I don’t know about you, but I was not thrilled to see snowflakes every day this past weekend. Friday, the snow and wind made it impractical to play my first round of golf this year. Saturday, while doing yard work at the rectory, I was moving mulch and shoveling top soil in between regular bursts of snow coming off Lake Champlain. And even yesterday, though to a lesser extent, there were still some snowflakes in the air as I began the Lord’s day. I must admit, I am officially sick of snow in 2020. Perhaps the fact that we are still social distancing and wearing masks in public places and still not celebrating public Masses has added to my frustration with the presence of snow in May; however, regardless of the Covid-19 precautions, I am sick of the snow. I am praying fervently for spring to finally arrive so that typical spring things can be done without having to bundle up like it was January.

In some ways my fervent prayer for the true coming of spring mirrors the Church’s prayer for the coming of the Holy Spirit. As we move into the latter parts of the Easter season, the prayers and readings begin to anticipate the Ascension of Our Lord and the descent of the Holy Spirit into the hearts of believers.  We begin to hear more and more in the scriptures of the gift of the Holy Spirit in the life of the early Church and the Spirit’s empowering Christians to bring their faith to others. It is the Spirit that brings life to the Church, that encourages believers to share their faith with others and the Spirit that sustains believers in times of turmoil and persecution.

Thinking of this makes me realize that as much as I may be praying for the gift of a true spring, in reality, I should be praying for the renewal of the Holy Spirit in my own life of faith.  Especially at a time when it could be easy to lose zeal and become lethargic in living and sharing faith, because things are still so much shut down, I should be praying that the gifts of the Holy Spirit, given and strengthened through Baptism and Confirmation, once again be stirred up in my life so I can be an enthusiastic and authentic witness to Christ.

So my encouragement for all of us, in the midst of our prayers for spring, is to pray for a renewal of the Holy Spirit in all of our lives so that we remain authentically the Body of Christ in a world that needs Him more than ever.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
V. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations.

Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

In Christ,

Msgr. John J. McDermott

Vicar General