By Joe Citro
Senior Vice President/Hispanic Services Director

This is the English version of an entry in Viviendo la Mision de Cristo/Living Christ’s Mission, the only bilingual blog on Stewardship and Missionary Discipleship in the country. See the article in Spanish here.

Their gaze in the near dark of the upper room caromed from face to face. Desperately they searched for a glimmer of hope in the countenances of their fellow apostles. They found none. Together they had watched Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem with joy. Quickly that joy devolved into pain as Jesus was put to death on the cross. The apostles fled out of fear that they would be targeted next. Huddled together, they remained hidden, terrified for their lives.

Like the apostles, fear and our uncertain future have dramatically impacted our lives. Daily we watch the ever-increasing toll that the Coronavirus has wrought on the lives of our sisters and brothers throughout the world. We yearn for normalcy, but we also recognize that our previous patterns of living pose severe risks to our very existence.

On Pentecost, Jesus sent the promised Holy Spirit to “… teach you everything and remind you of all that (I) told you.” (John 14: 26). The Holy Spirit shattered their fear and filled the apostles with strength so powerful that it lasted until their martyrdom. Born in the Spirit on Pentecost, they preached and lived the saving message of Christ the Resurrected Lord, the conqueror of death and the way to eternal life.

We need Pentecost in 2020, maybe now, more than ever before. The entire human race requires the strength of the Holy Spirit as we battle the ruthless ravages of a deadly virus. Regardless of the language we speak, the country we live in, or the way we think, we need the Holy Spirit now to give us the courage to live the way of the cross… sacrificing, serving, giving, loving others.

This crisis is a master class in conversion and discipleship. Let us be led by the Holy Spirit and the inspiration of St. Paul: “Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.” (Romans 12:12).

Come Holy Spirit, Come!

Joseph Citro, Senior Vice President, Greater Mission