By Dianne Davis
I’m writing this just a couple of weeks into the Coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. I live in New York, where we have the highest outbreak in the Nation. We were one of the first states to implement “stay at home” orders. As of today, 90% of the population, over two hundred million people in the United States, have been staying home.
Millions of people across the world are doing the same thing to fight the continued spread of this pandemic. My elderly father, who lives with us, is in the highest risk category for Coronavirus. So we are doing everything we can to keep him safe. All the experts say the best thing to do is stay home, but this is hard for me to do! I’ve never been the type of person who likes staying at home.
I need to get out of the house each day, even if it’s just a quick trip to the supermarket. But now, I have to wait. We all need to wait: wait for the peak; wait for a cure. Wait. Just wait!
Waiting is very Catholic
For Christians, waiting is not a new concept. Waiting is a key part of salvation history and has been used over and over again to build our trust and faith in God. One of the most significant times of waiting is Pentecost, which we celebrate today. The Book of Acts tells us that, after Jesus rose from the dead, he spent forty days on earth before He ascended into Heaven.
One day, while He was dining with his Apostles, He gave them a command. He told them not to leave Jerusalem but to “wait for the promise of the Father.” The Apostles were to carry on the mission of Jesus—preach the Kingdom of God and do all that Jesus had taught them. They had been with Him for three years, following Him, observing Him, learning from Him.
What more would they need? They needed the power to do this. They needed the promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would give them what they needed to share the Gospel and to be witnesses to the world. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, they would still be scared and hiding afraid of persecution. They wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything. So they waited.
The Upper Room
The Bible says there were one hundred and twenty people, including our Blessed Mother, who waited in the upper room for ten days. They spent the time constantly in prayer. Suddenly the Holy Spirit came, and everyone changed. They received the ability to speak different languages; no longer were they afraid to come out of hiding.
No, they were all different now, filled with boldness! They praised and thanked God even amid their sufferings, filled with hope. They became exactly who God created them to be: witnesses to the world!
We are created for a purpose too. Each of us called to a mission. The mission is to share the Gospel. Over the last fifty years, the Church has been calling for a New Evangelization. But in order for us to evangelize, we need a new Pentecost! What we read in Scripture on this Pentecost Sunday, isn’t a story that happened two thousand years ago.
It is for each of us, in these times. Right now! We need to be praying just like the one hundred and twenty did in the upper room while they waited. They trusted Jesus and prayed with expectant faith.
An Outpouring of the Holy Spirit
The Gospel of Luke 11:13 says, ”… how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
We are each given the Holy Spirit in our Baptism, and sealed with it in our Confirmation. We can make renewals of our baptismal promises for a fresh release, a greater anointing of the Holy Spirit. So we can fulfill the mission God has created us for, and so we are not afraid, no matter what the circumstances are around us.
Pray for a tsunami of the Holy Spirit over all the earth and for yourselves because He promised it would happen! Pray that the Lord will use this pandemic to open the hearts of many people whose hearts have been cold. Pray for the conversion of the world because this is the desire of the Father! He wants to use you to be one of His witnesses, and He will give you the power to do it!
About the author:
Dianne Davis serves as the Director of Mission Expansion for ChristLife, a Catholic ministry of evangelization and she longs to see revival in the Church. She is a conference and parish mission speaker, teacher, and co-author of Share Christ. She has been married for 30 years and has two young adult sons. On Twitter @diannedavisNY