Recently we celebrated the Feast of Pentecost - the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I have been thinking, recently, on how Christmas has an extended period in the Church€™s year. We prepared for it the whole of Advent. We continue to drink it in for a couple of weeks, because on New Year€™s Day, we celebrate the motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and later still, the Epiphany.

It is the same with Jesus'€™ death and resurrection. We spend the whole of Lent preparing for these central events in Jesus'€™ life for us. We have some forty days to absorb a little more of the reality of the resurrection.

While we have a short ten days from the Ascension to prepare for Pentecost, this great event and feast seems to come and go. In the Liturgical Year we are back immediately into Ordinary Time.

And yet, is Pentecost just one day in the year or a flash in the pan? It certainly is not. God'€™s Son came and lived among us in the person of Jesus. In turn, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to live within us. This is not just for a day, or for any day, but, in fact, for every day in the whole year.

Pentecost may be a once off event, but the Holy Spirit, who come to dwell within us, affects us each day for the rest of our lives.

One of the privileges of being a Bishop is sharing the Holy Spirit with so many, especially our young people, each year. It helps me to think more about the Holy Spirit and pray to the Holy Spirit daily.

This privileged gift of the Holy Spirit is what we all share. It is within our power to be aware of God'€™s Spirit living within us all the time and to turn in prayer to that Spirit.

In our recent Pentecost Sunday gospel, Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would be His witness and that we, in turn, would also be His witnesses.

In simple terms, Jesus was saying - " the Holy Spirit willl tell you of Me... the Holy Spirit will make Me more real to you.... just as I have shared with you the love and power of God, now the Holy Spirit will share with you that love and power".

We do well to tune into the Holy Spirit ever present within us. The Holy Spirit shares with us also many gifts and those special fruits of '€˜love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self control" (Gal. 5: 22-23)

While I am enriched, personally, by the Holy Spirit'€™s gifts, I am also called by Jesus to be outward going and be His witness.

I don'€™t have to speak in tongues, as the Apostles did; or go to various countries, as they did; or be a martyr, as they were.

One very important way of witnessing to Jesus is by sharing the fruits of the Holy Spirit and living those fruits. Living as a person of love, joy, peace, etc., is not something dramatic and won'€™t make the headlines. It can be done, though, and is something very powerful.

The more people who do so, and the bigger number of people who do so, the more powerful the effect it will have on others. When it is continuous and constant, it is very powerful and can help change the world.

We can tap into the Holy Spirit every day in our own way. We can use a prayer inspired by the Confirmation ceremony - "Holy Spirit, be my help and guide".

The Holy Spirit will slowly but surely transform us and work in us to transform the world around us. This transformation is a fruit of the Holy Spirit'€™s witnessing and our witnessing.

Justin Joseph Bianchini DD
Bishop of Geraldton