last place we should stay. Why? Because it’s usually not too challenging to be a Christian in church. The real challenge begins when we leave church – and the real opportunity begins then too.
It’s the people who have quit going to church, or who never went, or who don’t see any need for God – these are the ones who are the real challenge.
And they are also the greatest opportunity. Such people aren’t necessarily bad; they just think they can live their lives without the Good News, thank you. That’s why the Spirit needs you to be free. In words attributed to Francis of Assisi, you are to preach the Gospel always; when necessary, use words.
The challenge for us is to live in such a way that the Good News is spoken through our actions. Then if we do use words, they will be neither hollow nor hypocritical, but honest and healing.
What's holding you back?