The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

Pentecost

Date: 
Sun, 06/04/2017
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

I direct your attention to the following demonstration.
(Step out in front of the pulpit.  Proceed to twirl/spin a rope with a flip flop tied to the end.
Then return to the pulpit.)
 
No, I am not planning to run away and join the rodeo.
And yes, there is a flip flop tied to the end of the rope.  Your eyes do not deceive you.
 
Those of you with a scientific inclination will recognize my demonstration
as an example of…..centrifugal force.
The spinning of weight creates a force that wants to move the weight away from the center.
The opposite of centrifugal force is….centripetal force.
A centripetal forces draws mass, matter, weight toward the center.
Gravity is a centripetal force.  It draws us, for example, to the center of the earth.
 
Here are some questions, on this Feast of Pentecost, to ask of our selves: 
is my life caught in a centrifugal force?  Am I moving away from the center?
Or is my life caught in a centripetal force…moving toward a central point?
Am I moving farther away from the Body of Christ or closer to the Body of Christ?
Do I separate myself from the Body of Christ
or do I find ways to connect myself to the Body of Christ?
In a similar vein,
because of my attitudes, dispositions, character…
are others repulsed by me…want to move farther away from me…
or are others drawn to me, want to move closer to me?
Do my words and actions set into motion entropy (scattering) or preservation,
disintegration or integration,  a pulling apart or a pushing together?
 
The Spirit of God is a centripetal force.
One way we know we are possessed by the Spirit,
and that we are being directed by this Spirit
is that it will draw us toward the center of life which is Jesus Christ.
Both in the outer world, the world of others
and in the inner world, the world of our conscience, our thoughts,
the Spirit of God draws us into the fullness of life.
 
Sin, on the other hand, is a centrifugal force.
It pushes us away from the center.  It divides us, separates us from the fullness of life.
The Spirit of God draws us toward one another in a communion of love….centripetal action.
Sin puts distance between us with loneliness, isolation, fear and hatred.
 
From the very beginning, from the 1st Pentecost,
the Spirit has acted  as a divine centripetal force
in the lives of God’s people.
 
How do we know….what is of the Spirit and what is not?
The Spirit of God
draws us back
to our roots
to our beginnings
to our purpose as followers of Jesus Christ.
The Spirit reminds us:  God has a plan for this world.
God has a plan for each of us,
a plan that  existed before we became a twinkle
in the eyes of our parents.
 
Unfortunately, this plan gets lost
becomes hidden by worldly concerns and pursuits,
shoved aside by worldly values and distractions
stolen by failure, disappointment, the heavy weight of fear.
 
The world says we’re not lovable
unless we’re young, attractive, sexy, productive.
The Spirit draws us back to God’s truth:
we are loved not for how we look
nor for anything we do or accomplish.
We are loved
because we are God’s creations,
made in God’s image and likeness.
God’s love for us is unconditional.
It can never be tainted or withdrawn, especially when we fail.
 
The world seeks solutions
through power and might.
The Spirit reminds us:
care and compassion, goodness and truth
these break hardened hearts
and bring conversion of soul.
 
The world sells happiness
through self-indulgence and being in control.
Contentment is promised through instant gratification.
The Spirit calls us to a different standard:
human restlessness is only calmed in the arms of the Creator.
Inner peace is found in emptiness, in poverty of spirit,
in humility and self-surrender.
 
The world would have us dream dreams of new houses,
new cars, new boats, new bicycles, new computers.
The Spirit of God entices us to dream about new friends,
new relationships, new hearts, new minds, new souls, new spirits.
Pentecost happens
the Spirit of God is at work
every time we choose good over evil
right over wrong
love or hatred.
The Spirit of God has breathed on us
every time we choose acceptance over prejudice
generosity over self-centeredness
sacrifice over self-indulgence
forgiveness over revenge.
We are encouraged
to remember those times
to remember those feelings
to remember when faith was aroused
courage generated
trust cultivated
times we threw open the doors of caution and fear
believing Jesus has come into the world
and dwells in our hearts and minds.
We are asked to remember
and be re-born.
 
As a centripetal force, the Spirit of God helps us to see:
the meaning of life, the purpose of life, isn’t found out there.
It’s found in here, in the center of our being, in our heart, in our soul.
 
Pentecost draws us back to a fundamental belief:
God has the power to change
both individual lives
and world history.
 
Today’s feast reminds us…to pray for the gift of the Spirit.
Since the Spirit gives life to the Church, it will draw us into that life.
The Spirit will work to remove what causes division, what keeps us apart
and provides what brings us together:  love.
 
Our prayer today:  “O Lord, through Your Spirit You renew the face of the earth.  May this Spirit prevail in our lives and inspire us to overcome the wants, the dispositions, the fears that keep us apart.  May this Spirit remind us:  we are Your servants and are destined to share in that Kingdom that lasts forever.  Amen!”
 

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